Mini’s lat­est Maxi

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MI­NESH BHA­GA­LOO

NO, this is not a scaled-down five-door Coun­try­man, this is Mini’s all-new 5door hatch­back be­ing launched in SA this week.

Based on the new, third-gen­er­a­tion 3-door model launched re­cently, this new­comer marks an en­tirely new body style from Mini, of­fer­ing more roomi­ness than the 3-door and tar­get­ing mainly the fam­ily buyer.

The ad­di­tion of two rear doors means that the 5-door gets a wheel­base ex­tended by 72mm, and is also 161mm longer and 11mm taller than the coupé – which ac­cord­ing to Mini means enough room for three adults at the back, in­clud­ing a proper cen­tral rear seat. The in­crease in height also means more head- and legroom; while boot space, at 278 litres, is 67 litres bet­ter (back seats can be an­gled for var­ied stor­age so­lu­tions, or dropped to cre­ate 941 litres of lug­gage space).

In terms of body de­sign this multi-por­tal Mini shouldn’t be too hard to recog­nise, with the new­est it­er­a­tion get­ting the lat­est-gen­er­a­tion sig­na­ture hexag­o­nal grille, chromed trim around the head­lights and tail lights, and con­trast­ing roof and side-mir­ror hous­ings. And, be­ing a Mini, you can be as­sured that the per­son­al­i­sa­tion op­tions list is ex­ten

sive, with eleven body colours alone on of­fer. The Mini 5-door launches in SA in 100kW/230Nm Cooper (1.5-litre tur­bopetrol three-cylin­der) and 141kW/300Nm Cooper S (2-litre tur­bopetrol four-cylin­der) guises – with each fea­tur­ing di­rect-in­jec­tion, fully vari­able valve con­trol, and vari­able camshaft tech­nol­ogy.

Six-speed man­ual is stan­dard, with six-speed auto an op­tion.

The Cooper will get you from stand­still to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds, with the stronger Cooper S pegged at 6.9 seconds.

Other high­lights in­clude Elec­tronic Dif­fer­en­tial Lock Con­trol and spe­cific spring and damper rates in the harder-core S model (Dy­namic Damper Con­trol is op­tion­ally avail­able), and driver modes to suit your mood. And yes, the full range of driver as­sis­tance sys­tems is on of­fer too – in­clud­ing items like Mini Head-Up-Dis­play, Park­ing As­sis­tant, rearview cam­era, ac­tive cruise con­trol, col­li­sion and pedes­trian warn­ing with ini­tial brake func­tion, high­beam as­sis­tant, and road­sign de­tec­tion.

The Mini Cooper 5-door lands in SA at R305 000, while the Cooper S will set you back R372 000 (add R16 900 for the auto gear­box).

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