2016 MINI Clubman vs. 2016 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen

September 10, 2017

2016 MINI Clubman | Braman MINI

When we’re young we often dream of having a high-end luxury car. As we get older, however, we become more practical and realize that while there are definitely occasions to own a luxury car, there are also times when you need something a little bigger and less ostentatious. That’s when a wagon is a great option. Not to worry; these aren’t the wood-paneled monsters of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. The body style – and amenities – have changed quite a bit in recent years.


The Mini Clubman and the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen are two of the most popular wagons, or “highway cruisers,” if you’d rather, available in today’s market. When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to see that while the cars have a few similarities, several key factors distinguish one from the other. How, then, can one know whether to purchase a new or used Mini Clubman or a Golf SportWagen?


The Numbers

In the world of vehicles, the numbers tell the tale. These specs highlight the contrasts between these two high-end cars.


The Car Mini Clubman Golf SportWagen
Engine Inline 4 Inline 4
Horsepower 134 hp 170 hp
Torque 162 pounds – feet 184 pounds – feet
Top Speed 124 mph 126 mph
0 – 60 Acceleration 6.6 seconds 7.6 seconds
Transmission 8 speed automatic 5 speed manual
Fuel Economy City / Highway 27 mpg / 34 mpg 18 mpg / 26 mpg


The Look

One factor that draws people to 2016 Mini dealers instead of heading straight to the VW dealership is the look of the Mini. Minis have become tremendously popular since they were introduced into the US from Britain. Their unique, boxy look, coupled with serious power, makes them not only instantly recognizable but also a fun and fuel efficient ride.


The Mini Clubman features the classic lines you love but the 2016 model has added more cargo space and replaced the hatchback with two doors that open in opposition. When you are loading or unloading groceries, gear, or luggage, this design makes the process that much easier.


In comparison, the Golf SportWagen looks much more similar to the traditional wagon that most of us envision. It has the typical four door entry with hatchback in the rear, as well as the elongated shape of a typical wagon.


The Handling

Something most drivers and even critics can agree on: the Golf SportWagen handles and rides beautifully. It has a well-damped suspension system and that, when coupled with tightly controlled body movement and a larger wheelbase, gives it stability and a very smooth feel.


But as 2016 Mini dealers will tell you, the Clubman definitely holds its own in regards to handling. Even though it is a bit heavier than the traditional Mini, the Clubman has fantastically sharp steering and has been found to respond very nimbly on curves, twists, and turns.


Why would someone opt for a used Mini Clubman over the VW Golf SportWagen? One reason is because of the style; there is nothing quite like a Mini Cooper in regards to aesthetics. Another is because of how quiet the car is. While it handles comparably to the SportWagen, and has similar power and fuel economy, the Mini Clubman has been found to be extremely quiet both outside of the vehicle and on the inside as well. (Quiet not included if you have a family!)


Test drive the Clubman and the SportWagen to see which fits your life – and your definition of a great vehicle – best. You’ll see you don’t have to give up your dream of a high-end luxury car; you just have to redefine it a bit!


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