MINI have taken the wraps off their five-door MINI variant unimaginatively called, the MINI 5 door. Unfortunately (or fortunately) this variant did not get christened with ‘-man’ suffix but at least it’s easier for us to identify which MINI that has five doors.
On a separate note, this is not the replacement to the quirky Clubman, as the MINI Clubman is getting its own successor with six (yes, six) doors. Stretching at 161mm over the standard three-door third generation MINI, 72mm of it contributes to the wheelbase expansion, so the MINI 5 door should better accommodate the three passengers sitting abreast in the back seat.
Everything else is increased inside the cabin apart from the wheelbase, there’s 15mm more headroom and 61mm more interior width, but magically the car’s exterior width is still the same as the three-door MINI at 1727mm. The trunk is still tiny at 278 litres but that’s actually 67 litres more than the three-door.
Codenamed the F55, the looks are typical MINI, so everyone won’t be mistaken it as a car other than the MINI. From the round headlights, the hexagonal grille, the floating roof, to the rear lights, the MINI design features are still present on the MINI 5 door. Additional pair of rear doors have shortened the front doors slightly while the rear hatch now appears to have a more sloping glass than the three-door MINI.
Four different turbocharged engines with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology are offered on the MINI 5 door, a pair of petrol and a pair of diesel. The 1499cc 3-cylinder petrol in the Cooper 5 door generates 136hp and 220Nm of torque while the 1998cc 4-cylinder petrol in the Cooper S 5 door produces 192hp and 280Nm of torque. With overboost, the Cooper and Cooper S gets additional 10Nm and 20Nm of torque respectively.
On the dark side of the fuel pump, the two diesel engines offer more torque than the petrol engines. You get 270Nm of torque and 116hp from the 1496cc 3-cylinder diesel in the Cooper D, and if that’s not enough the Cooper SD will deliver a heady 360Nm of torque and 170hp from its 1995cc 4-cylinder powerplant.
Sprint time from 0-100 km/h for the Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper D, and Cooper SD are 8.1 seconds, 6.9 seconds, 9.4 seconds, and 7.4 seconds for cars equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission while the 6-speed Steptronic automatic shaves 0.1 second off those time except in the Cooper D, which adds 0.1 second to 100 km/h. They sip fuel between 5.9 litres to 3.6 litres per 100 kilometres so they’re efficient as well especially when combined with the so-called extensive MINIMALISM technology that includes the now-ubiquitous auto start/stop function and optional GREEN mode.
Apart from GREEN mode, the driver will be able to choose from the standard MID mode and SPORT mode via the optional MINI Driving Modes, controlled by a rotary switch at the base of the gear lever. With single-joint spring strut front axle and multilink rear axle suspension setup combined with stiff weight-optimised contruction, MINI promises the same go-kart feeling on the MINI 5 door.
There’s also electric power steering with Servotronic function along with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), additional Electronic Differential Lock Control (EDLC) in the Cooper S and Cooper SD with optional Dynamic Damper Control.
The interior have been carried over from the three-door MINI, along with the fancy LED ring that surrounds the circular central instrument. A screen of up to 8.8 inches is available where the navigation, entertainment, telephone, and vehicle functions can be displayed and controlled by the MINI Controller that resides in the center console.
Driving Assistant included in the MINI 5 door is not a human assistant, instead there’s camera-based active cruise control, rear view camera, Parking Assistant, collision and pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant, and road sign detection.
MINI Connected in-car infotainment program will ensure online connectivity ranging from online radio, RSS feeds, and not forgetting social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. LED lights are available as option for almost all the lamps throughout the car. The extensive option list include automatic lamps, rain sensors, powered glass roof, automatic dimming mirrors, 2-zone climate control, navigation system, and Harman/Kardon hi-fi speaker system to name a few.
Safety is not compromised in the MINI 5 door, each of the five seats come with three-point safety belts, and there are front and side airbags along with side curtain bags. ISOFIX mounts are available as standard on the rear seats and optional on the front passenger seat. There’s also active engine compartment lid to protect the pedestrian in an event of a collision.
No launch date has been set for the Malaysian market yet but most likely the diesel models might not make it to our shores. Pricing-wise the MINI 5 door should command a slight premium over the three-door MINI. While a five door hatchback format is considered normal for any other car, for MINI this is somewhat a new niche (not counting the not-so-MINI Countryman). To those who always wanted a MINI with a little bit more practicality, get your chequebooks ready.