By: IOL Motoring Staff
So that Mini addiction came around long before the family expanded and now you have the little ones pulling Houdini antics for every trip. Thankfully Mini is providing a new fix for those with kids, or friends that couldn't be bothered to drive themselves around.
The new Mini 5-door is being launched in South Africa this week in two power flavours, with the Cooper starting at R305 000 and the Cooper S at R374 052.
The Countryman SUV was, strictly speaking, the first Mini with five-doors yet this new entry is a conventional hatchback in the same mould as the normal Mini, only a lot more practical. Mini did much more than just hack two extra doors in to the body shell - in fact the 4005-metre-long 5-door is 184mm longer than the 3-door and 11mm higher. 72mm of that extra space falls within the wheelbase to improve legroom and the remainder goes into the boot, which grows in capacity by 67 litres to 278.
A Mini for grown-ups, anyone?
The styling doesn't stray from the current 3-door's recipe at all, nor does the mechanical package - apart from suspension modified to suit its larger and heavier stature.
TWO TURBO FLAVOURS
South Africans have the choice between a Cooper fitted with BMW's 100kW/220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol and a Cooper S that boasts a 2-litre turbopetrol with 141kW and 280Nm on command. According to Mini, the Cooper will sprint to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds and the Cooper S will run it in 6.9s. These figures apply to the six-speed manual models and you can chop off a tenth of a second if you order either with the optional six-speed automatic gearbox.
As they've come to expect, Mini customers have a wide range of exterior and cabin personalisation options to play around with here and there's plenty of entertainment and driver assistance gadgetry on hand to empty even the deepest of pockets.
Not that it's too badly equipped in standard guise, with the basic Cooper packing a touch-screen audio system with Mini's Connected app that syncs with your smartphone and allows social media access amongst other functions. Also standard is cruise control with brake function, automatic headlights and wipers, leather-covered multi-function steering wheel, air conditioning and 16-inch alloys.
In addition to all the extra wallop it brings, the Cooper S adds 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, sports seats and automatic climate control to the features party.
Cooper - R305 000
Cooper AT - R321 900
Cooper S - R374 052
Cooper S AT - R389 823