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Behold the Mini five-door. A Mini hatch with - you guessed it - five doors.

True, this is not exactly a revelation for the small car segment. But it’s the first time BMW has cut rear doors into its beloved Mini hatch - the bloaty Countryman, of course, being a different thing entirely. And considering five-door hatchbacks outsell their three-door equivalents by three to one in the UK, this could be quite a lucrative move for the brand.

As you can see, it looks like the new-new-new Mini but ever so slightly different. Like someone significantly weighty has sat on it. That’s because the five-door Mini’s wheelbase has been stretched 72mm, making it 161mm longer than the three-door. But it’s also 11mm taller, to free up the occupants in the back.

And there’s good news for your children/mates/pets, as they now won’t have to suck in and clamber over the passenger seat to get in the rear. There’s even better news for your favourite fourth child/mate/pet as the five-door Mini gets a third - admittedly small - seat in the back.

Headroom has increased by 4mm over the three-door, and the engineers in Oxford have carved out an additional 61mm of elbow space inside without making the five-door wider on the outside. Still, judging from that interior shot, it’s not exactly… cavernous back there. Bootspace is up to 278 litres, 67 litres more than the three-door but still shy of the Coutryman’s 350-litre trunk.

The five-door Mini will go on sale this autumn with the choice of four engines. First up, a three-pot 1.5-litre engine in the Cooper that makes 136bhp. That’s joined by another triple in the shape of a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel producing 116bhp in the Cooper D. Then there’s a 2.0-litre petrol four-pot petrol with 189bhp in the Cooper S, and a new Cooper SD model with 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel generating 170bhp. That’s enough to get you from 0-62 in 7.4 seconds and 68.9 mpg. Fast and frugal.

If you can refrain from furious optioning, you’ll be able to pick up a basic Mini Cooper 5-door for £15,900. That price rises up to £20,050 for the SD, and then quite a bit more if you get a bit busy with the specs as, this being a Mini, means you can personalise it to death.

Question is, what does this mean for the Clubman? We know there’s a second generation of the Mini mini-estate on the way, likely next year, and we know from March’s Geneva concept that it’ll ditch the original’s wonky-doored arrangement for a somewhat more conventional six-door set-up (two on each side, two at the back). If you were after a Mini and needed five doors, which would you go for?

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