MINI Hatch 5-door (2014) Review

MINI Hatch 5-door (2014) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The step up from a three door is a very reasonable £600 – so if you’ve always wanted a MINI but needed more room it makes perfect sense.

+More interior space and larger boot. same engine line-up as standard hatch, just as good to drive as three-door, more family friendly.

-Still not the last word in practicality, optional extras quickly add up.

Insurance Groups are between 11–30
On average it achieves 74% of the official MPG figure

The vexed question of how to make the MINI more practical has been exercising its designers ever since the original was launched way back in 1959. More recently, the answer has been the five-door hatch model that arrived in 2014 alongside the third-generation three-door model. Crucially, those in the back seat get an extra 3cm of legroom and 1cm of headroom. Not much, but it makes a difference to space and comfort, and the five-door also has a bigger boot to turn it into more of a family-friendly supermini than merely a desirable trinket.

MINI has been very good at filling niches, even ones we never knew existed until it launched a model. It’s surprising, then, this company took as long to offer a five-door version of the popular hatch. Amazingly, it took until 2014 for the five-door hatch to arrive, some 13 years after the first of the new generation BMW-owned MINIs made its appearance.

While there are traditionalists who bridle at the idea of the MINI five-door hatch, there are plenty more people out there who have embraced it. This has made it one of the most popular MINI models and gives its perhaps better looking three-door sibling a good run for its money in the sales charts. Clearly, there are plenty of MINI fans who value a slice of practicality just as much as they do the style and lively drive of the car.

Even so, the five-door is not going to upset the class leaders such as the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa for straightforward space. However, MINI has made the five-door longer and taller to create a much more usable cabin when you are carrying more than single passenger. Adults will welcome the extra space in particular as they can now fit without having to crick their necks and tuck knees under their ears.

There is also a larger boot in the five-door compared to the three-door Hatch, which is another blessed relief as you can now fit in more than a couple of shopping bags before resorting to dumping the rest on the back seat. At 278-litrs, the boot of the five-door isn’t huge, but at least it’s within the normal reference of a supermini.

Like some others in this class, MINI has now dropped its diesel engine offerings. The present line-up is powered by a pair of Twinpower turbo petrol motors, each offered in different power outputs depending on which model you go for.

The One and Cooper share a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with 102PS for the base model and a sprightlier 136PS in the Cooper. We’d take the Cooper every time unless you are on a strict budget. Move up to the Cooper S and it has a 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor with 192PS to put it into the heart of compact hot hatch territory.

With any MINI, the appeal is as much about creating your own version of the car as it is about the more mundane practicalities of life. In this respect, the current MINI is much the same as those that went before it thanks to a raft of optional extras and upgrade packs for everything from the styling to the infotainment and even the way it handles.

This might not sell the MINI to those who simply want the most useful car for their needs, but there are lots of drivers out there who aspire to the MINI and the five-door removes concerns about practicality that the three-door poses.

Ask Honest John

What can you recommend to replace my Toyota MR2?
"I have a much loved Toyota MR2 which has just been written off. As I am now in my mid-60s I feel a higher car with power steering is probably the way to go. My MR2 is automatic and I would like another automatic with with good rear visibility. I have up to £10,000 to spend - what would you recommend that might by fun?"
It depends how important the 'fun to drive' aspect is. I want to recommend a Toyota GT86 as it's a lot of fun, but there aren't many about for £10,000 and it's not particularly high up, even compared to an MR2. A MINI Hatch might be a good choice. They're great to drive and your budget will get you a sporty Cooper S from around 2012. You might also like a Volkswagen Golf GTI with the DSG automatic gearbox. If you're after something a bit more sensible, the Honda Jazz is surprisingly good to drive and offers excellent practicality.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Buying a hot hatch - Polo GT or MINI Cooper?
"My wife wants to replace her ageing Audi A3 automatic. She is dithering between a new Volkswagen Polo five-door Blue GT or a MINI Cooper five-door hatch, both automatic. Have you any reason to downplay either of these cars? "
Presumably this is the Polo with the new 1.4TSI 150 ACT engine and DSG box. Do not go for the Polo GT Twincharger as this has engine problems. I would not buy anything with a DSG box. Reports of the latest MINI Cooper S are that it is very quick but has a very hard ride. I'd go for the 1.5 three-cylinder Cooper instead. This has 136PS, which is enough, and a six-speed torque converter auto.
Answered by Honest John

What does a MINI Hatch 5-door (2014) cost?