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After countless spyshots, the wraps have finally been pulled off the MINI 5 door. Yet another addition to the already burgeoning MINI family, it gains a couple more doors, a longer wheelbase and a longer rear overhang to address key criticisms of the three-door‘s cabin, namely a lack of rear legroom and a small boot.

How much longer? Overall length has expanded by a full 161 mm to 3,952 mm (Cooper S and SD models burst out of the four-metre mark, at 4,005 mm), with the wheelbase stretching 72 mm to 2,567 mm, meaning the leftover 89 mm goes straight to the five-door’s now rather lardy bum. Height has also increased by 11 mm to 1,425 mm.

Compared to its nearest rivals, the MINI 5 door is 2 mm shorter than the Audi A1 Sportback, 10 mm shorter than the Peugeot 208, 18 mm shorter than the Volkswagen Polo and 30 mm shorter than the Ford Fiesta. Crucially, the wheelbase is also 29 mm longer than the 208, 78 mm longer than the Fiesta, 97 mm longer than the Polo and 98 mm longer than the A1.

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The size increase bring manifold benefits to the interior, where that 72 mm increase in wheelbase goes directly to rear legroom. You also get 15 mm more headroom and, despite the width remaining the same at 1,727 mm, 61 mm more elbow room at the rear. You also now get three seats at the rear instead of two.

The boot, featuring a variable position floor, now measures 278 litres, 67 litres more than before (the 60:40 split rear seats can be folded to boost luggage space to 941 litres). MINI says it’s the largest in the premium segment, and it does just about beat the A1 by a measly eight litres. But it’s still smaller than most other B-segment hatches, only narrowly besting the Fiesta by a tiny two litres.

The five-door gets four turbocharged engines at launch, three of them borrowed from the three-door – the Cooper gets a 136 hp 1.5 litre three-cylinder, the Cooper D a 116 hp 1.5 litre diesel triple and the range-topping Cooper S a 192 hp 2.0 litre four-cylinder. A new variant, the Cooper SD, gets a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel producing 170 hp at 4,200 rpm and 360 Nm from 1,500 to 2,750 rpm.

Transmission choices remain the same six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes, and you can get an optional sports auto too. As expected, the five-door is very slightly slower than the three-door across the board. The new Cooper SD, on the other hand, does 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds (7.3 for the automatic) and has a top speed of 225 km/h (223 km/h for the auto).

What do you guys think? Rational addition to the MINI range, or just a MINI too far?