Mini Cooper S 5-Door (F55) LCI review – Pure Mini and More

We must admit that when the new Mini Cooper 5-door was introduced back in 2014, it took us a while to accustom ourselves with the longer body and how the additional doors looked a bit out of place. Five years today, the look has grown on us, and now understand why Mini wanted the extra doors. For a company that styles their cars very differently from the rest of the industry, we can’t fault Mini for wanting to expand their portfolio to suit a wider audience. Does the extra doors make the Cooper hatch finally more convenient? And has it messed with the signature Mini ride and handling? Read on to find out.

 

The facelifted mid-cycle (LCI) Mini Cooper S 5-door that we tested is the second body variant of the current third-generation hatchback launched back in 2013. The benefits of the 5-door hatch comes down to the increased wheelbase of 72mm which translates to a 61mm more interior width and an additional 15mm of headroom. Boot space totals 278-litres which is 67-litres more than the 3-door sibling.

 

Locally as of publication, Mini Malaysia offers the Mini 3-door and 5-door hatchback only in the Cooper S form. Facelifts are commonly known to just feature styling updates and minor tweaks but for this updated model, Mini has put a little extra in. Mechanically the Cooper S features the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder TwinPower turbo engine developing 192 hp and 280 Nm of torque at 1,250 to 4,600 rpm. It is mated to a new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and a new gear lever for operation. Mini says that they have saved a total of 8 kg by using a carbon fibre reinforced plastic for the engine cover. The claimed century sprint time? 6.8-seconds from a standstill.

 

The styling updates to the facelift is substantial enough in key areas to tell the facelift apart from before. At the front, the new Mini logo has been reinterpreted to be a two-dimensional flat design with more emphasis on the wings.

 

It is joined with the new LED headlights that now has a full circle DRLs, and also the Union Jack design taillamps at the rear.

 

Not to forget the Mini logo projection on the driver’s side that comes from the wing mirror. To wrap up the exterior package, the 5-door comes with the John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Kit and is paired with 17-inch high-gloss JCW Track rims in black.

 

Because the Mini brand is all about individuality and uniqueness, owners will also have the add-on option on the Mini Yours Customised accessories that enables custom components like side scuttles, LED Door Sill Finishers, LED Door Projector and Cockpit Fascias that can be retrofitted to the cars.

 

Inside, the Mini experience greets you with the JCW treatment on the Steering wheel, Chrome line interior, Leather cross punch upholstery with Alcantra in the centre pads, Black checkered interior surface, and Anthracite headliner.

 

The infotainment is a 6.5-inch touchscreen unit with additional input from the iDrive-like controller and comes with USB and Bluetooth but unfortunately lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Those unfamiliar with Mini’s will be thrilled with the colourful infotainment bezel and ambient lighting more visible at night.

 

The only quirk we think needs a little work is the adjustable handrest in the centre console that gets in the way of the handbrake.

 

Our day-to-day experience with the 5-door has spoilt us. The youthful Mini style attracts almost everyone we’ve showed the car to – young and old. The brand both post and pre-renaissance always had that magnetic nimbleness and agility, not forgetting its status as an icon.

 

The Cooper S is no slouch on the road. Power is plentily available from the low end thanks to the turbo and has a wide band for you to pull away when needed. This is assisted with the help from the new 7-speed dual clutch that is very smooth in operations and immediate when paired with the paddle shifters. Steering and handling is very Mini-esque and familiar, with its slightly weighted use but one that is direct, sharp and grips with every turn and corner.

 

The feel of the 5-door is just as great to drive as the 3-door without compromises, and we dare say a little more comfy compared to the smaller one. Oh and the additional doors at the back? They are smaller than the usual rear-doors on compact cars, but offer definite convenience for the rear-passengers when it comes to getting in and out. As for rear legroom, as long as the passenger or driver in front is of average height, it’s not as bad as looks.

 

As we conclude, the Mini Cooper S 5-door offers the same dynamics and passion as the 3-door version but with more convenience and practicality of the added space and doors. Curiously enough, the JCW aerokit only comes on the exterior of the 5-door and not on the 3-door car. At a price of RM 259,888 which is RM 10,000 premium on top of the 3-door version, it still is a great choice for those looking at the classic Mini Cooper hatchback. But if it still comes difficult to justify the practicality and size of getting a hatchback like this, Mini still has the Countryman Cooper S Sport, which at a price of RM 248,888 gets you all the maxi Mini without the drawbacks.

 

Click here for our impressions of the Mini Cooper S Countryman Sport! 

 

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