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.

It's a shame the Cooper S can't quite match up to a Ford Fiesta ST because it doesn't quite have the Ford's level of involvement. This is mainly because of the steering, which is fast to respond but doesn't offer much feedback.

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 - but we wish there were 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 still returning decent fuel economy.

A 134bhp version of the same 1.5-litre engine is found in 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 its revvy character makes it the better choice for enthusiasts. In fact, we think it's the sweet spot in the MINI 5-door range.

But if the Cooper isn’t fast enough, there’s always the MINI Cooper S, with a 176bhp 2.0-litre engine that catapults the five-door from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds - just a tenth of a second slower than the equivalent three-door. It feels quick thanks to plentiful pulling power but the engine doesn't sound very inspiring, which is a shame considering the original Cooper S was famed for its burbling exhaust and characterful supercharger whine. 

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.

Recommended

Top 10 best small automatic cars 2021
MINI 5-door hatchback
Best cars
30 Jun 2021

Top 10 best small automatic cars 2021

MINI 5-door hatchback review
MINI 5-door hatchback
MINI 5-door hatchback
1 May 2021

MINI 5-door hatchback review

Facelifted 2021 MINI hatchback range arrives
Facelifted MINI range
MINI
26 Jan 2021

Facelifted 2021 MINI hatchback range arrives

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Best new car deals 2021
Hyundai Tucson SUV front 3/4 tracking
Deals
10 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

PCP deals explained – what is PCP finance?
Car dealer and customer talking
Car finance
8 Sep 2021

PCP deals explained – what is PCP finance?

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks