The Mini Cooper Clubman was designed to fill a gap in the brand's lineup, albeit for a body style that not many automakers are investing in. This subcompact wagon offers similar passenger and cargo space advantages to the larger Countryman, while still boasting impressive performance and handling like the Cooper Hardtop. The latter is thanks to a turbo-four engine that makes 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, which can be sent to the front or all four wheels. This makes it difficult to pigeonhole, and likely rivals in the car market are few, with only higher-riding crossover wagons such as the Subaru Outback, the more expensive Volvo V60 Cross Country, and the Clubman's own Mini Cooper Countryman stablemate offering a broadly similar form factor at a comparable price. It can be had with enough luxuries to warrant the price of the upper trims, but is it really on the same level as its European rivals, or is this Mini just pretending to be all grown up?
The new Mini Cooper Clubman wagon returns for 2023 without any significant changes aside from a new special-edition model called the Untold Edition. It has bespoke exterior styling that includes bright brass accents, more aerodynamic front and rear aprons, and dark green-finished lower body surrounds. To really stand out, it also gets a set of five parallel sport stripes across the hood and roof. With a $29,900 MSRP, the price of a new Mini Cooper Clubman wagon in base guise is the same $29,900 as last year.
The starting price of the 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman is $29,900 in its most basic form, while the Signature sub-trim adds $3,325 and the Iconic $5,800. With the same set of sub-trims, the Clubman ALL4 will cost you at least $32,755. The destination charge is a modest $995 and is not included in these prices.
See trim levels and configurations:
No matter how it looks, a Mini is only as good as it feels, and the 2023 Clubman definitely lives up to the name, although you have to make some concessions for its size. It may not be as nimble as the Hardtop, but it has more than enough power to move its bulk. In a straight line, it feels particularly athletic, but corners don't present any problems either. It's quick, and the steering is responsive and accurate, but a focus on handling means sacrifices in other areas. The suspension is overly firm, so it lacks the ride quality one would expect from a wagon. The Dynamic Damper Control that comes standard on the Signature and Iconic sub-trims allows the driver to switch to a more comfortable setting, though. And when you switch back to a sportier setting, the manual transmission ensures a high level of engagement. Of course, if a less hands-on approach is more your speed, there are two quick-shifting automatic gearboxes on offer.
The 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman tries to do a little bit of everything, but this unfocused approach may do more to hurt the car than help it appeal to a broader audience. It may have a bit more passenger and cargo space, but it is heavier and not as much fun to drive as its siblings. Still, it's more fun than your typical wagon, in typical Mini fashion, but it isn't as comfortable or roomy as competitors in the segment. The upper sub-trims are well-appointed and feel as good as they look, but advanced driver-assistance tech is still a little lacking. In review, the Mini Cooper Clubman is a more practical kind of fun, but its lack of focus hurts it more than its broadside approach to appeal helps it. If the price were a bit lower, we'd feel more confident calling it a good car, but as things stand, you can find several better options in the USA.
As with most Minis, the 2023 Cooper Clubman range consists of just a few models that can be further upgraded through the sub-trim customizations. The ALL4 offers superior traction, but unless you live in a state that requires all-weather capability, there is no reason to add even more to an already high price tag. However, upgrading to at least the Signature sub-trim is a must, as this gives you the Dynamic Damper Control that helps make the stiff suspension a little easier to live with. You also get a few new gadgets and do-dads like navigation and more upscale upholstery. We'd also suggest sticking with the manual transmission since the Clubman only really makes sense if you're going to play with it a bit.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman: