heycar editorial team
- Extra space for people and luggage is much needed
- Zippy handling makes it fun everywhere
- Five-door has all the driving pep of its three-door sister
Not so great
- No electric version of five-door
- Some rivals offer much greater cabin and boot space
- Options can ramp up the price a lot
On the inside
How much does it cost to run
Prices, versions and specification
"MINI has been very good at filling niches, even ones we never knew existed until it launched a model. It’s surprising, then, this company took as long to offer a five-door version of the popular hatch. Amazingly, it took until 2014 for the five-door hatch to arrive, some 13 years after the first of the new generation BMW-owned MINIs made its appearance."
While there are traditionalists who bridle at the idea of the MINI five-door hatch, there are plenty more people out there who have embraced it. This has made it one of the most popular MINI models and gives its perhaps better looking three-door sibling a good run for its money in the sales charts. Clearly, there are plenty of MINI fans who value a slice of practicality just as much as they do the style and lively drive of the car.
Even so, the five-door is not going to upset the class leaders such as the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa for straightforward space. However, MINI has made the five-door longer and taller to create a much more usable cabin when you are carrying more than a single passenger. Adults will welcome the extra space in particular as they can now fit without having to crick their necks and tuck knees under their ears.
There is also a larger boot in the five-door compared to the three-door Hatch, which is another blessed relief as you can now fit in more than a couple of shopping bags before resorting to dumping the rest on the back seat. At 278-litres, the boot of the five-door isn’t huge, but at least it’s within the normal reference of a supermini.
Like some others in this class, MINI has now dropped its diesel engine offerings. The present line-up is powered by a pair of Twinpower turbo petrol motors, each offered in different power outputs depending on which model you go for.
The One and Cooper share a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with 102PS for the base model and a sprightlier 136PS in the Cooper. We’d take the Cooper every time unless you are on a strict budget. Move up to the Cooper S and it has a 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor with 192PS to put it into the heart of compact hot hatch territory.
With any MINI, the appeal is as much about creating your own version of the car as it is about the more mundane practicalities of life. In this respect, the current MINI is much the same as those that went before it thanks to a raft of optional extras and upgrade packs for everything from the styling to the infotainment and even the way it handles.
This might not sell the MINI to those who simply want the most useful car for their needs, but there are lots of drivers out there who aspire to the MINI and the five-door removes concerns about practicality that the three-door poses.
If you're looking for the three-door version, you need our MINI Hatch 3dr review
Comfort and design
"MINI has refined and evolved the driver’s environment of the MINI to make it easier to use while still keeping the character that continues to draw people to the car. So, the speedo and rev counter dials are placed directly in front of the driver and the electric window switches are positioned on the door. It all makes the MINI Hatch more intuitive to use."
The central infotainment screen is easy to read and the main heating controls use rotary dials that are instinctive to adjust the temperature and fan speed. Beneath this, the toggle switch to start the engine is not so obvious to use until you have spent a little time with the car.
This generation of MINI has a lower-set driving position, which some might find tough on the knees when getting out, but it’s comfortable for most people. There’s plenty of adjustment for the seat, including for height, and the steering wheel, so shuffling them about soon hones the driving position to your size and frame.
However, no amount of moving the seat and steering wheel can alter how thick the windscreen and other pillars are. Those either side of the windscreen can be a real hindrance when pulling out of junctions at a slight angle, leading the driver to fidget in the seat for a better view. It’s a similar story with the rear pillars when changing lane on the motorway or backing into a parking space. However, there is plenty of room for the driver’s legs, shoulder and head.
Handling and ride quality
"We’d expect any MINI Hatch to deliver big on the handling and fun fronts, but what comes as a real surprise to many is how well it copes with poorly surfaced roads. The One and Cooper models offer the greatest comfort and have an ability to absorb crests and dips without compromising the controlled nature of the car. This is a rare gift in any car, never mind a supermini."
The Cooper S with its larger alloy wheels has a correspondingly firmer ride and comes with sports tuned suspension as standard. However, it’s still more than bearably good at dealing with rough roads and you can delete the stiffer suspension at no additional cost.
If, on the other hand, you want more say in the suspension’s set-up, you can have the optional Adaptive Suspension for £600. This lets the driver choose between a normal and firmer, sportier set-up, though we reckon the standard suspension on any model is more than up to the job without this.
Helping the Cooper S to get the power down to the road without the front wheels shuffling for traction is Performance Control. This is an electronic aid that divides the power between the driven wheels to whichever has the most grip and keeps the car on track. Neither the One or Cooper is offered with this and they don’t need it.
Whichever MINI takes your fancy, the handling is a standout quality of the Hatch. It has plenty of grip to make it fun and secure, even on slick wet roads, while the steering has more than enough feel and communication to keep keen drivers happy. For the rest of us, it’s light around town and stable on the motorway to be all things to all drivers.
MPG and fuel costs
It will come as no shock to learn the most economical MINI Hatch is the least powerful One model that offers a combined consumption of 44.8mpg under WLTP testing. Using Real MPG figures, this comes out at 38.6mpg, so within shouting distance of the claimed number. With a 40-litre fuel tank, this means you should be able to cover up to 380 miles on a single fill in a One.
