The Mini Cooper Clubman is an interesting amalgamation of the fun and perky Mini Cooper and the more practical wagon-style hatchbacks that are becoming increasingly popular on city streets. It certainly looks like a Mini, especially from the front, but it's a bit longer to accommodate the larger wheelbase. This gives it a more spacious cabin, but works against it when it comes to driving dynamics. For 2020, Mini has done away with the popular turbocharged three-cylinder engine in favor of the stronger turbo four-pot, which delivers 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive is the standard, but Mini's ALL4 four-wheel drivetrain sets the Clubman apart from much of the competition. Still, even the more sensible wagon lacks true practicality. With a pretty high starting price and slightly subpar fuel economy, it may be hard to justify this would-be hot hatch.
While not completely redesigned, the Mini Cooper Clubman has been refreshed for 2020. The grille has been updated with a mesh design and the headlights offer extra sub-trim options. But there are more than just aesthetic changes. The entire line-up has been trimmed down, with only the Cooper S and Cooper S All4 being offered this year. The turbocharged three-cylinder engine has also been deleted along with the manual transmission. New standard features include forward collision avoidance and LED taillights, while available features include LED fog lights, Chesterfield leather upholstery, and a variety of styling options.
See trim levels and configurations:
There is no mistaking a Mini for anything else, the styling is iconic - even if the shape changes. The Clubman is the subcompact wagon version of the classic Mini, stretching the stubby car a bit longer but keeping the same 1960s style with large round headlights and a broad, smiling lower grille. These signature elements can now be outlined in Piano Black instead of the standard Chrome, and the grille features a mesh pattern for the new year. Fog lights come standard on every model, while LED fog-, head-, and taillights are available on the upper sub-trims. The Classic and Signature ride on 17-inch alloy wheels as standard, with 18-inch alloys carrying the top-tier Iconic.
While it may be a bit longer than a standard Mini Cooper, the Clubman is still a very compact vehicle. The short 105.1-inch wheelbase is housed within a 168.3-inch body. Not accounting for the side mirrors, the car can fit into tight spaces thanks to its width of 70.9 inches. Short and sporty is the name of the game, so the Clubman stands only 56.7 inches tall, and weighs in on the light side with a starting weight of 3,333 pounds, which maxes out at 3,609 on the ALL4 sub-trim.
A selection of eleven colors makes up the palette for the Mini Cooper Clubman. The base Classic sub-trim offers only Moonwalk Grey at no extra charge, with Midnight Black, Pepper White, and Chili Red available for $500. Only a body-color roof and mirror caps are offered on the Classic. The Signature gets the same palette, all at no extra cost, along with Thunder Grey, Melting Silver, White Silver, Coral Red Metallic, Starlight Blue, and British Racing Green IV Metallic. Both the Signature and Iconic can be outfitted with Black, White, or Melting Silver roofs and mirror caps, while the latter adds Mini Yours Enigmatic Black Metallic to the standard palette.
Designed for performance, the Cooper Clubman is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 189 hp and 207 lb-ft to either the front wheels or all four wheels. The front-wheel-drive models come with a seven-speed automatic gearbox, while the all-wheel-drive versions get an eight-speed automatic transmission.
In its standard front-wheel-drive guise, the Clubman can make the 0-60 mph sprint in around seven seconds, but while this is pretty brisk, it's not quite as quick as a true hot hatch. Opting for the all-wheel drivetrain slows acceleration down, if only slightly. On the open road, the Mini is rated for a top speed of around 142 mph.
For top performance, though, you should be looking at the John Cooper Works Clubman, which we review separately.
For 2020, the turbocharged three-cylinder engine was dropped from the line-up, leaving only the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Developing 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, this engine comes mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox on the Cooper S and an eight-speed on the Cooper S All4.
In either configuration, the engine is more than powerful enough to move the subcompact with athletic zest. However, the extra weight of the wagon-style body does hold the Clubman back a little. Getting around town and passing on the highway requires only minor effort applied to the gas pedal. Both transmissions are smooth to shift, but some drivers will certainly miss the available manual gearbox of yesteryear.
Handling is what Minis are all about, and the Clubman certainly doesn't disappoint. However, it doesn't impress as much as some of its siblings, either. There is more than enough power on tap, but the longer wheelbase and the extra weight of the wagon-style design work against the Clubman when it comes to the fun factor. True driving enthusiasts will also bemoan the lack of a manual transmission, but at least both of the two available automatic gearboxes are quite smooth and precise.
