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How does this stylish new hatch compare with the latest crop of high-end superminis?
6.5in touchscreen, front and rear LED lights, DAB radio, e-call
Petrol: 1.5 136hp
1.5 116hp, 2.0 192hp
One, Cooper, Cooper S
Six-speed manual, seven-speed auto
Every day, more than 1,000 Minis roll off the production line; it takes just 67 seconds to build a new car, from start to finish.
Although the facelifted third generation is offered in a vast array of configurations,Mini estimates that around 40% of new models leaving showrooms will have five doors. This is indicative of the overall market trend for greater practicality and accessibility in compact family hatchbacks.
Along with the obvious addition of a couple of extra doors, the new five-door is also slightly longer and taller than its three-door stablemate. As a consequence, you get a little bit more rear legroom and a smidgeon more head clearance.
While this does not equate to limo-like dimensions, the easier access and extra space will undoubtedly seem like a godsend to anyonewho, for example, may be regularly loading toddlers in and out of booster seats.
You'll still have to pack lightly, though, as the boot is quite shallow and, at 278 litres, smaller than the VW Polo and Audi A1 equivalents.
Up front, everything is typical Mini, with a chunky sports steering wheel and the familiar, dartboard-dimensioned central display screen dominating proceedings. The seats are very comfortable, with a wide range of adjustment, while the driving position is low-slung, with a neatly arranged pedal layout. Somewhat ironically for a Mini, though, shorter drivers will struggle to get the seat far enough forward to push the clutch pedal all the way down comfortably.
The turbocharged, 1.5-litre, three-cylinder 136hp engine - the most popular on offer - is smooth and punchy, and adds plenty of smiles per gallon, There's also a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox option, although the six-speed manual is such a treat to use that many will see the auto as an unnecessary upgrade.
Either way, it's impressively efficient, emitting 116g/km of CO2 when linked to the six-speeder. If you want the ultimate mile crunches, however, then the Cooper D is the most economical engine, managing up to 72.4mpg and emitting 103g/km of CO2.
For the first time, the Mini comes with the option of electronically controlled damping, a more sophisticated suspension arrangement than all of its rivals that offers a choice between Sport, Mid and Comfort modes. While it does make a difference compared with the previous Mini, all modes still feel quite stiff and, as a consequence, the ride can be a little unsettled at times. It's on the firm side, but it's far less fidgety than an A1 or Polo.
When it comes to handling, the five-door Mini deals with corners like, well, a Mini. Providing sharp turn into corners and very little roll, it feels reassuringly stable most of the time, even if, ultimately, it's not quite as grippy as a Ford Fiesta.
As well as cosmetic changes - for 2018 the whole Mini line up gets a new winged logo, LED headlights and rear lights that feature a Union Flag design - there is additional spec offered, such as an updated infotainment system with new connectivity features, as well as fresh trim options. Even the cheapest model, the One, gets functionality such as air-con, a standard 6.5in infotainment system and a standard rotary controller. To get Mini Navigation with a touchscreen display, AppleCar capability or Real Time Traffic, you need to upgrade to one of the packs, such as the Navigation Plus pack, which costs you £1,666.
Mini has become famous for the numerous options and personalisation accessories it offers customers and the five-door is no different. Options from the Mini Yours customised programme include side scuttles, decorative strips for the interior on the passenger side, LED doorsill finishers and LED door projectors, which can all be selected, designed and ordered through an online shop later in the year. Again, all these come at an extra price.
When it comes to whole-life costs, the Mini is at least £1,000 more expensive compared with the Volkswagen Polo, and Audi A1, which you can get for just over £16,000 in SE trim, but, traditionally, Minis tend to counter premium prices with strong residual value.
Ultimately, with price comes style, and, as always, Mini has proved with this new edition that if you want a small but practical car with a posh badge, there really is no other option.
Mini Hatch II 5Dr Cooper 1.5-litre 136hp six-speed
On saleMay 2018
Residual value 45.4%
Service, maintenance and repair £1,369
Cost per mile 42p
Fuel consumption 55.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band)116g/km (24%)
BIK 20/40% a month £71/£142
Boot space 278 litres
Engine size/power 1499cc/136hp
Increased boot size, relatively practical and spacious.
Quite pricey compared with rivals, options are all at a premium.