MINI Cooper 1.5 five-door
Best long-term MINI test car: petrol MINI Cooper 1.5 five-door
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MINI Cooper 1.5 five-doorMINI Cooper 1.5 five-door

  • List price: £16,170
  • Five-door hatch
  • 136bhp 1.5-litre 3-cyl Euro 6 turbo petrol/6-speed manual
  • CO2; BIK: 109g/km; 20%
  • Economy /ours: 60.1mpg/45mpg
  • Performance: 8.2sec/129mph

AS predicted in my last report, after almost 8,000 miles and eight-months, the call came through, then a man was despatched and the MINI Cooper 1.5 five-door collected.

I feel quite melancholy as I think it would have been hard to say goodbye to this Cooper, in fact I’d go as far to say that I was quite pleased I was away on other manufacturer’s launch. Why? Well, if I’d been at home, I might have tried to hide the keys and make further excuses to the press office so I could keep this MINI longer!

Why? Well, this has been the best MINI-long termer I’ve had the pleasure of keeping, in fact i’d go as far as to say it’s probably been my favourite long-termer ever!  It has just been so easy and trouble-free to live with.

A family trip to the South Coast not long before it left just cemented my feelings more. The five-door proved to be just about practical for my small family, yet at the same time it offered the keen drive expected of a MINI and the three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol was an impressive and pretty frugal performer.

It says a lot that my wife preferred driving the five-door than our own bigger MINI – a Cooper S Countryman.

Then there was the spec, perfect for business and pleasure! The Professional Navigation System got me out of a lot of scrapes and I only got lost once during the whole time I had the car.

MINI Cooper 1.5 five-door
Anonymous scratch

I like a good quality sound system in a car with plenty of connectivity and the Harmon/Kardon sound system included as part of the Tech Pack proved to be punchy, shrinking many long drives. The head up display and rear camera were also much missed when driving other test cars.

Finally, this Cooper five-door might have looked awkward from some angles and I wasn’t a fan of the British Racing Green paint at the start. However, the colour grew on me and with the just a lick of polish the depth of shine impressed – it worked well with the black wheels and roof too.

Shame then, that despite keeping this car unmarked for almost the whole time I had it, a careless parker managed to scrape the bottom of the Cooper’s bumper shortly before it left. He or she obviously didn’t leave a note either!

Bye, bye YG16XHL, you’ll be missed.

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