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mini cooper 5 door review here s your 5 door go kart for the road

MINI Cooper 5 Door review: Here’s your 5-door go-kart for the road

This little car doesn’t have much of everything except more space than the 3 Door. And it’s still very fun to drive

Christopher Ng Photo

Christopher Ng

10 Apr 2018

Squeeze the throttle and this hatchback squirts forward in very typical Mini fashion – lively and without delay. The subsequent zigs and zags of traffic negotiation come naturally, almost as if acting on your instinct.

The steering’s feedback gives you a sense of the road and the front wheels respond with millisecond quickness, which squares you up and zeroes into your intended direction. However, sashaying around traffic doesn’t quite exploit the Mini’s talents.

Stray from the North-South to explore any of the backroads and you’ll place the Mini in its element. Spring and dampers are exactly tuned for these kinds of roads, biting the road harder without upsetting the delicate balance between grin and grimace.

Where other cars and drivers get challenged around your typical backroad, you’ll be slinking through and around the curve, woohoo-ing most of the time. When you’re not woohoo-ing, it’s because you’re stuck behind a train of traffic – overtake safely. It’s so easy to find joy behind the wheel of this Mini Cooper, exploiting most of the 134hp although it is the 220Nm you’ll use the most to slingshot out of corners.

While it may be the power figures are significantly lower than the Cooper S, there are very few situations that this Cooper will feel wanting for that extra boost of horses and torque. And having low-ish power only means you’ll be using more of it more of the time. It’s fun, it’s the rollercoaster kind of fun if rollercoasters have a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine and five doors.

Wait, a five-door Mini? Hmm…

Here’s the thing; MINI have the Countryman and the Clubman, two very good more-than-three-doors cars that carry all of the brand’s DNA all too well. Both cars have interiors that are well spaced and are better at carrying things. If you must know, the boot space in the 5 Door rivals that of the 3 Door, and a bit more.

Basically, the Mini Cooper 5 Door is your standard Mini Cooper 3 Door that’s been elongated just so it’ll fit two more doors in the rear. And to make the newly-available space habitable for the average human, the wheelbase has been elongated and the roof raised to fit one and all – more for the smaller-built, not so much for the walking skyscrapers.

So, you can conclude that the rear passenger space is really for children under the age of 12; or before they hit the growth spurt. This leaves the space in front for those who got older but never grew up.

Despite having more room than the rear, space remains snug up front and there’s barely enough adequately-sized cubby holes to put your smartphone, coffee cup and wallet in the middle. There also isn’t much space between you and the front passenger, which keep things constantly intimate.

The knocking of elbows with your fellow front passenger is something you wouldn’t notice because the Mini’s cockpit is really an activity centre for grownups. If you’ve been in one, you know what I’m going on about. You have toggle switches, one of which lets you change the ambient lighting on the fly, and multi-function rotary knobs, as well as what I consider to be a hippy version of the iDrive.

A large screen sits in the middle of the circle, which is also in the middle of the dashboard. In front of the steering wheel sits the more important gauges that tell you speed, revs and fuel level. It feels retro with a bit of modernity, or is it modern with a bit of retro?

Either way, there’s no mistaking the Mini’s exterior for anything else. It’s a larger and longer car now, even more so with the added doors, yet it retains all the curves and cues of the tiny car that charmed almost everyone and their grandmothers so very long ago.

No matter how you put it, the Mini Cooper 5 Door is one quirky car, existing in-between spaces and not conforming to what your automotive worldview is like. If you must put it in a folder on a shelf, then you could think of the 5 Door as the standard hatch with extra useable space for adult things.

So, if you had to give up some life, here’s the car to get some of that life back.

MINI Cooper 5 Door



Inline-3, 12 valves, MINI TwinPower Turbo


6-speed automatic

Front-wheel drive








0-100kph in 8.1s, top speed 207kph, 5.0l/100km



On-the-road without insurance

Overall Rating

8_5 Rating