NEW FOR 2015:

– New 5-door bodystyle

From convertible and coupe, to wagon, and even a pair of crossovers, Mini has experimented with just about every different body style form around. Other than the conventional five-door hatchback, that is. This has changed for 2015 with the rival of the first-ever five-door Mini.

To accommodate the extra set of rear doors, BMW stretched the wheelbase of the standard three-door Hardtop by 72 mm, and has elongated its tail by 89 mm for more luggage space. Though this the biggest Mini yet at just shy of four metres in length, it’s still a compact car. On the road, it has a footprint similar to a Honda Fit.

While the new front-hinged rear doors are still small by compact car standards, access is easier than in the outgoing Clubman wagon. Legroom is considerably improved compared to the three-door hatch, as is headroom thanks to a taller roof. The rear bench will also accommodate a third rider, though it will inevitably be a tight squeeze. The trade-off? A $1,250 premium and a 135-lb weight penalty over the three-door.

Otherwise, the plucky Mini hatch carries on effectively unchanged with its high-quality cabin, quirky interior accents, and impressive technology: adaptive dampers, Driving Assistant collision mitigation and auto-brake, and BMW’s iDrive system are all available as options.

The Mini Hardtop 3-Door and 5-Door share the same power train choices. The base Cooper receives a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine that develops 134 hp and an impressive 162 lb-ft of torque. With standard-fit auto stop-start, it’s one of the most efficient little cars around. The Cooper S uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops a GTI-chasing 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Both engines can be had with either a six-speed manual with rev-matching downshift or an optional six-speed automatic.

As far as small cars go, the Mini Cooper is generously equipped with air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, power mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels, Driving Experience settings with Normal, Sport, and Green modes, six-way manually adjustable front seats, leatherette upholstery, 60/40 split rear folding seat, air conditioning, keyless entry, toggle-switch start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, tilt and telescoping steering column, ambient interior lighting, rear spoiler, body-colour fuel filler flap, chrome exterior trim, and a single chrome exhaust pipe.

The Cooper S builds on the Cooper with the larger 2.0-litre turbo engine, sports seats with thigh extension and adjustable lumbar support, dual centre-mounted exhaust pipes, chrome fuel filler cap, and Performance Control with torque-steer mitigation.

Key options for both Cooper and Cooper S include adjustable dampers, proximity key functionality, Driving Assistant, sports suspension, 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheels, alarm system, panoramic sunroof, hood stripes, contrast colour roof and mirrors, rear parking sensors, satellite radio, Harman Kardon upgrade stereo, LED headlights, navigation, cloth upholstery, and leather upholstery.

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