In the used market, the One D manages a Real MPG of 61.2mpg. Nowhere near its claimed 76.3mpg, but still useful if you have to cover big distances.
How much should you be paying for a used MINI 3dr Hatch?
"Early examples of this third generation MINI three-door hatch can be found easily from around £8000 with average mileages of 35,000 miles. This is for a One model, so if you upgrade to a Cooper you’ll pay closer to £9000, while the Cooper S will need you dig deeper for its £11,500 starting price."
Move to nearly new and discounts are rare, so expect to pay close to the list price unless the car has already covered quite a few miles.
Is the MINI 5dr Hatch right for you?
Until the arrival of the five-door Hatch, if you wanted a MINI able to cope with more than a single passenger with any real comfort you were forced into a Countryman or Clubman model. Now, the five-door addresses concerns with a longer, taller body than the three-door model and all of it is devoted to extra rear cabin and luggage space.
You can just about fit adults in the back of the five-door and it’s more than good enough for kids. Perhaps just as importantly, MINI has retained the looks and distinctive style for the five-door that marks out every MINI model, so family drivers can now choose a MINI hatch without worrying about how to fit in the kids and dog.
The engines are zesty and economical, there’s a good amount of standard kit and, dare we say, just enough room in the rear nowadays to accommodate a young family of four.
What’s the best MINI 5dr Hatch model/engine to choose?
Cheapest way into a MINI is the One model with its 102PS 1.5-litre Twinpower turbo petrol engine. It’s fine around town and for those wanting to get in on the MINI band wagon at the lowest cost. However, we’d steer towards the Cooper with its 136PS version of the same three-cylinder 1.5-litre motor for its better performance on motorways.
The Cooper is also more than well equipped for most needs and it can be topped up with a couple of choice options packs. In this way, you can have all the brilliant handling fun, comfort and quality that a MINI has to offer without breaking the bank.
Some will want the extra oomph the Cooper S, but we reckon the firmer suspension makes it a little wearing day in, day out. There’s no five-door Electric model on offer, which is a shame as this would be strong mix of versatility and low running costs.
What other cars are similar to the MINI 5dr Hatch?
There is a long list of fine superminis that we could reel off here, but the most likely alternative a MINI customer will consider is the Audi A1. This is down to the MINI’s premium approach that means so many of its mainstream competitors will never get a look in on most people’s shortlists. With the Audi, you get a high-grade badge, classy cabin with more interior space, and a selection of engines from frugal to fast.
On the other hand, if you can divert your mind from the premium lure of the MINI, the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo, as well as the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, have plenty to offer. All are roomy and zoomy enough to be fun.
Quality and finish
This third generation of MINI Hatch has learned plenty of lessons from its predecessors as the standard of fit inside the cabin is top notch. On looks alone, it has all of its rivals well and truly beat, but it also gives them plenty to think about when it comes to quality of construction.
All of the materials used in the MINI where its occupants’ hands or feet come into contact with the car have a superior feel to its rivals. Even when compared to BMW’s own mainstream models, the MINI can claim an advantage and it’s backed up the absences of squeaks or rattles from anywhere inside the car no matter what road surface you drive along.
Depending on whether you choose the Classic, Sport or Exclusive trims offered with some or all models, the MINI’s cabin becomes even more high end in feel with leather-trimmed sports seats. Choose one or more of the various options packs and you can push this feeling even further. We’d recommend the panoramic sunroof as a wise choice to bring an airier feel to a cabin that can feel a little claustrophobic when decked out in dark colours.
The 6.5-inch colour display is standard in all versions of the MINI Hatch. It works well with the steering wheel controls to operate the DAB digital radio or music from your smartphone that can be accessed using Bluetooth. The outer edge of the large, round central cluster also glows in different colours to let you know how efficiently you are driving, so green is kind to the environment and red is bad. So far, so good.
However, if you want integrated satellite navigation, you will need to fork out £900 for this option that also provides Apple CarPlay. To get the full suite of services that can be run through the MINI’s infotainment, though, you need to dig deeper and pay £2000 for the Navigation Plus Pack that uses a larger 8.8-inch screen. This serves up real-time traffic information and wireless phone charging If you device is capable of this. It also has Amazon Alexa included for hands-free voice control for many functions.
Space and practicality
If you are looking for the most space for your money in the supermini market, move along, nothing to see here. If, on the other hand, you want a MINI and all the style that delivers but also need a car to fit in the family or friends regularly, the five-door Hatch is more than worth a look.
MINI has extended the wheelbase to make it longer overall, so there’s more room for rear seat passengers. You’ll notice this immediately with the extra space offered for adults’ knees, while headroom is also much better than in the three-door thanks to a higher roof line.
Of course, all of this is backed up by the pair of rear doors that make getting in and out simple. They are not as long as the rear doors of some rivals, but kids won’t notice this. Parents will also be relieved they can lift younger children in and out of kiddy seats without risking a hernia.
