Mini Cooper, Front view 17 Photos Zoom

Mini Cooper in the individual test: More practical with four doors?

Here we first affirm our fundamental enthusiasm towards the Mini, which drives like no other car. But, friend, what is with these doors at the back? We put it to the test.

Mini Cooper in the individual test 4 1

We don't like to dash people's hopes. Such as the hope that the expensive, impractical Mini is made more practical by the addition of back doors. But more than anything it is made more expensive – by 900 Euros. Whether it is made more stylish you will have to decide for yourself. At least the 16.1 centimetres of added length and the 7.2 cm longer wheelbase rectify the proportions and the space limitations.

You're better driving with two in the car

Two adults can now fit more comfortably in the back of the Mini Cooper – with six centimetres more leg room on the comfortably upholstered rear seating bench than in the two-door version. The fact that there is a belt in the middle which appears intended for a third rear passenger proves the existence of unfounded optimism within this sector. Or proves that Mini have a sense of humour.

Which is also indicated by the tow rear doors. They barely leave room to get in on account of being so short. This means that accessing the back seats is actually a little more comfortable in the two-door version. And as a result it is also more difficult getting into the front. Even those among us who are of ideal weight will have to squeeze laboriously through the short door into the space behind the steering wheel of the Mini Cooper. But once three, everything's fine.

Mini Cooper with 60 kilos of added weight

For this is a Mini and drives how Minis have driven for 55 years: brilliantly. The 60 kilos of additional weight that the four-door version, elongated to match the Golf II format, hauls around with it do nothing to change this. The Mini Cooper retains its immediate, carefree handling. The three-cylinder engine turns and pulls and really starts to cause trouble in Sport mode.

In addition to this, the six-speed gearbox clicks and clacks through the gears. And so, right in the middle of the first curve you have forgotten all about the doors, and when you release the accelerator the rear of the car gently pushes and you bring the Mini Cooper back into line with a tiny countersteering correction using the extremely precise steering mechanism. And perhaps this is the most important thing that can be concluded about the rear doors: they don't do any harm.

Photo

Beate Jeske

Date

31 March 2015
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