MIGHTY MOUSE

WE MUST ADMIT: WE HAD CERTAIN EXPECTATIONS THE DAY WE TAXIED UP TO PICK UP THE 2015 BMW MINI 5-DOOR. SOME WEREN’T THAT POSITIVE. BUT IT’S NICE TO BE SURPRISED ON OCCASION. By Mark Keast

A group of people gathered around the front driveway at a home on a neighbourhood street on Hamilton’s east mountain. In the driveway sat the 2015 BMW Mini 5-Door. In the driver’s seat, I sat. About to get in the passenger’s side was my 6-foot-5 brother, and that’s where the curiosity lay.

Everyone looked at the size of my brother and the size of the car. We all know the dimensions of the Mini car, especially the version before BMW got their hands on it (remember Matt Damon’s race through the streets of Paris with police in pursuit in Bourne Identity?).

I guess people thought my brother’s legs would crash through the bottom front of the vehicle or something, but in he sat, quite comfortably actually.

The body of the new MINI 5 door is 3,998 millimetres long (MINI Cooper S 5 door is 4,013 millimetres), 1,727 millimetres wide and 1,425 millimetres wide. This makes the MINI 5 door 161 millimetres longer and 11 millimetres higher than the 3 door version. The width remains the same. The wheelbase has been extended by 72 millimetres to 2,567 millimetres, while the track is identical to that of the 3 door model.

So the interior space will surprise you. From a luxury driving experience, here’s what you’ll find as well, some of which may also surprise you if you have never driven one:

POWERFUL ENGINE

The power units of both the MINI Cooper 5 door and the MINI Cooper S 5 door, feature a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection, variable camshaft control on the intake and exhaust side (double VANOS) and variable valve control.

The new 2015 MINI Cooper S is powered by a 2.0-litre engine with a peak output of 189 bhp maximum torque of 207 ft-lb from 1,250 rpm and is capable of accelerating from 0 – 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds (automatic: 6.8 seconds)

The new 2015 MINI Cooper is powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine with a peak output of 134 bhp and a maximum torque of 162 ft-lb from 1,250 rpm and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 8.2 seconds (automatic: 8.1 seconds).

FUN FACTOR

What a blast running it through the streets of downtown Toronto. “Each MINI’s wheels are pushed out to the edges of the four corners, providing unbeatable go-kart-like handling.  The incredibly dynamic driving experience makes every MINI unbeatably fun,” says Adam Shaver, director, MINI Canada.

DRIVING MODES

MINI Driving Modes provides a great basis for fuel-efficient motoring. A rotary switch activates either the standard MID mode, SPORT mode or GREEN mode. Try the GREEN, where the car controls energy and climate management for more fuel-efficient driving.

HEADS UP

All luxury cars today offer up varying levels of excellence when talking about driver assistance systems for safety. The BMW MINI is no exception. The Heads-Up-Display shows information relevant to the driver on an extendible monitor in the upper section of the dashboard, between the windscreen and steering wheel. The optional Driving Assistant is a camera-based cruise control and distance control function which automatically maintains a distance from the vehicle ahead, as well as the collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function.

COMFORT AND STYLE

In the car’s interior there is an endless range of quality options in the areas of comfort and functionality, starting with the sports leather steering wheel with multi-function buttons and cruise control.