Mini Clubman long-term test review: final report

The Mini Clubman Cooper D is on the point of returning to his creator. This is a rare car. We gave it three and half stars on our first road test – a respectable, if not outstanding, score, but have been intrigued enough to consider it worth running.

“It is a bit of an impostor, a thug friendly,” we concluded, I think quite. After all, in a class of the same profile cars with five doors, the right looks and the classic sedan follows closely, it is right and proper that a Mini – car to the origin defined by doing things his way, should treat things differently.

But, things have evolved the way they have for a reason, isn’t it? After all, nobody these days thinks: “I know, I’ll try to make a wheel, but muzzle a little bit off, so it has a few straight lines.” The wheels have stayed round the same way as for the small and medium sector cars have become consistent sedans – because it is very reasonable.

Well, sense be damned. After having spent more than 10 000 km in this Mini, with its funky interior and cute, double rear doors, I am inclined to think that most new cars should have some charisma, some of his willingness to be different.

The Clubman arrived in August of last year, fairly fresh out of the box. It is a Cooper D, which means that his on-the-road price at the time was £21,810 before options (it is £23,035 now). But Bmw and Mini are easy to option if you want to, and the items on it have been a media Pack (£1010), which includes sat-nav and connectivity improved, and the £2785 Chili Pack, which brings seat upgrades, climate control and separate driving modes. Other important options for me were a throughloading system (£200) and a luggage separating net (£155), given the amount of photography kit that I carry.

First impressions were good from an assembly, finish and design point of view. I’m a big fan of the Mini interior, with their funk and intelligence, but, from a ” piling-it-with-kit point-of-view, the Mini, as you might expect, lagging behind those of class rivals.

Its boot floor is a little high and the roof a little, and, at 360 litres with the seats up, the trunk capacity is smaller than I was used to. But, then, I had at the time just out of a Skoda Superb estate.

But over time, the more cars I try, the more respect I have for the Mini entertainment, communications and sat-nav systems. You get a speedometer and tachometer in front of the diddy steering wheel, while the navigation and other infotainment options to take a position in the centre of the dashboard. They are made-to-measure Mini items, but the controller is very clearly derived from the iDrive system of Mini’s parent company, BMW.

Which means that it works magnificently well, and is a lesson on how you can get a working system without going back to a touch screen, thus leaving no grubby finger marks on the dashboard. It fits very well with a smartphone too; or, at least, it seemed, with mine. Some cars turn off their own navigation when you connect a smartphone – essentially admitting that yours is better, that it will be, but it might not be free. Anyway, the Mini let me access my music application, but still use its other systems, which seems to me ideal.

There are also cool ambient lights in the doors and woodwork. You can choose your shade to make the Mini interior feel very special. Although one thing slightly wrong with it: the collar around the base of the gear lever, which is a switch for the variable driving modes, developed a slight rattle.

Equally impressive is the transmission. Obviously, a Cooper of any sort should be fast, so that it becomes a lively 2.0-liter diesel making 148bhp and, especially, 243lb ft just 1750rpm. The engine has a wide rpm range, too, and a little rubbery, but positive enough manual speed change. Mini claims the whole of what is good for a 0-62mph time of 8.6 sec, which is quite credible.

Admittedly, he was good enough to keep on top of the chassis, which is “good enough “territory”: the ride is a bit shaky, the director nervous, but generally it feels sound.

But the best thing about this engine is quiet and refined it is, relatively hushed at idle and quite capable of revving up. Rather, it was frugal, too: from the beginning of our time with the Clubman Cooper D, it seemed that he was going to return in excess of 50mpg, and it did. Sometimes, she fell under the occasional tank, and it was difficult to persuade them to do a lot more, unless you drove very, very carefully, but in the daily life, often fast driving, I think it is good enough. Have over 500 miles on a car like this is great.

Up to now, at that time, so good. But that, finally, brings us to the Clubman’s why: the wacky/funky/ cool/smart/retro (delete depending on your mood) rear doors. I’m going to cut a little slack. Of course, you can’t see properly. Yes, I have no doubt that they are heavier and more expensive than the single door, you will find on many of the Mini’s main rivals. And, yes, it is possible to check yourself between them if you are parked tight up against something. But they also make the car one of the most interesting cars to look at, so, to hell with the feature.

If you’re in the mood for one like this, there are a lot of Clubmans around, with a big price difference because of the options that you might press on it. Given this one was optioned up to nearly £30,000 means that it is worth around of his non-option retail price on the front-court. But you can get this style for less. And, if I had a good job, I could do it.

