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Mini Cooper 5-Door 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the new Mini Cooper 5-door at its Australian launch.

Would you be happy to pay $850 up front for a five year/70,000km service plan on a new car? Think about it...for a nanosecond.

That’s only 160 bucks a year, giving you certainly on a major part of the cost of car ownership - no shocks when you get a scheduled service.

Mini has introduced such a scheme on the new five-door hatch that arrives this week, and it flows through to all new Gen III Mini models sold from now on.

The transferrable plan has the potential to be a game changer in the premium car market. We’ll wait and see.

RANGE

In the meantime, the five-door arrives in three models - Mini Cooper 1.5-litre turbo petrol at $27,750, Mini Cooper D 1.5-litre turbo diesel at $32,900 and Mini Cooper S 2.0-litre turbo petrol at $38,050. These prices represent a $1500 premium over their three-door stablemates. Not bad at all.

The first two are three cylinders, the latter a four. Yes, yes - three cylinders - yuk right?

That was our attitude until we drove the cute(ish) newcomer and frankly, the three is a much better value proposition in both petrol and diesel than the four banger. More about that later.

DESIGN

The new five-door Mini is a hatchback with seats for five at a real pinch. Perhaps that should be two adults and three kids across the back seat.

The car is on a new platform from BMW that’s also under the forthcoming 2-Series Active Tourer.

It affords the five-door Mini an additional 72mm in the wheelbase - reflected in rear seat legroom and the car is 161mm longer than the three door.

The boot is OK, capable of taking perhaps two medium suitcases and some soft stuff around the edges.

Rear seat headroom is at a premium and the rear doors are fairly small making access and egress an issue for adults.

Compared with Mini three door, the five door is new from the A-pillar back. We would have built in a bit more headroom and slightly larger doors.

It’s no wider than the three door but is after all, a light/small car contender albeit in the "premium" segment.

INTERIOR

The interior is as stylish as "new" Minis have been since first arriving back in about 2002. They are really funky inside and this model has numerous trim and tech choices taking that point even further if a buyer so desires. Many personalisation opportunities exist from the factory.

Multi-hued tube lighting for example and some really cool fascia materials are just two stand-outs.

Ergonomic improvements make it easier than ever to operate and take the Mini right up the scale in terms of infotainment and digital connectivity - to a point.

The entry car for example, misses out on Bluetooth audio streaming and to get a reversing camera priced at $470 on some models, you actually have to upgrade the screen which makes it a $1500 option.

The five door is 50kg heavier than the three door but you wouldn’t know it from the go-kart handling and nippy responses from the new model in all variants.

FEATURES

Stop/start is standard across the range in six speed manual or six speed (conventional) auto.

Other available driver assistance technology flows down from BMW and includes park assist, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, forward collision warning, city collision mitigation and pedestrian protection warning.

Too many options such as dynamic damper control and drive mode select are available with this car - they should be included as standard and the car repriced accordingly.

That’s for Mini to sort out but the drive feel is excellent.

DRIVING

We took all three variants for a good drive in South Australia and really, truly, would be perfectly happy with the base Cooper auto.

Add some options and liven up the exterior look a tad and it’s all you need.

Performance from all three engines is not lacking with plenty of torque from the threes and the four as well. They are all turbo charged engines which makes it easy to surf the fat torque band.

Handling is as expected - a strong suit. You can whip around corners  with confidence, steer it anywhere you want and jump hard on the brakes way too late and the Mini just laps it up.

The front drive system pulls it around corners generating a huge element of fun for the driver.

Pricing Guides

$24,990
Based on 106 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,990
Highest Price
$39,800

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 1.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $24,950 – 24,999 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 (base) Pricing and Specs
5D HATCH 1.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $17,888 – 28,999 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 5D HATCH Pricing and Specs
D 1.5L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $17,930 – 22,660 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 D Pricing and Specs
D 5D HATCH 1.5L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $16,940 – 21,780 2015 Mini Cooper 2015 D 5D HATCH Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8