Where most hatchbacks or smaller SUVs are well-mannered on the road, the Clubman is cheeky, instead. It's not quite as playful as the standard Mini Cooper, but it will definitely tease the thrillseeker in you. Acceleration is quick, and the steering is responsive while still providing plenty of feedback. However, all this feel comes at the expense of ride comfort. The Clubman's suspension is certainly firmer than the average city hatchback.
Despite its extra weight and longer dimensions, the Mini Cooper Clubman is quite nimble on the road, and it leans eagerly into turns rather than lurching ominously. Mid-corner bumps can upset it quite a bit, though, especially with the larger wheels available. Overall, the Clubman is fun to drive, but is it fun enough to warrant the price tag and sacrifices in practicality? Probably not.
As small and zippy as it is, the Mini Clubman gets pretty decent fuel economy, but it still falls slightly short of the competition. In its front-wheel-drive guise, the Clubman gets an EPA-estimated 26/34/29 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. The ALL4 doesn't perform quite as well at 23/32/26 mpg. By comparison, similar hatchbacks like the Hyundai Elantra GT and Honda Civic get 25/32/28 mpg and 29/35/32 mpg in their most efficient guises, respectively. The Golf SportWagen does a bit better with its 29/37/32 mpg. The Mini Clubman only has a 13.2-gallon fuel tank, which allows it to traverse 382 miles between gas station visits.
The interior of the Mini Cooper Clubman is exactly the kind of modern cockpit we'd expect from a car so focused on fun and immersion. Some might say it looks a bit too gimmicky, but that's a matter of taste. The cabin is spacious and well-appointed with only the finest materials, ensuring that you feel comfortable and confident when putting the Mini through its paces. And, while the trunk isn't as spacious as what more practical hatchbacks offer, there is still enough space around the cabin to stow all your knick-knacks. The sport seats offer eight-way power-adjustability, and the controls are laid out for easy access, especially those mounted on the raised center console stack. For those who want an extra degree of showmanship, the interior can be decked out with LED ambient lighting in a variety of colors.
There's more space inside the Clubman than in a standard Mini Cooper, thanks to its larger dimensions. Those up front have loads of head- and legroom to go around, while those in the back lose a couple inches of headroom and several more of legroom. Still, there is enough space to fit two average adults in the back, or three smaller occupants. Sport seats come standard in the front, while the upper sub-trims get 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. On the base model, the front seats are manually adjustable and come with heating functions, while the top sub-trim adds eight-way power-adjustability and driver-seat memory. Visibility is pretty good, despite the Mini's low-riding style, and getting in and out is a breeze thanks to four wide-opening doors.
The cabin of the Clubman can be dressed in a variety of materials and colors. The Classic sub-trim is a bit limited in this regard, offering only Carbon Black leatherette with a Checkered or Hazy Grey dashboard. The options open up a little when you upgrade to the Signature sub-trim. Leatherette/Cloth upholstery is an extra choice, although it is only available in Black Pearl. The Signature Upholstery Package can be optioned onto the Signature, although it comes standard on the Iconic. This package grants access to cross-punch leather in Carbon Black, or Chesterfield leather in Indigo Blue, Malt Brown, or Satellite Grey. For an additional $500 over the package price, Mini Yours leather is available in Carbon Black. Within the Upholstery Package, extra sub-trim options are available too: Piano Black, Mini Yours Piano Black Illuminated, Frozen Blue Illuminated, or Fiber Alloy Illuminated.
While by no means a practical vehicle, the Cooper Clubman presents buyers with a fair amount of cargo space for a Mini. Behind the rear seats, the hatch offers 17.5 cubic feet of trunk space, access via a wide-opening liftgate. This is enough for day-to-day errand-running, and should accommodate a week's worth of groceries without trouble. Being able to stack items up to the roof improves practicality at the expense of visibility. The rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 or 40/20/40 split, depending on the sub-trim, to free up 47.9 cubic feet of space. While this may be a respectable amount of space, it pales in comparison to rivals like the Honda Civic or Hyundai Elantra GT. The former offers between 25.7 cubic feet of standard space, while the latter is a close second at 24.9 cubic feet.
