TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR
The Mini Cooper Clubman has all the quirky characteristics of Mini’s of old, but it’s bigger in almost every way. A longer wheelbase means this modern Mini offers buyers more space and practicality, while holding on to Mini’s signature styling and driving gusto.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Mini Cooper S may give more power, but the Cooper Clubman’s little 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine will still produce 100kW and 220Nm. You never feel like it’s lacking power.
- Mini by name, roomy by nature. Minis aren’t synonymous with spaciousness, but the Clubman’s longer wheelbase has upped the ante with the English brand even claiming this is a ‘family-friendly’ Mini. It’s not the most competitive family-car on the market, but it can sit two adults in the back seats comfortably (providing they’re not too tall), so why not kids too?
- There’s a uniqueness in the detailing that makes it quintessentially Mini. There’s only one word to describe their interiors; circular. While the new generation Clubman has fewer rounded edges than its predecessor, it’s still got a very globular feel to it. First impressions have you wondering if you’re involved in some kind of reality mind-buster game (how many circles can you see?), but then its design starts to grow on you and you wonder how you ever managed without a massive circular infotainment system and door handles. From the hidden chevron detailing in storage spots, to the textured patterns throughout the interiors, and the barn-like boot doors, Mini has a very peculiar yet particular style – and it owns it!
- Not only does it look as stylish as only a Mini can, but the Clubman is fun to drive. The zippy little three-cylinder engine, teamed with its “go-kart-like” handling – as described by Wheels magazine – provides enough oomph to give you that go-get-‘em feeling.
- While the Clubman certainly doesn’t lack individuality and style, its use of plastics and sub-par textiles means it doesn’t quite live up to the sophistication and class of some of its rivals.
- It may be fun to drive and handles well, but it loses points thanks to its unsettled ride. It’s certainly not the worst in class, but if it is a problem, adaptive dampeners are an optional extra to combat the problem.
- Its biggest design feature is also the Clubman’s biggest let down. The barn-like doors to the boot – while a signature trait of Mini – create an annoying split through the already-small rear window. To begin with, the big thick pillar splitting your rear vision in two will cause you to double take, making it less than ideal when setting up the rear-vision mirror. Additionally, the foot-activated boot is a bit glitchy, and when you finally get the doors to open, you’re standing right in its opening path. If you value your legs and prefer to avoid bruises, then this will be a problem for you.
ANY RIVALS I SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER?
If you’re looking for something that feels a bit more luxurious than the Clubman, then you might want to look into the Audi A3 or VW Golf, which come at a similar price. If you’re looking for something a little less kooky and a slightly lower price tag, then the Ford Focus could be your best bet.
Click here to read the full review on the Mini Cooper Clubman range.