Mini Clubman long-term test review: test of the little brother

Regular readers might remember the last Mini-long-term test of the car we had before our current Clubman. It was a 2014 Cooper three-door hatchback, one of the first to the third generation of BMW’s Mini line, and I ended up buying the thing because I love it so much.

The purchase was a half-turn, Theresa may, would have been proud of. Previously, I was not a fan of what BMW has done to the Mini brand, making it somewhat of a caricature and fanciful parody of what it used to be. I thought it had become significantly cool in the process. However, I loved the new maturity in the new three-door hatchback. It was still very fun to drive when you wanted to, but not if it is draining or intense as the previous generations of Mini when you just wanted a relaxing trip.

I’ve still got the three-door Cooper, so I was intrigued to know how the Mini brand has evolved even further with the Clubman when Stan Papior leant me the keys to his for three weeks.

Which is quite hard to get your head around is just how similar the two cars are to drive. Mini gave the Clubman the same pointy front end and the direction of the fast and the answers that the small hatch, rather than the more mature of the dynamics that you might expect of a plusher and bigger car. When driving the Clubman, I found myself often doing a double-take in the rearview mirror to see just how far away the rear window was, and to confirm that I was not in my small car.

But I can’t say that I’m sold on the fact that the players in this way. It just feels a little weird and lacking in subtlety. On the one hand, the Mini’s interior has been made even more mature and more upscale. Even the Mini badge and logo of the company were amended to show that the Mini has become an adult. But on the other hand, it seems that the Mini can’t quite shake this needs to make its road cars in an intense way, something that I had thought that it had solved.

It’s a shame, because it has got the mix of fun and maturity absolutely bang-with the first model of this third generation of the range. However, successful growth of the company has been boosting sales and allowing more people to stay with the brand in the larger models, the Mini is the smallest car remains his best in my opinion.


Price £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy of 49.5 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 14.6.17

Mini Clubman long-term test review: split doors, which has divided opinion

The side-hinged double rear doors on the original Mini of the real estate – the wooden frame 1960 Austin Countryman, I mean – were there for very sensible reasons. The Countryman is more practical Mini, but it was still compact and inexpensive; the fact that the rear doors have been laterally meant that there were no complicated, expensive and cumbersome spring arrangements to keep a higher open tailgate.

A top-hinged tailgate would have to be larger and heavier than the Mini’s roof would probably have allowed without reinforcement. In addition, the Mini has been low, so that an upper hinges of the door, he would have had to limbo to get to the boot time. It is not surprising that the side-opening doors has been the answer.

Today, however, these arguments are not a matter of concern, that is why virtually all areas of come with tophinged tailgate. All with the exception of the Mini Clubman, which is.

However – and there is no other way to say it – it has its side-hinged rear doors, for the love of fashion and nostalgia. That are not necessarily bad reasons, of course.

In fact, I quite like the look of the back of the Clubman – more than the back of any other current Mini. I love the way its rear lights’ chunky surround adds muscle, width, and how they continue to go further into the body. But the distinction of the doors can be annoying. You can’t see easily, they need two windshield wipers and when you are parked near the front of a vehicle, and you open a door, followed by the other, you sometimes box yourself into a space between them.

But the other day, the split doors inadvertently became an economy through to a colleague travel to the beach, a screen to change, and for a toddler who needs a wee.

The modesty and good taste dictate that the photos of the extra-curricular activities with our cars are absent this time.

Otherwise, the Mini continues its path to impress in the pieces. The smaller cars that I try, the better the Mini entertainment, communications and sat-nav systems seem to be. The range of over 500 miles is great, too, although the drive itself is average. Still, happy to find a positive reason for the doors.


Price £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy from 49.9 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 12.4.17

Mini Clubman long-term test review: a mix of good and bad

The Mini remains a strange mix of brilliant and slightly irritating. I’ve never known a car to be filled with such extremes of good and evil. A car is usually consistently good or consistently poor, and in a BMW product, the more often the former.

Let’s start with the good.The beach is huge, with 49 litres for a net of over 500 miles. Then, there are some things that soothe the miles away, as this is basically BMW’s iDrive system, but with more cutesy graphics, the funky lighting inside and the fun way the Mini will assess how you are driving. Thanks to the Wizard Driving pack (£810 as an option), it will tell you all sorts of things, like if you go by car to someone, or that you don’t need to worry about the headlights yourself. There is a good big car features here.

Then there are the comments, which are small but annoying. The rear window is tiny, because it is a slave of style is to be expected. But the poor windshield wiper arc is not. The rear view mirror does not help; instead of a tab to raise it to not be blinded by following cars at night, the Clubman gets a rotary knob which is so stiff that I can barely turn.

