MINI Clubman Estate 1.5 Cooper Sport 6dr [Comfort/Nav+ Pack]
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
The first modern-era MINI Clubman was launched in 2007 as the first truly practical MINI - but came with one key drawback: you couldn't have two rear passenger doors. This second generation model not only corrects that oversight but is also smarter, better equipped, higher-tech and more efficient. But can it set itself apart from the Hatch 5-Door and Countryman models in MINI's range? Let's see.
It's hard to think of a modernday motoring success story to rival that of BMW's MINI. The Bavarians took the 60s design concept, super-sized it and made it the ultimate automotive fashion accessory for the early years of the 21st Century. But the car's cheeky compact size was both its greatest draw and its only real limiting factor. If the same design could be produced with a dash more practicality, couldn't many more customers be persuaded to join the great MINI Adventure? The prospect was tempting, but the problem for the German designers was in creating a truly versatile family car that kept the original three-door model's essential MINI-ness. They'd already watched rivals Mercedes struggle - and fail - to develop the smart brand in the same way. What they eventually came up with in 2007 was this model, the MINI Clubman, an estate car, but not as we knew it. Curious, quirky and thoroughly individualistic, it was a perfect fit for a brand that has always been all those things. Nine years later, we got that car's successor, this MK2 model Clubman. With five proper doors this time round, a smarter look, extra space and all the MINI brand's latest technology, it's an intriguing prospect. What we're looking at here is a usefully revised version of that car.
So what's it like on the road? A little different from the MINI norm is the answer - but thankfully, not too different. No, it doesn't feel quite as sharp and frisky as the 5 Door Hatch model to drive, but then this is a larger, heavier car. Anyway, compensation comes with better refinement and far superior ride quality thanks to a purpose-designed multi-link rear suspension system. If you want to tweak the damping, an optional 'Variable Damper Control' control system allows you to do it, working through the 'Green', 'MID' and 'Sport' settings of the 'MINI Driving Modes' system, another extra-cost feature. There's a familiar range of engines under the bonnet. There's a three cylinder 1.5-litre petrol unit with 136hp in the 'Cooper' version, while the Cooper S gets a 2.0-litre four cylinder petrol engine with 192hp. If you want a diesel (a rare thing in a MINI of almost any sort these days), there's a 2.0-litre powerplant with 150hp in the 'Cooper D'. Standard with all the engines is a six-speed manual gearbox - with 7-speed Steptronic automatic transmission optional on the petrol variants. There's no performance reduction if you do decide on the auto option. In fact, the eight-speed units actually reduce the 0-62mph times.
Design and Build
A MINI Clubman should always be distinctive amongst a sea of look-alike family hatches; it still is. Changes with this revised model are minimal, perhaps the most notable one being the re-designed grille, which now extends across the entire bumper. With a sleeker structure for the air inlet, it gives the front view a more distinctive appearance. The grille is bordered by a slim frame produced from a single piece. There are also re-styled circular LED headlamps. The grille is bordered by a slim frame produced from a single piece. There are also re-styled circular LED headlamps. If your experience of BMW-engineered Clubmans goes back to the first generation version, you'll be pleased to find that the unique Minivan-style split rear doors for the loadbay still remain, though buyers these days have the option of opening them at the push of a button on the key fob or by waggling a foot under the rear bumper. The rear lights now get full-LED illumination and are mounted on the rear doors, helping make the Clubman appear broader. The same effect is achieved by the wide-spaced twin exhausts on the Cooper S. There are still plenty of MINI design touches inside too, including toggle switches, lashings of chrome and a circular theme running through the cabin. Look down at the wheel and you'll also notice the BMW 'i-Drive' style rotary controller which was introduced in the MINI hatch, this feature promising easy navigation of the built-in infotainment system which includes sat-nav on all models. The boot size is a respectable 360-litres - or 1250-litres with the rear seats down.
Market and Model
There are three trim levels - 'Classic', 'Sport' and 'Exclusive' - and prices start from just over £21,000. Overall, the sums being asked are right around what you'll pay for an equivalent Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class or BMW 1-Series. If you're a keen driver, then the Clubman's performance and promise of go kart-like handling may be enough to seal the deal. Instead of the standard 6-speed manual transmission, a 7-speed Steptronic transmission with double clutch is optionally available for the MINI Cooper Clubman and the MINI Cooper S Clubman. A 7-speed Steptronic sports transmission is also optionally available for the MINI Cooper S Clubman. Fresh options include fresh body colours and a new sports suspension set-up. Standard equipment levels are pretty generous. Even 'Classic' variants get a 6.5" colour infotainment screen, intelligent emergency call via an embedded 4G SIM card, a DAB digital radio, 'Apple CarPlay 'phone connectivity, ambient lighting, exterior MINI logo projection and automatic headlights with rain sensor. 'Sport' models include John Cooper Works Aerodynamic Kit and Spoiler, John Cooper Works Alloy Wheels, Sports Suspension, John Cooper Works Bucket Seats, John Cooper Works Steering Wheel and an anthracite interior headliner. 'Exclusive' trim gives you upgraded 'Exclusive' alloy wheels, a chrome line exterior finish, 'MINI Yours' Lounge leather upholstery, a 'MINI Yours' leather steering wheel, 'MINI Yours' interior trim and an interior chrome line finish. Across the range, expect the usual range of MINI safety features, including ABS, stability control, traction control and optional adaptive cruise control.
Cost of Ownership
The 1.5-litre petrol 'Cooper' variant is notably economic, in manual form managing up to 50.4mpg (WLTP-rated) and up to 127g/km of CO2 (NEDC-rated). For the auto version, the figures are 53.3mpg and 120g/km. For the 2.0-litre petrol Cooper S, you're looking at up to 44.1mpg and 145g/km in manual form or up to 51.4mpg and 125g/km as an auto. For the 2.0-litre diesel, the readings are up to 65.7mpf and up to 113g/km as a manual or up to 67.3mpg and up to 111g/km as an auto. Buyers should expect a standard 3 year 60,000 mile warranty, with fixed price servicing under MINI's TLC scheme a worthwhile option. Residuals have always been a MINI strongpoint, so your Clubman should retain a good chunk of its value when you come to sell. Just make sure you don't go overboard on the extensive options list. Speaking of options, try to keep any paint combinations on the tasteful side to maximise resale value.
The designers have done their damnedest to make this second generation Clubman a distinct and desirable model in its own right. The result is characterful but distinctly MINI - just as potential buyers will want. If you need a practical car from this brand and find the Hatch 5-Door model too small and the Countryman Crossover too quirky, then the Clubman may be for you a perfect fit. It certainly makes its BMW 2 Series Active Tourer donor car look a little bland. True, the 2.0-litre engines further up the range aren't quite as efficient as those you'll find in rivals but MINI is close enough to the pace in this regard for that not to matter very much. It all means that if you want something compact but practical and a bit different, then this Clubman will probably suit. Either way, potential owners have to be people unafraid to fly in the face of convention. If that's you, then a bigger MINI adventure beckons.
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Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.