MINI 5-door hatchback - Engines, drive & performance

For its blend of performance and economy we’d recommend the MINI 5-door Cooper model

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

A MINI wouldn’t be a MINI if it didn’t have buckets of character and wasn’t good fun to drive: fortunately, the MINI 5-door has both of these qualities in abundance. It’s slightly heavier than the three-door model, but it still handles like a go-kart, with lots of grip and light, accurate steering that ensures the nose goes exactly where you point it. The ride is on the firm side but settles down comfortably at motorway speeds, and there’s very little lean in corners. With adaptive suspension fitted, the MINI offers more composure and comfort than sporty rivals like the SEAT Ibiza FR.

MINI introduced a dual-clutch DCT seven-speed automatic gearbox to replace the older six-speed automatic, and the new gearbox is more in keeping with the MINI's sporty nature, providing smooth yet rapid gear changes – it’s just a shame there are no shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

MINI 5-door petrol engines

The MINI One is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 101bhp. 0-62mph takes 10.6 seconds, and this engine feels perfectly able to deal with the cut and thrust of urban traffic, while returning decent economy.

A 134bhp version of the same 1.5-litre engine powers the MINI Cooper, and the extra power has a marked effect on acceleration. It emits an eager rasp on its way from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. That should be fast enough for most people and, despite being slower than the 1.5-litre Ibiza FR, its revvy character still makes it the better choice for enthusiasts.

But if the Cooper isn’t fast enough, there’s always the MINI Cooper S, with a 189bhp 2.0-litre engine that catapults the five-door from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds – just a tenth of a second slower than the equivalent three-door. If you don't need quite such urgency, we recommend the regular 1.5-litre Cooper as a great all-rounder.

While the regular three-door MINI hatchback is now available with a pure-electric powertrain, there’s no indication that the manufacturer will be building a five-door model. This is a shame, as the electric powertrain really suits the MINI hatchback, with it being as sporty and surefooted to drive as the petrol-powered version. We’ve reviewed the MINI Electric separately here.

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