And then there’s the direction, which is the light to the right of the front and way too fast to get to grips in the corners, as if Mini, the engineers knew that it was a bigger car, but wanted to keep this dynamic “Mini”. In a conflict of good and evil, then, I must turn the small wheel that surrounds the gearshift lever Sport. Which in turn gives maximum go-kart feel”, it is said here, but the firmer and the steering response translates into more strength in a straight line. But it does not stop the dial himself with whistling and rattling. Shame.


Price £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy 50.9 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 1.3.17

Mini Clubman long-term test review: the 1500-mile round-trip

With the family, shared between London, Yorkshire and Scotland, a large part of my time tends to be spent behind the wheel.

Then, when it was time to distribute long-term test cars between the road test team, I was secretly hoping to get something fun, beautiful and spacious, the requirements were largely met by one of our Mini Clubman.

The first challenge on the Mini calendar was a 470 mile trip to Glasgow. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is impressive deployment of the performance, the optional sport seats gave generous support, and the navigation system (also optional) displays clear and reliable instructions.

The only criticism that came at higher speeds, where the noise of the wind increased to a conversation-disturbing blast – no doubt the result of the Mini’s steep windshield.

Surprisingly, where the Clubman felt less at home was back on the very demanding country roads of East Yorkshire. Although Mini claims the Clubman has been tuned for “maximum go-kart feeling” for sport, the combination of its soft suspension and too fast of the rack results in a car that feels unstable and tend to agree with him-even through the quick direction changes – a feature that I’ve just not managed to get used to.

All was not lost, though. My bank account was grateful for the Clubman is impressive 52mpg (on average more than 1500 km) and the split tailgate, loading and unloading of my sister in a wheelchair to a relative simplicity. If the Clubman sported a more coherent, dynamic, Mini would have a real interesting alternative to the one of the main real estate on its hands.


Price £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy 52.0 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 30.11.16

Mini Clubman long-term test review: connectivity overload

Knowing that our Clubman regular keeper, Stan Papior, would soon treat his or her iPhone for a hilarious comedy case that to download an app for it that he was not sure he would, I thought I’d take a chance to run through the different added connectivity options that you can use with the car.

In my opinion, they are one of the best ways of the Clubman justifies its premium status. Our test car was fitted with the £1010 Media pack, which adds to its infotainment system up to ‘XL’ state and nearly $ 9.0 of the size of the screen, as well as the addition of a smartphone to load and something called Mini Connected XL.

The infotainment system is very good indeed, if you choose to participate, with the addition of the connectivity options or not. The primary function of the Mini Connected bits is to allow you to plot navigation routes before you get in the car and finish on foot. Sounds gimmicky, but it is impressive when the car has already sussed the situation of the traffic and knows where he is going as soon as you get in.

Added to this, you can download it I do not know how of online music sharing and streaming applications for use in the car, such as Spotify, Deezer and Napster. There’s an app for audio books called Audible, I fully intend to enjoy my next long trip, a GoPro app that can be synchronized with your dashcam and a Life360 application that will monitor your location for other members of your family.

I can’t say anything to my wife, but all in all I’m not sure how much more “connected” you feel like your tailgate.


Price £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy 49.6 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 2.11.16

Mini Clubman long-term test review: interior questions

It’s funny how your opinion on a car can change dramatically with a little time, the first wave of happiness turn into boredom, aversion, or hatred.

This is not as the catalyst for this change of mood, the same has to be particularly large. Sometimes the small details that make all the difference.

And so we come to the Clubman. I would say that one of its finest attributes is its interior, a stylish and well built, which will prompt you with leather seating, flexible, high quality finishes and enough Mininess to make it more interesting alternative to the ubiquity of the Audi A3.

Even if, inside of this cabin is something that would grate if I had to drive this car every day. Surprisingly, it is not to do with practicality. (It may not be as spacious as a A3 Sportback, but it is perfectly acceptable.)

No, it’s the interior lighting that really grinds my gears – more specifically, the Led which surround the central infotainment screen. No matter what you do they always seem to be flashes of one color or another. Switch driving modes and color changes. Increase the volume of the stereo and the lights flash. Having the sat-nav and they signal your approach to a turning point.

In the course of the day, this is not really a problem.If anything, the sat-nav linkup can be quite handy. Try to drive the Clubman on the night, however, and the Lights go out from a fun light show to a serious source of distraction.

Where a infotainment display is adjusted to take account of the darkness, the Clubman’s LEDs continue to be amazed with the ferocity of a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox. Factor in their continuous evolution of the color and brightness and you feel like reaching for the duck tape to cover them.

