MINI Hatchback 5-door Review
All the fun of a Mini Hatchback but with a side-helping of practicality
Strengths & weaknesses
- Fun to drive
- Designer-vibe interior
- More practical than three-door
- Disappointing safety rating
- Firm suspension gives a stiff ride
- Still not as spacious as some small cars
In the past, plenty of drivers have been won over by the charm of the Mini Hatchback but then feel crestfallen when they realise it’s about as practical as a matchbox.
So Mini sent its designers and engineers back to the drawing board and the result was a more family-friendly, five-door version offering slightly more space and usability.
We won’t try and kid you, the Mini Hatchback five-door is still far from the most accommodating car in its class, but it has helped to keep the dream alive for more drivers who value a small car with character, over one offering the ultimate in practicality.
The Mini five-door range was updated for 2019, with new trim levels for cars ordered since October 2018. Prices start from £16,890 for entry-level One trim models, rising to £18,330 for the mid-range Cooper and reaching £21,620 for the top-spec Cooper S. On top of these, Mini has introduced three trim levels called Classic, Sport and Exclusive. To these, buyers can add individual options or pick from options packs.
The two rear doors are small but they do make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the back. If you have young children still using child seats, it means you no longer require the dexterity of David Blaine to lean in past the folded front seats to fasten their safety belts.
To enable this extra space the car is 161mm longer than the three-door, the difference is noticeable if you were to sit in the back of a three-door and then in a five-door. Two adults can sit in relative comfort, although if space is a priority but a Mini is still your thing, you’d be better off trying roomier, but more expensive, Clubman and Countryman variants.
There’s another small victory when you buy a five-door Mini. It comes with a larger boot than the three-door – 278 litres compared with 211 litres. It’s not eath shattering, but it makes a difference.
Pleasingly, the five-door still has all the charm and personality of the regular three-door Mini when you’re behind the wheel, in the low-set driver’s seat.
The interior, with its toggle switches and circular central dashboard, has all of the retro appeal of the rest of the Mini range and makes most other cars on the road feel staid. Build quality is also good for this size of car.
The petrol engines feel punchy, serving up even more performance as you rev them. The steering feels connected to the front wheels, providing some of the go-kart feel Mini boasts of. At the same time, it helps you to drive more smoothly and accurately, particularly on narrow and twisty roads.
It’s fun to drive – like a Mazda 2 or Ford Fiesta – but isn’t as smooth over bumps as the Ford. If comfort is your main priority, a Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia, Vauxhall Corsa and Citroen C3 will roll over Britain’s bumpy roads with greater composure.
These cars are cheaper than the five-door Mini, too, which at £16,890 before a discount, costs £700 more than the three-door version. Even with strong residual values, which help keep down the cost of owning or financing the car, it’s expensive.
Euro NCAP, the independent safety organisation, awarded the Mini just four stars out of a possible five. Typical safety equipment such as airbags is standard on the car but an automatic emergency braking system, which can help avoid or reduce the severity of a crash, is only an option with the £800 Driving Assistant Pack.
The car has three sets of Isofix points for securely mounting a child seat. There are two in the back and one on the front passenger seat, where, depending on the type of seat and the age of the child, the airbag may need to be switched off.
|Three years/unlimited miles
|Tax (min to max)
|£165 to £205 in first year, £140 thereafter
Best MINI Hatchback 5-door for...
Best for Economy – Mini One automatic
Mini’s optional automatic gearbox is a seven-speed dual clutch type, an efficient system that gives better fuel economy than a manual gearbox. When fitted to the entry-level 1.5-litre petrol engine it returns up to 54.3mpg and emits as little as 119g/km of CO2. No diesel engine is available in the latest Mini range.
Best for Families – Mini Cooper 5-door
With a family on board, you’re looking for an engine that delivers the best blend of fuel economy and get-up-and-go. That’s what you’ll get with the 1.5-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged Cooper. The 136hp engine enables it to nip from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds, yet economy can be as good as 54.3mpg.
Best for Performance – Mini John Cooper Works
The JCW zipps from 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds with a manual gearbox.
- June 2014 New Mini Hatch goes on sale with five doors for the first time.
- October 2014 1,100 Dec ’13 to Sep ’14-build Minis recalled for spare wheel problem.
- November 2014 2,800 Aug to Sep ’14-build Minis recalled for seat backrest issue.
- February 2015 The Sport Pack, which includes 17-inch black alloy wheels, bonnet stripes, chunky body panels and dual-zone climate control, becomes available.
- February 2016 Mini Tech pack becomes available, with a head-up display, rear camera, 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and a larger 8.8-inch dashboard screen.
- March 2016 Mini 5-door Hatchbacks are now fitted with eCall, which automatically makes an SOS call after a serious crash, as standard. Bright LED headlights and front foglights are now included in the Chili pack.
- May 2016 Mini Seven edition is available. It's effectively an upgrade to Cooper and Cooper S models, and includes an exclusive blue paint shade and 17-inch alloy wheels, as well as part-leather sports seats and the equipment that comes with the Pepper Pack.
- July 2017 A series of updates includes a tiredness alert on cars with a colour dashboard screen and an improved fuel-level gauge.
- March 2018 Facelifted Mini range goes on sale with equipment upgrades and just one diesel engine – the 1.5-litre unit in the Cooper D. Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox available as an option.
- October 2018 Trim levels are revised and the diesel engine is dropped from the range.
Understanding MINI Hatchback 5-door names
Entry-level cars with the least-powerful engine are badged One. Cooper, offering more power, is the next level. This is followed by the even more powerful Cooper S. There is no diesel version in the Mini hatchback range.
