2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

Is five better than three if you are a family? See our video review

By Shahzad Sheikh

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

I reviewed the all-new Mini hatchback in its original three-door guise around this time last year – click here to read that review and frankly speaking most of what’s new and different about the latest generation is covered in that first drive.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

So what we have here is the five door version of the same car but bigger to accommodate rear passengers and provide more luggage space. In fact it’s 161mm longer and the wheelbase has grown by 72mm. Funny thing though, the roof is the same length as the three-door hatch, so the rear window is slanted a big more to fit.

Really then we only have two questions to answer in this review: a) does the extra space make it more practical and b) does it still drive the same.

Video review

Is it more practical?

Yes definitely. Being six-foot plus tall, this is the first time ever that I can actually sit in the back of a Mini hatchback – just about. Word of caution, I’d hesitate to call this a full five-seater hatchback, although four regular sized adults would be okay, it’s really more ideal for two adults and two kids.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

There are of course also ISOFIX rear anchor points so you can fit the child seats. And if you have children you’ll need boot space and plenty of it. There’s definitely considerably more space in the luggage compartment, although whether it’s enough to accommodate the larger type of baby buggies would need to be verified. I suggest if you need one, check it fits in the boot before buying!

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

Does it drive the same?

Well it has the same 2.0-litre engine putting out nearly 200bhp, but because of the added weight it loses a tenth of a second in the 0-100 time but with a still-not-too-shabby 6.8seconds and gives up a couple of kph in the top speed. So it’s not much slower.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

But the key thing when it comes to driving a Mini is not the straight-line performance, but the handling. And the latest generation three-door hatchback has moved the game on even more with terrier-like turn-in, tarmac-sucking grip, breakdancer-like poise and Jim Carrey-like relentless fun. In short it’s really very good to drive.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

Jump in the five-door, and you have to lower your expectations, but just slightly. And it’s all to do with the front and the initial bite and feel. It’s not quite as sharp and incisive as the smaller car, with a little understeer creeping into the playbook.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

I would say that this is a potential symptom of the lengthened chassis, but I remember the similarly elongated Mini Clubman, if anything, being more oversteery, employing the rear-overhang to induce slidey-slidey antics. Perhaps the engineers have overcompensated for that in the interests of making this car safer and easier to drive hard.

Having said that, we’re talking a very subtle difference here, and the five-door is still tremendous fun to chuck about.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

Verdict

If you’re a Mini hatch lover, and just don’t want to give up the style and engagement that comes with owning brand Mini – let’s face it, one of the coolest car brands out there – even though you’ve decided to settle down and sprout a youngling or two, AND you don’t want to go XXL with the Countryman, then this car is definitely the one to get. It’s certainly more usable and practical for those starting a family.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

However families in our region usually want SUVs, and I really can’t foresee this car winning over that the Countryman, which also comes with the added reassurance of all-wheel drive.

2014 Mini Five Door Cooper S Review

Price:
Cooper S: AED165,000
Cooper S (Top spec): AED175,000
Engine: 2-litre four-cylinder 192bhp @ 4700-6000rpm, 207lb ft (221lb ft with overboost) @ 1250-4750rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 6.8secs, 230kph, 5.4L/100km
Transmission: 6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1240kg

Let us know what you think of the five-door Mini in the comments below

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