With the five-door, there are notionally three rear seats compared to the three-door’s two. However, the middle pew is narrow and the seat cushion is raised, making it uncomfortable for anyone other than small children. You do get three-point seat belts for all rear occupants and a pair of Isofix mounts.
For bigger items, the MINI’s boot 278-litres of space, which is at the smaller end of the supermini league table but much better than the three-door’s offering. The extra length of the five-door’s boot means you can simply put suitcases in rather than having to jiggle them to fit.
Extending the MINI’s boot is easily done with the 60/40 split and fold rear seat that frees up to 941-litres of load space. Not huge by class standards, but still decent enough to cope with a trip home from the DIY store.
If you want add to the MINI’s practicality, for £200 you can have the rear carrier preparation option fitted, though you will still have to pay for a bike rack to fit and attach your cycles to.
Engines and gearboxes
MINI offers a specific engine for each of its Hatch models, so the One has a 102PS version of the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol motor. It’s perfectly at home around town and quick enough off the mark to parry with the usual urban traffic. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is available as an option for those who want to shimmy around town with the least possible effort, but we’d still have the six-speeder manual as it has a light, easy shift that suits the MINI’s charm.
Move up to the Cooper and the three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine swells to 136PS. This is the sweet spot of the range and the one most drivers will choose. It’s quicker off the line than the One, knocking two seconds from the slower car’s 0-62mph time, and it feels much more at home on motorway journeys.
Hot hatch fans will largely be happy with the 192PS served up by the 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor. It sees off 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds, so it’s swift and pulls hard through the gears whether you go for the manual or auto ’box. There is no John Cooper Works option for the five-door and nor is there a MINI Electric with this body shape, which seems like a missed opportunity to mix the versatility of this model with a zero tailpipe emissions power set-up.
Refinement and noise levels
For a supermini with a definite leaning towards the sporty side of life, you might think the MINI is going to be a rowdy, rorty ride. Oh how wrong you would be. Instead, the MINI is an impressively quiet car in this class with engines that are happy to keep the noise down even when working hard at higher speeds.
Use the full sweep of the Cooper S engine’s revs and you are rewarded with fittingly snappy exhaust sounds, but even this pair are more than able to saunter along quietly and contentedly.
There’s little noise from the tyres or wind, even at expressway speeds, which means MINI drivers and their passengers arrive feeling as fresh as when the departed.
Another area where the MINI scores over many rivals is the well balanced relationship between its controls, so the pedals, gear shift and steering all seem in perfect harmony.
Given the MINI’s premium image and pricing, you might think it would score very well in the safety arena. However, the basic design dates back to a launch in 2014 and that means some things we now take for granted were unusual back then. Among them is autonomous emergency braking which is only an option as part of the Driving Assistant System that adds £800 to the cost.
You do get ABS anti-lock braking and ESP traction control, which has an electronic locking front differential for improved grip on wet roads. There are also six airbags and all four occupants have a headrest as standard, plus three-point belts. In the back, there are Isofix child seat mounts fitted to both chairs.
Other features included with all MINI Hatch models are Hill Assist to stop the car rolling backwards during hill starts and E-call. This will contact the emergency services in the event of a collision and the driver is unable to make that vital contact.
All of this is welcome in the MINI, but it still wasn’t enough to earn it more than a four-star rating in Euro NCAP tests. A score of 79 per cent for adult occupant safety is merely good rather than great for this class of car. Child occupant safety comes in at 73 per cent which is much more on a par with the MINI’s main rivals.
Insurance groups and costs
The premium approach of the MINI Hatch means the lowest insurance group rating it can manage is 13 for the One Classic. This might be just about bearable for a young driver, but group 20 for the Cooper and 28 for the Cooper S put them beyond the reach of anyone without some accrued no claims bonus.
VED car tax
First year VED rates for most MINI models fall into the 110-130g/km banding that will cost you £155 and then £150 for every year after that. However, the Cooper S with manual gearbox emits 141g/km, so you’ll be paying £215 for road tax in the first year.
Trim levels and standard equipment
When choosing a MINI, you first decide between One, Cooper and Cooper S to pick the engine that suits you best. You then have the choice of six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. After that, you refine your decision by picking from Classic, Sport or Exclusive, with the Works model as a standalone choice.
All MINI Hatches come with air conditioning and 6.5-inch infotainment screen, while the S has its trademark bonnet scoop to set it apart. The Classic sits on 15-inch steel wheels for the One and alloy versions for the Cooper, while the S has 16-inchers. The S also has sports front seats and a leather-covered steering wheel.
Switch to Sport and you get 17-inch Works-style alloy wheels, body kit and rear spoiler. There are also Works sports front seats, steering wheel, anthracite headlining, cruise control and Performance Control added to the One and Cooper models.
With the Exclusive, there are different 17-inch alloy wheels, MINI Yours steering wheel, leather sports seats and a Chrome Line interior. This version also has cruise control with brake function.
On the inside
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Quality checked, all cars less than 8 years old and warranty included