Inside the cabin, there's a relatively large amount of small-item storage - for a Mini that is. There's a standard passenger-side glove compartment, and the door pockets are surprisingly spacious. There are also a pair of cupholders up front and another set in the rear fold-down armrest. But what really sets the Clubman apart from its siblings is the presence of a solid center console. Thanks to this, the subcompact wagon can offer a spacious center storage cubby.
The Clubman may not be overladen with features, but it gets enough to make it comfortable for most buyers. The base model comes appointed in leatherette, while the upper sub-trims get leatherette/cloth or genuine leather upholstery. The front sport seats are manually adjustable, and the rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split, while the upper sub-trims get eight-way power front seats with memory and 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats. A power moonroof is added on at the Signature sub-trim level. The Classic gets cruise control and basic air conditioning, which is upgraded to dual-zone climate control on the Signature, just as the remote keyless entry is upgraded to proximity keyless entry. The standard safety suite comprises a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision avoidance. Features unlocked via the available packages include front parking sensors, a parking assistant, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display.
The standard infotainment suite is nothing to write home about. In fact, it doesn't even come with a touchscreen interface. Only AM/FM Radio and a CD player come standard, although there is an auxiliary input jack, and Bluetooth calling and audio streaming are supported. A single USB-C port is provided to charge your devices. The 6.5-inch display gains touchscreen functionality on the Signature sub-trim and the six-speaker sound system is upgraded to a 12-speaker Harman Kardon set-up. To get Apple CarPlay, navigation, and SiriusXM, you have to either upgrade to the Iconic or spec on some packages. The Iconic also comes standard with the larger 8.8-inch touchscreen and a wireless charging device.
There is no dependability rating from J.D. Power for the Mini Cooper Clubman, but there have been very few official recalls for the hatchback. In 2019, it was recalled for incorrect firmware installed on the crankshaft sensor, with another recall issued in 2018 for inadequate structure points for trailer hitch mounting. New purchases are covered by a 50,000-mile/48-month limited and powertrain warranty, while complimentary maintenance is offered for 36,000 miles/36 months.
The Cooper Clubman doesn't have safety ratings from the NHTSA or the IIHS. However, while the ratings may not be directly transferable due to structural differences, the standard Mini Cooper did receive an overall rating of Good from the IIHS.
There aren't all that many advanced safety features on the Clubman since it's a vehicle designed for immersive driver engagement without intrusion from driver-assistance features. Every model comes with ABS, stability and traction control, seven airbags: dual front, driver knee, front side, and side curtain. Other standard features include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance. The Driver Assistance Package adds front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, parallel parking assist, and a head-up display.
The Cooper Clubman certainly has a lot of appeal, starting with unique styling that won't necessarily match everyone's sensibilities. But it's not just good looks that make the Clubman so popular. Few subcompact hatchbacks can boast the same level of driver engagement as the Mini, but it's not quite as fun as its standard Mini Cooper siblings. This is despite coming with a stronger turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The extra weight and longer dimensions mean that the Clubman simply isn't as nimble. But that extra space does make it more comfortable inside the cabin.
There is plenty of head- and legroom for both rows of seats, and even the trunk is quite capacious. But that's only true for a Mini, since similarly sized rivals like the Golf R and Hyundai Veloster both offer significantly more practicality. And the interior is extremely upscale, with excellent build quality and materials used throughout.
However, all this comes at a pretty hefty cost. Most subcompacts pride themselves on being affordable, but the Mini can't boast the same. It tries to combine superior levels of fun with a certain degree of practicality, but fails to do either well enough to warrant the price. If money isn't an issue, then sure, go for it! But if you're looking for a car that both meets your needs, be they fun or function, as well as your wallet, you may want to consider an alternative subcompact.
With its high-quality interior and exciting handling dynamics, the Cooper Clubman can feel justified (almost) for its premium price tag. The four-door hatchback is available in two models, with the front-wheel-drive Cooper S starting bidding off at $30,900 to get the Classic sub-trim. The Signature sub-trim adds $3,000 to the bill, while the top-of-the-range Iconic sub-trim will set you back $38,900. The Cooper S All4 is available in all the same sub-trims, but with a surcharge of $2,000 for the all-wheel drivetrain. These prices don't include tax, registration, licensing, or Mini's $850 destination charge.
For 2020, the Mini Cooper Clubman is available in two models: The Cooper S and the Cooper S All4. The main difference between the two models is the drivetrain - either front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive - but each is offered in three sub-sub-trims, too. Under the hood of any Clubman is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that develops 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. The powertrain comes mated to a seven- or eight-speed automatic gearbox with the front- and all-wheel drivetrain, respectively.
