It’s hard not to like MINI. Prior to BMW taking them over, the had iconic status – and it wasn’t just because of the Italian Job. This car has history, and more importantly, it always had personality. Mr. Bean couldn’t have driven anything else. When BMW came along and took over, they could have made a mess of it… but in fairness, they didn’t. They maintained the personality that we all know and love. In case we’ve never said it before… well done BMW. This is the largest of the MINI range. The MINI Clubman is 270mm longer and 30mm wider – which makes it practical. In fact, it’s not a bad family car.
The MINI Clubman comes with a good mix of diesel or petrol engines. All diesel power is delivered through a 2.0 litre engine and they can offer either 150 hp, 190 hp or 116 hp. These are available with either an automatic or a manual gearbox. There is just one petrol engine and it offers 192 hp. Once again, these can be mapped to either gearbox. Both diesel and petrol models also offer all-wheel drive.
One the road, this is a fun car to drive. The steering is heavy though which means that it’s just not as much fun as a standard-sized MINI. It’s also not as agile on corners, of course this could have something to do with the longer wheelbase and the extra weight of the vehicle. Still though, it is a nice car to drive when you’re not taking corners with too much gusto.
This is a little bit noisy on the inside, which is a pity. It suffers from wind noise on the motorway and some road noise slips into the cabin. This only comes through at higher speeds though. In the cities, this is a refined machine.
We really like the build quality in all new MINIs. You can certainly see where being owned by BMW is advantageous. The seats are very comfortable and it’s hard to find a more interesting (if not entertaining) dash.
MINI only scored 4 out of 5-stars in the Euro NCAP. It scored 90% for adult occupancy, 68% for child occupancy, 68% for pedestrian safety and 67% for safety assist programmes. These come with forward collision warning systems and are available with Video Adaptive Cruise Control.
In terms of space, this is certainly the most versatile MINI that is available. The boot offers 360 litres, which is not excellent. The back row is good for two adults or three children. The split rear doors are good for getting awkward luggage into a car – but make sure you are not parked near to another car or a wall as they open outward.