Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Give Me Five; Brand Opens (Two) New Doors to Customers

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Give Me Five; Brand Opens (Two) New Doors to Customers

Article excerpt

By Grant Edwards

What matters most

What we liked: It still looks like a Mini with convenience thrown in, still fun to drive, diesel engine.

What we'd like to see: Less expensive options, slightly more rear legroom.

Warranty and servicing: Three year 100,000km warranty. It has condition-based servicing, but bank on about 15,000km or annually. Mini offers a TLC servicing pack $850 which covers the basics for five years or 70,000km.

PROUDLY trumpeting our automotive Britishness, we headed for the home of free settlement to give this newcomer a right royal welcome.

Traversing some of the best roads South Australia has to offer, the route bypassed Elizabeth - the northern Adelaide suburb named after Her Majesty.

Lucky we didn't, the sight of extra doors on a Mini Cooper may well have dumbfounded "Lizzbeff" locals currently stunned by the imminent closure of Holden's nearby manufacturing plant.

The once micro machine now comes in a range of styles and genres, with the five-door derivative joining the three-door, roadster, coupe, convertible, Clubman van, Paceman crossover and Countryman SUV.

Designed to cater to those seeking the additional convenience of five doors while still maintaining the modern day Mini hallmarks, the three-engine offering starts from $27,750, which is a $1100 premium over the equivalent three-door derivative.

Comfort

Up to the A-pillar the three-door and five-door are identical, but the new addition has been stretched and lengthened for more interior space.

Little has changed up front, with key attention on back seat space.

The rear doors are cute and compact, they remind us of the suicide doors on a Mazda RX8, revealing an equally petite back seat.

Much depends on the generosity from folk in the front with limited leg room. Knee space is aided by sculpted front seat backs, although it's still tight.

Anyone who draws the short straw of middle on the rear pew must contend with a hefty bump on the seat along with the transmission tunnel that also hosts a large plastic drink holder. …

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