The 3 Ps of MINI: Practical, Personalised, Pioneering



This trio of MINIs will put a smile on any driving enthusiast’s face while serving as comfortable and flexible transport for the family


SINGAPORE

The line between a fun to drive, yet practical family vehicle that can see to nearly every conceivable transport need is a fine one to walk on, but MINI might have very well cracked the code. Here are the MINI 5 Door, MINI Countryman and MINI Clubman, three of the brand’s most spacious vehicles that also happen to pack spirited driving dynamics along with plenty of luggage-carrying practicality.


THE MINI 5 DOOR

Take the regular 3 Door, stretch it out a little and add a pair of doors for rear seat access, and you get a combination of style and practicality with the MINI 5 Door hatchback.

Measuring 16cm longer than its 3 Door sibling, the MINI 5 Door offers a spacious cabin that gives relaxed seating for five with plenty of legroom and body comfort. The additional length also adds up to a bigger boot, it’s 30 percent larger than before with 278-litres of cargo space, expandable to a huge 941-litres – now you can laugh in the face of those who think a MINI at Ikea is a bad idea.

And all this is built around the classic MINI silhouette, so if you’re already a fan of the car’s iconic design here’s a way to get into a MINI while still ensuring plenty of practical interior space for the family. MINIs actually have one of the best rear passenger headroom spaces in the compact hatchback segment thanks to their straight roofline.

The MINI 5 Door is available as the MINI One with 102hp, with the fun upped by the MINI Cooper and its frugal yet powerful 1.5-litre,TwinPower turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 136hp. Upping the ante further is the MINI Cooper S, with 192hp. In all iterations though, the MINI 5 Door is not just a practical and compact urban runabout, but also a very competent handler with MINI’s legendary go-kart directness and big emphasis on driver fun.


THE MINI COUNTRYMAN

For drivers that value a touch of individualism, driving involvement, practicality and flexibility, the MINI Countryman is the ultimate all-rounder. Despite being the most spacious MINI with seating capacity for five adults and capable of carrying up to 1,390 litres of luggage, the Countryman is available here in powerful 192hp Cooper S form, or the very fast John Cooper Works model with a bulging 306hp.

A car with great carrying capacity will entice you to use it to carry large items, and even if your hands are full you can access the boot easily. The Countryman is equipped with MINI’s Easy Opener function, and as long as the key is in your pocket, kicking your foot under the rear sill will pop the boot door open automatically. A second kick, and it closes again. During those times when you have to hang on to your fidgety toddler and shopping bags with all your available hands in a crowded car park, this becomes a properly useful safety feature.

The Countryman isn’t just styled with rugged features for show, and it’s a car that is a true lifestyle companion for the entire family. Built into the rear of the car is a handy dandy MINI Picnic Bench, stowed underneath the load floor. This soft two-seater bench comes with a fender dirt protection flap, so you can keep clean as you turn the back of your car into an impromptu picnic venue in any out of the way location. To keep your passengers cool on long drives within the larger interior, the Countryman and Clubman have additional air conditioning vents at the rear bench as standard equipment.


THE MINI CLUBMAN

If you prefer the styling of your MINI to be a little closer to the ground, and still have that turn of pace and space, there’s the MINI Clubman. With five seats and six doors, the Clubman features a boot space that extends of 1,250-litres, giving you even more plenty of space for all your travel and transport plans. In fact, the luggage carrying capacity is double that of many cars of similar size.

As befitting a car with the MINI badge, the Clubman is astonishingly agile for its size. The Clubman is available in One, Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works models with increasing power and performance.

At the rear of the car there are the Clubman’s signature split rear doors, and the car’s LED rear lights form a two-part motif that alludes to the Union Jack. The intricate precision of the lighting design provides an extra dose of individuality, and can be found on the MINI 5 Door as well.

The lengthened wheelbase and additional doors give it an extra measure of straight-line stability and interior space that will be appreciated by all passengers. The Clubman and Countryman also feature the through loading system, which splits the rear bench into three fold-down sections with a 40:20:40 ratio so you can carry long items and ferry passengers at the same time.

As a muscular, compact, and practical urban runabout, there are very few cars that can come close to the MINI Clubman.


MINI CONNECTED

All modern MINIs are equipped with the latest in-car technology. Inside the cabin, there’s the centre console that forms a centrepiece for the interior with its high-resolution 6.5-inch touch screen, which can be upgraded to a larger 8.8-inch version if you wish. A wide range of intelligent services and apps are available in every MINI, enhancing the car’s everyday usability and also adding a level of safety.

The biggest button that you hope to never use is the SOS button located on the dashboard. Pushing it will send your location and vehicle information to the nearest MINI Response Centre, which will request help on your behalf, direct you to the nearest hospital or police station, or notify emergency contacts.

Other very useful apps include Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information on the navigation screen, which is used by the GPS module to automatically plan your route based on current road traffic conditions and locations of known road works.

There’s also Remote Services, which through the MINI Connected App, allows you to check the car’s fuel level, interval to the next scheduled service, and start up the air-conditioning even while you are away from the car. The app can also be used to send a destination to the car’s GPS navigation software so that you don’t have to manually key it in. Furthermore, you can also remotely lock and unlock the car’s doors through MINI Connected. It’s a comprehensive all-in–one app that can be personalised to fit your car and lifestyle.


Find out more at the official MINI Singapore website.

about the author

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Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.