The New & Improved MINI Cooper Clubman
Sure, there are cars you instantly recognize as they drive by. Their makes and models are so ubiquitous, so common, that you could identify them in your sleep. And then, there are the others. The elite. The exclusive. The ones you not only recognize – but desire. The MINI Cooper is one of them. This vehicle is so iconic that it’s become a symbol of agility, speed, and control. The MINI Cooper Clubman is an outstanding update on the previous version. With a few changes, MINI has done the impossible: made a classic even better.
What Changed With The MINI Cooper Clubman?
What makes this MINI Cooper Clubman distinct from last year’s edition? The beloved British automaker has redesigned a few key elements, starting with the quirks that were a bit frustrating for some people. Components like the center-mounted speedometer and the awkwardly-placed window switches that were, for reasons that escaped most drivers, located on the console, have all disappeared.
The designers listened to consumers and adjusted the very few things that we found vexing. Now the window switch is where you’d expect it, on the door, and the speedometer is also intuitively positioned. But, of course, a MINI Cooper wouldn’t be a MINI Cooper if it didn’t have a large circle element in the center of the dash. And the MINI Cooper Clubman definitely has that. This time, however, the designers have realized that this space is the perfect location for an infotainment screen.
And, even more fun, the ring around the distinctive circle is illuminated with LED lighting so it can be changed to a number of different colors. The interior of the vehicle is so much fun that you’ll find yourself delaying arrival at your destination in order to spend a little more time inside the Clubman.
MINI Inside and Out
The Clubman is, of course, a bigger version of the classic MINI Cooper and you will certainly feel the extra space. This makes the bigger – though equally sleek – Clubman ideal for busy professionals or those with families, friends, pets, and/or gear for the next adventure.
The vehicle has about 6 more feet of space than the traditional MINI Cooper. Keep in mind, however, that the headroom for passengers in the rear of the Clubman doesn’t change. Due to the slightly sloping roof, any rear passengers who are over 6 feet tall will likely find that they don’t have the most comfortable of rides. They will have plenty of legroom, thanks to the fact that the seat backs of the front seats are sculpted for optimal space usage. Still, the headroom will be a tight fit. For kids or furry friends? No problem.
It’s also important to note, for those who aren’t familiar with the MINI Cooper Clubman,, how the rear doors open. Unlike traditional family vehicles, which often have a hatchback, the Clubman offers a unique touch: suicide doors. The front doors open as usual, while the back are hinged at the rear instead of the front. This makes it easy to fit large objects in the rear of the vehicle. Some rear passengers may also find it easier to enter and exit the Clubman thanks to this door design. (Bonus: it manages to add both old-world charm and contemporary appeal.)
Driving the Mini Cooper Clubman
While the space is fantastic, what’s under the hood is also worthy of discussion. The base model has a 1.5 liter turbocharged I3 engine which can handle 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. It does take almost 9 seconds to hit 60 mph, but if you’re looking for a vehicle for your family or to haul gear or equipment, you’ll find that what the Clubman lacks in start-up acceleration it makes up for in power. If you opt for the manual 2016 MINI Clubman, You’ll gain a lot more control – and you may just shave a few seconds off that 0-60 time.
While it might not be the zippiest vehicle in the MINI Cooper line, it’s one of the most fun to drive. Twisty highways are easier than ever to navigate thanks to the wide stance of the car, and the suspension that BMW has added makes the ride extremely smooth. So smooth, in fact, we’d hazard a guess that you could drive the MINI Cooper Clubman on almost any type of uneven road and still keep the baby in the back asleep.
From it’s quirky, eminently recognizable style to its power and comfortable ride, the MINI Cooper Clubman is truly one of the most perfect family cars out there. It looks great, drives even better, and has a delightful interior. It’s a total – immediately recognizable – package of driving exhilaration.
Visit a trusted dealer and test drive a MINI Cooper. If you’ve craved the excitement of these British beauties but needed more space, the Clubman has the solution.