The Classic is the starting sub-sub-trim on each of the models, coming with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, and fog lights. The interior comes upholstered in leatherette, with eight-way heated power front sport seats, a panoramic moonroof, cruise control, air conditioning, and remote keyless entry. The infotainment suite is extremely basic, with only AM/FM Radio and auxiliary jack making up the interface. However, Bluetooth calling and audio streaming are supported, too, and a six-speaker sound system channels the audio. Standard safety features comprise a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision avoidance.
The Signature sub-trim adds some extra color options to the exterior, and replaces the standard front fog light with LED variants on the Cooper S. The 60/40-split rear seats are also replaced with 40/20/40-split seats. It also adds a dynamic damper control and a power tailgate. The standard feature list is further upgraded with dual-zone climate control, proximity keyless entry, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. The mid-tier sub-trim also gets access to several packages, such as the Premium and Signature Upholstery packages.
The most decked-out sub-sub-trim is the Iconic, riding on 18-inch alloy wheels with LED headlights and cornering lights. The interior comes dressed in leather upholstery in a variety of hues paired with more stylish Chrome or Piano Black sub-trim. The infotainment gets its final upgrades with a larger 8.8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, built-in navigation, SiriusXM, and a wireless charging pad.
The Mini Cooper Clubman comes pretty sparingly equipped, not distracting much from its focus on performance. If you want all the available extra, you need to opt for some of the packages or standalone upgrade. Some of the more notable examples include the Touchscreen Navigation Package ($1,700), which equips the Signature sub-trim with the larger 8.8-inch touchscreen, navigation, Apple CarPlay, Mini Connected Services, and a wireless charging pad. The Driver Assistance Package ($850 - $1,250) similarly adds front parking sensors, active cruise control, a parking assistant, and a Mini head-up display, but is not available on the base Classic sub-trim. The Signature Upholstery Package ($1,000) comes standard on the Iconic, but can be specced onto the Signature to add genuine leather upholstery in a variety of hues along with upgraded interior sub-trims. Some standalone options include a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system ($750) and SiriusXM ($300).
No Mini Cooper Clubman is a particularly sensible purchase, so why let sense factor into which sub-trim you go for? That said, you really shouldn't opt for the Cooper S All4 unless you genuinely need the extra traction of the four-wheel drivetrain, such as in areas frequented with road-impacting weather conditions. In terms of the sub-trim, you should probably go for the package that offers the most amount of fun. If you can afford it, the Iconic is the only sub-trim to offer smartphone integration as standard, along with a larger, easier-to-navigate touchscreen. However, it offers no better safety features than the base-level Classic, unless you opt for some of the available add-ons.
While only marginally, the Mini Cooper Countryman is even bigger than the Clubman. While this doesn't improve on the Clubman's cargo capacity, it does add some much-needed room for those in the rear seats. Despite this extra size, the Countryman is almost identical in price to its sibling. Unlike the Clubman, the Countryman hasn't done away with the turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but it also offers the turbo four-pot on its Cooper S Countryman models. In terms of features, the two Minis are basically identical, offering the same three sub-trims. But, where the Clubman looks like an odd, albeit unique, combination of a standard Mini Cooper Hardtop and a more practical wagon-style hatchback, the Countryman has a bolder, more definitive design. Given its similar performance, near-identical price tag, and better practicality, the Mini Cooper Countryman seems to be the more sensible choice, insofar as any Mini is sensible.
The truly iconic Mini, the Cooper Hardtop is about as traditional as the range gets. Available in either Cooper or Cooper S form, powered by the three-cylinder or four-cylinder engines, the Hardtop can meet the power output of the larger Clubman. However, its smaller size and lower weight mean that it can do even more with that power. It's certainly quicker and more fun to drive than its oddly shaped sibling, but with an 8.7-cubic-foot trunk, you'll be doing your grocery shopping day by day. The larger four-door model is a little more practical, with 13.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The same trend is true for passenger space, but neither has an easy time fitting adults in the back. At $7,500 less than the Clubman, the Cooper Hardtop will certainly appeal to those with a tight budget who want fun over practicality. But, usually, people who want to spend their money wisely place practicality first. Either way, neither Mini is a particularly sensible purchase, but the Hardtop is a whole lot more fun to drive.
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