Having a Mini on long-term test is a rarity for Fleet News. In fact, this may well be the first time one has joined our long-term fleet.
That’s because Mini is more of a retail than fleet player and, until now, has only had the Countryman to make it onto the choice lists of companies that operate a five-door-only fleet policy.
But this, the brand’s first five-door hatch, broadens Mini’s appeal and should see it grab more fleet market share.
It’s likely to attract user-chooser and salary sacrifice drivers, although Mini expects it to be considered as a job-need car too.
CO2 emissions start at 92g/km for the One D and our automatic 1.5-litre diesel emits just 99g/km.
The five-door is not simply the three-door model with two additional doors; Mini has lengthened the wheelbase by 72 millimetres and increased bootspace by 67 litres. But having tested the Golf GTD for the past few months, the Mini has noticeably less interior space.
Mini would argue that it’s an unfair comparison as the five-door hatch is a rival to the Audi A1, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta and not the Golf, but if it truly wants to be considered as a job-need car it will have to contend with fleet favourites like the Golf.
Although I like the space and practicality of the Golf, the Mini’s interior is certainly a lot more funky. Mini’s designers have thought about every dial and switch and tried to make them interesting and different.
Take something as simple as the interior light switches. In most cars a simple row of buttons will suffice but Mini seems to have taken inspiration from a spiral bound notebook.
The funkiest feature is the LED lighting around the circular instrument, which glow different colours. It gives the Mini something of a disco feel, especially with the music cranked up. I wasn’t a fan at first but it’s starting to grow on me.