The Mini 5 Door opens up a new part of the market for the style-driven youth arm of BMW. It may be built on the same line as its little brother in Oxford — situated close to the UK countryside.
The point is, most people who fancy the three-door will buy the three-door, but that market is small and self-limiting by its very nature. Style-driven people shy away when something becomes ubiquitous, and the car is too pricey to be properly mainstream anyhow.
This 5 Door doesn’t change that latter formula — it is still priced up there with an Audi A1 — but it does provide an option for those who need a little extra room to move, who aren’t married to the idea of a ‘proper’ three-door Mini and who don’t want a more expensive Countryman.
This is of course notwithstanding the fact that Mini made a five-door prototype in 1957 and only shelved it because its resources were stretched too thin. This reviewer thinks Mini has done a decent job with the car’s proportions this time around.
Furthermore, if you separate the mythology from the actual vehicle, and assess the 5 Door as just another small premium hatchback, it scrubs up well. Mini retains its essential character — for better and worse, as we’ll discover — but adds the requisite dose of difference too.
Here are the basics: the 5 Door is 161 millimetres longer than a three-door. It has 72mm more foot space and legroom in the back, 15mm more headroom and 61mm more interior width at elbow height. It also has 278 litres of cargo space with the seats up, a handy 67L more than the three-door.
Published: Wednesday, September 24, 2014