There are now three looks for the Mini hatchback called Classic, Sport and Exclusive, each with different wheels and styling features. The Classic is the most affordable, while the more expensive Sport and Exclusive are the same price. All you have to do is choose which you prefer the look of.
All Minis come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A seven-speed automatic gearbox, called Steptronic, is optional.
MINI Hatchback 5-door Engines
Engines: 1.5 (102), 1.5 (136) and 2.0 (192)
Following the update to the 2019 Mini range, there are three engines to choose from, all of them petrol-powered.
The Mini One, the most affordable version, uses a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder motor that has 102hp, making it ideal as a modest runaround that’s frugal and affordable to insure. The manual gearbox version returns up to 52mpg and emits 130g/km of CO2; the automatic, 54mpg and 127g/km. First year road tax for both costs £165.
Our ‘best buy’ is the mid-range Cooper. Mini says it returns the same economy and emissions figures as the One but with 136hp to its name, it’s noticeably brisker. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds, and the soft growl from the engine makes it sound like a puppy trying to pull a rag doll from your hand.
For a dose of spicy performance, try the Cooper S. Its 2.0-litre, four-cylinder motor develops 192hp and 0-62mph takes just 6.9 seconds. There’s a bit more weight over the nose of the car, compromising the handling a little, but the surge of acceleration means the little Mini can claim to be a hot hatchback. This engine is also used in the John Cooper Works model. This gets 231hp and a 0-62mph time of 6.1 seconds.
|2.0 Cooper S
MINI Hatchback 5-door Trims
Classic, Sport, and Exclusive
The Classic, Sport and Exclusive trim levels are more about giving your Mini a look and feel, rather than adding more equipment. The Mini One is the only version available solely in Classic trim, whereas Cooper and Cooper S are available with any of the three finishes.
Every model gets air-conditioning, six airbags, an alarm and immobiliser, Bluetooth, a digital audio system, stability and traction control with an electronic front differential lock, hill-start assistance, a 60:40 split/fold back seat, heated wing mirrors and washer jets, a stop-start system for the engine, mood lighting and projection lights on the wing mirrors – showing the Mini logo on the floor at night – and a trip computer.
To help the driver get comfortable, the low-slung seat has height adjustment and multi-adjustment of the steering wheel.
In Classic trim, the Mini One comes with steel wheels and cloth seats, and a simple, restrained look. The Cooper gets alloy wheels, while the Cooper S has larger alloys and a leather-trimmed sport steering wheel.
Upgrading to Sport on Cooper or Cooper S cars brings 17in alloy wheels, a John Cooper body kit, John Cooper sports seats and steering wheel, cruise control and the no-cost option of sport suspension.
Pick the Exclusive trim and you get unique 17in alloy wheels, chrome trim for the exterior, leather seats and a leather steering wheel, and cruise control.
MINI was one of the first brands to offer personalisation and it continues to allow buyers to spec their cars with bonnet stripes, a range of roof colours, different interior treatments and various alloy wheels.
There are three main option packs that group together various accessories for a set price. The Comfort Pack is £900 and includes parking aids, climate control, heated seats, floor mats and a centre armrest. The Navigation Pack is £900 and adds a sat-nav with a 6.5-inch display (in the middle of the car’s central, circular display), Apple CarPlay and Mini Connected, a range of apps which, says MINI, integrate a smartphone with a Mini more effectively.
While scrolling through Mini’s online car configurator you might see the John Cooper Works trim. We have a seperate review for that here.
MINI Hatchback 5-door Reliability and warranty
Mini owners aren’t only smiling because their car is a hoot to drive. They also rate the build quality and reliability of their cheeky little runaround.
Out of 200 cars polled in the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, the Mini secured a top-10 spot (ninth to be precise) and was ranked in the top quarter for reliability and build quality (finishing 40th and 23rd respectively in those areas). However, by 2018 it had dropped back to 57th position, so the brand has work to do in restoring customer confidence.
The company provides a three-year warranty without a mileage limit, which may be fairly typical of the car industry but is not impressive compared with Hyundai, Kia or Toyota.
Used MINI Hatchback 5-door
Strong secondhand values have always been a hallmark of the Mini Hatchback, and the five-door is no exception. The very earliest, 2014-era models are currently selling for between £7,000 and £8,000, depending on their specification and condition.
Over time there have been a number of models added to the range, a facelift and even some technical problems that have required a recall for repairs to be carried out.
Early on, the range was broader that it is now. Mirroring the three-door, there were the One 1.2, Cooper 1.5 and Cooper S 2.0-litre petrol models. Drivers who wanted a diesel could also pick from the One D 1.5 and Cooper D 1.5, and by September 2014 a Cooper SD 2.0 had joined them. All the engines were turbocharged, three-cylinder units, apart from the four-cylinder units in the Cooper S and SD.
Even the basic 1.2-litre petrol in the entry-level Mini One is a good engine, with a 0-62mph time of around 10 seconds and impressive fuel economy of more than 58mpg.
The 1.5-litre diesel in the One D was the running-costs champion of the Mini range, topping 80mpg and being exempt from road tax. It’s not exactly fleet footed, though – 0-62mph takes 11.4sec – so if you want a used diesel Mini, we’d recommend the Cooper D, which has a more powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine but returns up to 78mpg and is still exempt from road tax.
Facelifted Minis, introduced from March 2018, brought a greater level of connectivity and more equipment to customers, and there was the option of an efficient, seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Early on, there were two recalls. In October 2014 repairs had to be made to the installation of the spare wheel, which could fall away from the underside of the vehicle. A month later, another recall had to be carried out to address faulty front seats.
The fun, Mini three-door hatchback is one of the most stylish small cars you can buy
The Mini John Cooper Works (JCW) is a fun-to-drive performance version of the hatchback