We all still reckon that the 'Mini' is a mini car, right? But, that was the old days. When I asked one of Mini's executives a couple of years ago about growing the range of Mini, he answered that I was seeing it from an outside perspective and because Mini's loyal customers requested it!
So this is the second generation Mini Clubman under BMW Group and surprisingly the 3rd generation of the Clubman model. We land in Stockholm to give you our first impressions.
The new generation of the MINI model family continues to grow. With the new MINI Clubman it now conquers the premium compact segment, too. The new model offers the highest level of everyday practicality, long distance suitability, versatility and ride comfort ever seen in a MINI. With four doors and the characteristic split doors at the rear, five fully-fledged seats and a generously sized, versatile interior, the new MINI Clubman meets all the requirements of the compact class in terms of functionality in its own unconventional way. Individual style, outstanding driving fun and the quality level of a premium automobile make it an exceptional phenomenon that allows additional target groups to get a taste of the distinctive MINI feeling.
The matured character of the new MINI Clubman is reflected in dimensions that are significantly larger than the predecessor model, a distinctive body concept, high-quality materials and finish quality and also new features in the areas of drive, suspension comfort, safety, controls and connectivity based on the latest MINI generation. Its status as the largest representative of the new MINI generation is also clearly shown in comparison with the MINI 5 door. The new MINI Clubman is 27 centimeters longer and 9 centimeters wider than the latter, while its wheelbase is 10 centimeters larger. Its luggage compartment has a volume of 360 liters, which can be extended to as much as 1,250 liters by folding down the rear backrest with its 40: 20: 40 split.
The split doors with their striking metal surround are the most striking feature at the rear of the new MINI Clubman. The central bar between the glass sections of the two side-opening wings is significantly narrower than in the predecessor model, thereby optimizing the view to the rear. The split doors are opened by means of a dual-section door handle finished in chrome. Non-contact opening of the split doors is possible in combination with the optional Comfort Access function. If the driver has the car key on them, it is sufficient to make a foot movement under the rear apron to trigger automatic opening.
Five fully-fledged seats, convenient access, plenty of freedom to move for all occupants and a versatile luggage compartment are the salient features of the MINI Clubman as it advances into the premium compact segment. The generous space and comprehensive redesign of the interior ensure that the driving fun so characteristic of the brand can be enjoyed in a unique ambience.
The central instrument typical of the brand is integrated in the instrument panel of the new MINI Clubman in especially harmonious style. Fitted either with a two-color 2.7-inch display or a 6.5 or 8.8-inch color screen, depending on equipment features, it serves as a display for vehicle, infotainment, phone and navigation functions and has an LED ring surround which can optionally respond to the current situation on the road and to specific operating procedures by means of an interactive lighting display. The selection and control of all functions is facilitated by a Controller in the center console which comes in conjunction with the Radio MINI Visual Boost, the MINI navigation system or the MINI navigation system Professional.
The new MINI One Clubman and the new MINI Cooper Clubman, which are powered by 3 cylinder petrol engine with 136 hp, the new MINI Cooper S Clubman also lines up for the start with a 4 cylinder petrol engine and 192 hp and the 8 speed Steptronic transmission available as an option for the MINI Cooper S Clubman.
I honestly liked it. It put a smile on my face for the whole week. I came away impressed, and the more I drove it, the more I liked it. It is a unique and funky car with 6 doors and has no direct competition in terms of design and functionalities. The new Clubman can be reflected a future achievement. It's not as agile to drive as a Mini hatch, but it is more comfy!
One word: 6 doors with 4 wipers
Pros: extra space, comfortable seats, cool looks, agile ride
Cons: distressing head-up display system, optional steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters
Rivals: Fiat 500L, VW Golf SportWagen
Mini Cooper Clubman
1.5L Turbocharged, inline 3 cylinders, 136 hp @ 4,400 rpm, 220 Nm @ 1,250 rpm (230 Nm over-boost)
6 speed Steptronic transmission, FWD/AWD
0-100 kph: 9.1 secs, top speed: 205 kph, fuel consumption: 5.1-5.3 /100 km
Weight: 1320-1395 kg
Mini Cooper S Clubman
2.0L Turbocharged, inline 4 cylinders, 192 hp @ 5,000 rpm, 280 Nm @ 1,250 rpm (300 Nm over-boost)
8 speed Steptronic transmission, FWD/AWD
0-100 kph: 7.1 secs, top speed: 228 kph, fuel consumption: 5.8-5.9 L/ 100 km
Weight: 1390-1465 kg