FOR the practical minded, a five-door MINI would seem like a logical choice.
But, would you choose a MINI if you were that practical?
It’s more a lifestyle choice. Enjoying life with a measure of style in a car that is unmistakable in the looks department.
It’s for someone who likes the louder-than-life, look-at-me zaniness of the MINI design which is about being cute but with a vicious bite in some models. Then, there’s that go-kart drive that is generally gripping and engaging for those who like to push their machine to the limit.
These are all excellent attributes, but immaterial if your partner doesn’t want such a flashy set of wheels, and only wants a sedate run-around that is easy to park and convenient when it comes to fetching the children.
But, the MINI ONE five-door fits many of these requirements, as well. More so, than the earlier set of attributes, frankly.
The familiar MINI form factor has been structured with five doors and at the second from bottom rung of the MINI ladder, isn’t expected to deliver a thrilling drive. On that note, it doesn’t disappoint.
It’s a well-cushioned ride on offer. Very family-pleasing in many respects. Even in Sport mode, it doesn’t lose its composure. It’s a very neutral drive from this front-wheel-driven MINI.
The 3-cylinder, 1.5L turbocharged engine delivers just 75kW of power at fairly high revs, which is adequate for city driving. Hitting 100kmh from standstill in 10.6 seconds, it goes on to a top speed of 192kmh. Not going to give you an adrenaline rush.
But if you suspect this is a good way to introduce the MINI brand to a conquest market, you’re not too far off.
The feel-good factors and functionality of this MINI ONE model are key selling points, even if its price, at *$138K, is on the steep side.
What you get for that price is a lot of BMW technology and know-how. Many features offered can be found in BMW’s cars. The use of an app to activate certain features and locate the car, the media connectivity and the large display offering information about the car, are all good to have. A touchscreen in the large centre dash, with its iris-like rim that changes colours depending on your driving mode, add to the quirky ambience of the cabin.
The absence of wireless charging, and the lack of ideal spots to keep your mobile phone can be a bit of an issue.
As for carrying people in the back, it is really tight in this 4-metre car. Loads of headroom, but adults’ knees will suffer in the back on a long drive.
At this price point, there are other options to consider, unless you’re hellbent on a MINI.
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MINI ONE 5-DOOR RATING
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