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High-five for Mini's new, larger hatchback

Thu, 05 Jun 2014

THE LONG-RUMOURED five-door Mini hatchback has finally been unveiled, featuring an extra seat, more legroom and a larger boot than the three-door.

By using a longer and wider body, the five-door is able to offer 72mm more legroom for rear passengers, who can also now access the new row of three seats via small but useful rear doors.

Boot space is up to 278 litres, which although still comparatively low is 67 more than the three-door hatch can boast. It retains the shallow glass area and overall look of the big-selling hatch, with a slight additional bulge at the boot to allow for the extra luggage capacity.

Overall the new kid is 16cm longer and 1cm taller along with eking out 6cm of extra interior width, almost making it a halfway house between the three-door hatch and the high-riding five-door Countryman.

There will be two solid and nine metallic exterior paint colours, Mini has confirmed, while the Cooper S and SD models will be visually distinguished by a honeycomb pattern in the radiator grille, an anthracite bumper trim, bonnet scoop, air ducts integrated in the lower air inlets and a separate rear apron with exhaust pipes located at the centre.

It will be made available only in Cooper and Cooper S guises at first, with D-badged diesel variants of the same trim levels. The Cooper and Cooper D will both use three-cylinder turbocharged engines pushing out 134 and 114bhp respectively.

Moving up to the Cooper S and the Cooper SD brings heavier but more powerful four-cylinder powerplants claiming 189 and 168bhp, with this performance bias conjuring impressive 0-62mph acceleration stats of 6.8 and 7.4 seconds.

Official fuel economy extends as high as 78.5mpg in the Cooper D, although drivers are unlikely to recreate this in the real world. Prices will start from £15,900, with Mini's famous options list on standby to bolster specifications.

By Press Association reporter