Published on September 24th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Mini Gets 5-Doors, So What Happens To The Countryman
Mini will unveil its first 5-door hatchback at this month’s Paris auto show. This model will rival Mini’s own Countryman which is rather surprising. With the Mini five-door, the BMW-owned brand is targeting customers who want something bigger than the three-door Mini but don’t want to switch to the larger, SUV-styled Countryman.
This British car brand has expanded its model range with the addition of an entirely new body variant – the MINI 5-door – for the first time in its history. It combines MINI’s hallmark driving fun, the distinctive character and refinement of the third model generation and the enhanced practicality which comes with extra space. The characteristic exterior design of the original premium small car is authentically transferred to the specific proportions of the new body, with the addition of two rear doors.
With the wheelbase expanded by 72 millimetres and the body lengthened by 161 millimetres when compared to the MINI 3-door, the 5-door model provides greater freedom in terms of interior use. In the back are three separate seats, and passengers using them benefit from increased headroom of 15 millimetres and interior width increased of 61 millimetres at elbow height. In addition, the luggage compartment space is 67 litres larger than in the new MINI 3-door, with a total of 278 litres. The car’s high level of versatility is also supported by the 60:40 folding split in the rear backrest. It enables the luggage compartment volume to be increased to 941 litres.
Mini expects the five-door hatchback to attract new customers to the brand because, it says, 70% of global subcompact hatchback sales are for five-door variants. The Mini 5-door will go on sale in Europe on Oct. 25. Like the five-door version, it is being built at Mini’s main plant in Oxford, England.
Besides the two additional doors, the five-door has three seats in the rear, as well as more headroom, legroom, and load capacity than the three-door Mini. It keeps the styling of three-door and its “go kart” driving dynamics but it’s longer with a wheelbase extended by 72mm. At 3982mm, the 5-door is 161mm longer that the 3-door variant. Boot capacity is increased by 67 liters to 278 liters.
The 5-door should give Mini a sales boost. Global sales of Mini vehicles fell 9% to 175,658 vehicles during the first 8-months. In August, sales dropped 6% to 19,504. Last year, Mini sold a record 305,000 vehicles worldwide.