Living with the Mini Cooper D 5 door

Living with the Mini Cooper D 5 door

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Mini is an iconic brand known for making small and ‘fun to drive’ cars. But with changing times, the company has had  to expand its portfolio to cater to a larger audience. With that in mind, Mini brought in the 5-door Cooper. As the name suggests, the 5-door Cooper gets 2 added doors at the rear and is a more practical option to the 3-door Mini. So does the car live up to the Mini brand name? We tell you.

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Is the 5-door Mini as appealing to look at as the 3-door? Um, not exactly, but it’s nearly there. Look at the car head on and it could easily pass off as the 3 door version. The car retains the bug like large headlamps with the LED DRLs. The grille and the bumper are carried forward from the 3 door as well. The side profile is where things begin to change.

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To incorporate the extra doors, the Mini’s wheelbase has been extended by 72 mm. The side profile looks a little boring, though. The rear is the same as the 3 Door.

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In this bright yellow shade, the Mini does stand out and attracts a lot of attention. We did find people taking out their phones to take a quick picture of the car. Now that’s the beauty of the Mini-it has t a charm of its own.

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The quirkiness continues on the inside as well. The Mini has a very unique cabin, something which will take a little getting used to if this is your first time in a Mini.

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The first thing you will notice is the massive round screen that doubles up as the iDrive controller. On the periphery of the dial, there is a LED light strip which is pretty cool. In the normal driving conditions, it doubles up as a tacho meter. When you increase or decrease the temperature on the climate control, it shows up on the LED. The same with the parking sensors and the volume control as well. The instrument binnacle is attached to the steering column and moves up/down with it.

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The cabin is a nice place to be in and feels very special. Let’s talk about the practicality, since that is the main reason for buying the 5-door. Is it really practical?  Up front, there are 2 cupholders and a storage bin in front of it. If you opt for the armrest, then you get added storage space in it. Door pockets are a little shallow though. At the back as well there aren’t enough storage spaces. Space at the back is adequate for 4 people.

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How’s it to drive? Start the engine by pressing the pulsating red button on the dash and the engine settles down quietly for a 3-cylinder unit. The engine in question is a 3- cylinder 1.5 liter motor making 114 Bhp and 270 Nm. Though not the most refined, the engine does a decent job of keeping you happy.

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That is the only engine option available in the 5-door, so if you want the added practicality, you’ll have to settle for the diesel. Unlike the ZF units that the BMWs get, Mini still continues to use the older 6 speed servotronic unit. The shifts are slightly slower and more jerky when the car is being pushed. The Mini has always been known for its go kart like handling capabilities and for driving pleasure. Even after the increase in size, this one doesn’t disappoint on that front. The steering has a nice grip to it and feels really nice to hold. It has an electromechanical unit which weighs up adequately. It has the right balance between heft and comfort.

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Show it a set of twisties and you will feel thrilled . Even with the not so great stock tyres, the Mini impresses you with its dynamic character. As the speeds increase, the way it just sticks to the road is very impressive. There is an option of driving modes, but our test vehicle did not come with that option ticked.

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There is only one variant of the Mini 5-door on sale at Rs 31.90 lakhs. Over that, there are many, many options to chose from depending upon how deep your pockets are. A few must haves according to us are the:

  1. Park Distance control (front & rear) at Rs 75,000
  2. Centre armrest at Rs 36,000

If you want to enjoy your Mini more, opt for the Heads up display, Driving modes and the dynamic damping. Colours and stripes will also set you back by a bit more. The Mini is more of a heart vs head choice. It certainly has a lot of character and appeal going for it.