Originally published December 23, 2014
“Mini, Mini, Mini, Mini – Mini Mini Mini Mini – MINIIIIII!” That’s my Mini song. It’s about the Mini and it is sung to the tune of the Batman theme. You might remember this from the time I drove a Mini Cooper S hatch in 2013, or the time I drove the new and revised Mini in April. Or the time we pitted it against a Fiesta ST for our own personal enjoyment a very important comparison test offering insight for a prospective consumer.
Ah, Mini. But wait… so why, apart from Jacob’s rabid fanboi-ism is he doing yet another Mini review?! Well, those ones all had three doors. And they sucked for things like carrying stuff, or putting my daughter’s car seat in the back, or stretching my legs.
This one has the same sorts of pros. There is the go-kart like handling, the direct-as-an-affronted-Aussie steering, the incredible twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0L engine and the crisp six-speed gearbox.
You get the 189 hp at 4,700 rpm, the 207 lb-ft at 1,250 rpm and the oh-so joyous exhaust burble on liftoff. You get the supportive and comfortable seats, the meaty, responsive steering wheel, and the solid, confidence-inspiring brakes.
You also get five doors. Plus appreciably more rear-seat legroom and, just by eyeballing it, about twice the cargo space.
A quick note: if you’re in America it’s called a “Four Door”. Goodness knows how they access the cargo compartment.
In actuality the cargo volume difference is 211 L to 278 L, but the Five Door has at least six inches more space from tailgate to the back seat. It’s enough now to fit a carry-on suitcase or one of my very large backpacks.
The rear legroom is likewise only 37 mm more at 820, but that 4 cm (1.5 inches) makes a world of difference. The ease of access provided by the rear doors makes life far easier, too. As I and my wife both said, this is now perfectly sized for us. We’ve both driven the Hellcat lately though – so we think it needs more power!
In all seriousness, for our city-dwelling family, the Mini is ideal. Ideal. It is beautifully sized, a hoot to drive and big enough to take on both of us plus my four-year-old daughter. It even has spring-load covered ISOFIX (LATCH) anchors for easily attaching child seats.
None of the added size carries much penalty. Weight-wise, the Five Door is just 66 kg heavier than the three door at a svelte 1,313 kg. Fuel economy wise, the EPA rates them identically at 9.8/6.9/8.7 L/100 km city/highway/combined. I ended my week exactly matching the combined rating – and I drove like a madman.
I’m sorry, dear reader, but I have no complaints to give you about this car!
I could tell you how the double-panel sunroof lets a little too much wind noise in, but then I’d have to tell you about the double-panel sunroof with all its light, and that you can snap the covers closed and it actually helps cut down the wind noise a lot.