Since then, I’ve found a sub-menu to the main display, which allows you to adjust the brightness of the disco lights at night or turn them off completely. Hope that this means that the duck tape will not be necessary…


Price new £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy 49.6 mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 12.10.16

Mini Clubman long-term test review: first report

“A Mini?” I said. “I’m a photographer. Do you not know how many things I need to carry? I’m not certain tendency of young people Islington real estate agent who can get away with a mark, a dark green three-door supermini you spend £20 000.”

“Stan,” they said, “no, real estate agents have executed brand Minis since 2004, and the Mini is not a three-door supermini. They are much bigger now. Good cars. This one is a five, well, actually, technically, a sixdoor tailgate. In fact, technically, it is not a hatch either, more of an estate, and although it is the price starts with one of the two, it is only because it is so carefully optioned that it is £175 away from the start with three.”

The Mini Clubman is take a premium family hatchback, then. It is based on the same platform as the Mini, but with custom suspension, 4.2-metre long body and a layout which is much more convenient than the previous Clubman. This car had a rear side door but only one side of the car on the right or the wrong side of curb parking in the united KINGDOM. This place has limited appeal, but if the number of Clubmans I’ve seen on the road since its launch last year, it is less true this time. In fact, only these two-the opening of the rear doors to prevent it from being fully classic sedan.

This Clubman has arrived at the motor Coach Tours in the Cooper D specification, which means that his on-the-road price is £21,810 before the options, that are a little fitted. There is a full list on the opposite page, but the most obvious are a Media Pack (£1010), which includes navigation and a better connectivity and the £2785 Chili Pack, which brings seat upgrades, climate control and separate driving modes. Other options are important to me will be a loading system (£200) and baggage separation net (£155).

First impressions? From a stack-it-with-kit point of view, the boot floor is a little high and the roof a little and, at 360 litres with the seats in place, load capacity is smaller than I am used to it. But then, I just got out of a Skoda Superb Estate, in the vicinity of which the average of your crosschannel ferry feels small. The Mini will do just fine.

By car, the Clubman is a mixed, for the most part enjoyable bag. It is smaller, lighter, and more agile than the Superb, and the Mini is always ready to give its cars – even the largest – that the “maximum go-kart feel sports” of which he speaks. So the car responds very quickly to steering movements. It is a bit strange quirk in his nature. This is not as firmly sprung as a classic of the Mini hatch, despite being in Cooper specification, so that it feels to me like it is more rapid in the response that the suspension is really ready for. I think I’ll get used to it.

I have already grown accustomed to the powertrain, a 2.0-liter diesel making 148bhp. It is good for 0-62mph in 8.6 sec, apparently, which is totally believable. But the best things about it is that it is quiet and refined. It is relatively hushed at idle and quite capable of revving, and the first observations are that it will return in excess of 50mpg.

Most of the time, I’m the only one hanging out around me, often with work clothes, so the fact that it is less spacious at the rear cabin of the Superb – and, more to the point, most of its original elements of the class competitors is not a big deal. I can sit on the back seat, and take car of follow-up photos of the back of the window comfortably enough, and this is my strange, but to gauge the standard of habitability, and often I photograph carried on the inside of the boot. That the rear doors come as a pair of means, I should be able to open and shoot out of it, with the other, which makes me feelingmore secured inside. If the open door is obstructing my point of view is one of the odder, less worldly and more relevant tests, we’re going to put it in…

And finally, even if it is an adult Mini, it would not, I suppose, a Mini it was not equipped with a pretty funky interior. There is a speedometer and rev counter in front of the diddy (optional) the steering wheel, while the navigation and other infotainment options to take a position in the centre of the dashboard. They are custom Mini items, but the controller is clearly derived from the iDrive system of Mini’s parent company, BMW. That means it all works wonderfully well and is a lesson on how you can get a system to operate very effectively without going back to a touch screen, thus avoiding the grubby finger marks on the dashboard.

As I wrote, the Mini has been with us for a matter of days, so I’m still learning about it and confirms what our road test concluded: that as an alternative to the ordinary, it is a bit of an impostor, but a very friendly, naughty. That feels about right so far.

Stan Papior


Price new £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Options Pack Chile (inc sports seats, storage compartment, heated seats) £2785, Media Pack (nav, Bluetooth, enhanced) £1010, leather trim £815, driving assistant pack £810, alloy wheels 18 inch £670, metallic paint £515, park sensors for £335, Burgundy, interior for £320, through the system of loading of 200 pounds, luggage compartment net £155, anthracite rooflining £150, leather-wrapped steering wheel £125, silver roof £125 Economy 50.9 mpg Faults None Expenses None