On sale now from £19,995, the new MINI Clubman is the third prong in the new MINI family, and carries the task of widening the British brand’s appeal to more family-orientated customers.
Until next year’s new MINI Countryman, the new Clubman is the largest MINI on sale. With a length of 4,253mm, a width of 1,800mm and a wheelbase measuring 2,670mm, it’s 270mm longer and 73mm wider than the outgoing Clubman. It’s noticeably longer and wider than the current MINI Countryman too and is our first proof of MINI’s plans to bump both Clubman and Countryman up a class.
MINI’s load-lugger uses BMW’s UKL1 platform, as already used on the MINI Hatch and both the BMW 2 Series Active and Gran Tourers. Consequently the Clubman will be now taking on big players in the compact estate market like the Volkswagen Golf rather than the Skoda Fabia Estate – a car the old Clubman could call a rival.
New MINI Clubman – how practical is it?
The newcomer’s arrival also spells the end of British buyers having to compromise when considering the MINI estate. The old Clubman famously had a quirky ‘Clubdoor’ – a two-door arrangement with a third half door on the driver’s side, which become unpopular among Brits for being unpractical. The new one ditches it and conforms to a more traditional layout of four side doors, but keeps the old car’s retro twin ‘barn’ boot doors at the rear – the Clubman’s nod to the original Morris Mini Traveller and Austin Mini Countryman of the 1960s.
Open the cute split doors – or wave your foot under the bumper if the Comfort Access function is selected on the options list – and there’s a 360-litre boot that can be expanded to 1,250 by folding the rear seats down. As standard the Clubman comes with a rear seat back that tumbles 60:40 with an option of 40:20:40 if required, while a storage package is also available featuring a variable boot floor, additional storage, lash-down points, cargo nets and a 90-degree position for the seat backs.
New MINI Clubman interior design
Speaking of the interior, the Clubman does not pinch the Hatch’s dashboard instead there’s a unique design for the air conditioning controls and the dash wraps round to the doors. MINI’s typical circular central instrument binnacle features though, with 6.5- or 8.8-inch screens available, and there’s a multitude of different trim and upholstery choices.
New options include memory front seats and the MINI Excitement Pack which includes customisable interior ambient lighting and the MINI logo projected onto the ground from the driver’s mirror. MINI expects 50 per cent of Clubman buyers to choose the £2,875 Chili pack that adds kit like heated sports seats with cloth/leather upholstery, Comfort Access, park distance control, automatic air conditioning and LED headlights and foglights.
MINI Clubman: engines and prices
Prices start at £19,995 for the Cooper powered by a 134bhp 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine – it gets from 0-62mph in 9.1sec, tops 127mph, returns 55.4mpg and CO2 emissions of 118g/km. Diesel fans will opt for the Cooper D at £22,265 which returns 68.9mpg and emits 109g/km of CO2 from its 148bhp four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel. The 0-62mph sprint takes 8.6 seconds and its top speed is 132mph.
Until a John Cooper Works version arrives – likely to appear in mid-2016 – the Cooper S is the hottest version and uses a 189bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol. It gets to 62mph in 7.2 seconds and tops 142mph with CO2 emissions of 144g/km and a combined fuel consumption of 45.6mpg.
We can expect there to be a performance derv, too in shape of a 168bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel SD Clubman, and a three-cylinder petrol plug-in hybrid version – rumoured to appear in the next Countryman – could also feature in the line-up.
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