Review: The Mini Cooper 5-Door
Last weekend I had the pleasure of test driving the newest addition to the ever expanding Mini family- the Mini Hatch 5-Door. As a Mini driver myself I'm naturally inclined to be slightly biased towards this type of car so I was pretty enthusiastic picking up the keys.
When I was shown the 5-Door outside Frank Keane's showroom on the Naas Road I was slightly taken aback by the sheer size of this model. Its a notable 16cm longer than the original Mini. I'm not going to lie I began to get a bit hesitant... Was there any need to make a larger version of this iconic car? If you've been used to a 3-door model, who the hell wants an extra two doors?! One thing my mate pointed out was that the car had a seriously 'fat ass', yep this model has a pretty strange looking booty. The boot space is much larger, and some people do like a bigger ass- it's just not as neat looking as the original model.
As I set off for a round trip to Sligo it's hard to ignore the sheer power of the CooperD 2 litre engine. This car is fast and reacts very quickly to the driver. Gear box has 6 gears which makes driving at higher speeds a doddle. This Cooper comes with all the trimmings- the interior looking much more handsome than I can remember. The dashboard has colour-changing interior lights as part of the Chili pack so those unnoticed tasks like adjusting volume and heating are a lot more fun for the driver and the passengers. The steering wheel came with cruise control which also made my 3 hour journey pretty painless.
I've no complaints when it comes to the drive of this vehicle. It's super slick and dominates the road on long drives. The addition of the two doors in the back are a welcome change for the Mini, although probably not something I would be looking for as a 27 year old.
I think what throws you off is treating this model it like a were a normal mini, it's not. Mini are clearly trying to tap into a much wider audience. If you take away the fact this is a Mini model and start comparing it to other 5-door hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf or the BMW 1 Series, you quickly that this addition to the range is absolutely necessary. Its the perfect car for a young family- the 3-Door Mini was never very kind for trying to fit baby seats and luggage into the back in the past. Loads of people I know who have owned Minis in their 20's have had to trade-in for a more practical 5-Door car for their expanding families. What I love most about this car is, you honestly wouldn't even notice the 16cm difference in length once you start driving it and it's too easy to fall in love with the pragmatic additions.
The Mini 5-Door offers stiff competition to the VW Golf and other 5-door counterparts. If you have an expanding family and still want to look stylish without trading in for a mom-mobile or a bulkier 5-Door and are truly devoted to the Mini than this is the car for you.
The Mini Hatch 5-Door is a totally reasonable price €21,210- €29,390.
If you test drive any MINI at Frank Keane you'll be put in a draw to win a night for 2 in the exclusive G Hotel in Galway with dinner & wine! They're taking submissions here until February 14th so book now if you want to be in with a chance. Follow @FrankKeaneMINI for showroom updates.