2016 MINI Cooper Clubman road test and review.
The new 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman is now in dealerships and I reckon it’s a really likeable offering.
While most car buyers today are drawn to SUVs with this almost single-minded determination to have more interior space, not everyone is considering the amount of gear they can haul around when they buy their next car.
Besides, the MINI Cooper Clubman is square enough and large enough in the rear to be able to handle suitcases and the like if you are heading off on an adventure and with the rear seat down you could certainly fit in some new purchases from the flat-pack furniture store (you know the one).
What the MINI Cooper Clubman does best is give you the MINI feel with more practicality than a MINI three-door or five-door hatch.
The cabin is essentially exactly the same as even the sporty MINI John Cooper Works and that means you get the fun of the colour changing centre ring and the very usable dial-type controls for the sat-nav, audio system etc. (essentially the same system as found in BMW vehicles).
The fit, feel and finish in the cabin is generally very good, though there are a few small areas that look a little sub-par and this brings the feel down just a little.
Better than expected front and rear legroom and adequate (for most) headroom makes the Cooper Clubman a viable option for those looking for a fun and not completely impractical small car.
There was only one thing that struck me as an annoyance, the rear blind spot created by the rear barn doors. The two chunky door frames together create an impediment to rear vision, right in the middle of the rear view mirror and this is both distracting and keeps you from seeing other vehicles until they are right up behind you.
Something that wasn’t anything annoying about the surprisingly enthusiastic turbocharged three-cylinder engine under the bonnet.
Producing a respectable 100kW and 220Nm the 1.5 litre engine worked smoothly with the six-speed automatic transmission and never felt less than adequate. Most importantly it is willing enough to ensure that famous MINI fun and lively feel was completely in-tact in this new MINI offering.
Fuel economy is excellent, 5.4L/100km and the ride was surprisingly comfortable and pleasing too.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the MINI Cooper Clubman but I did find myself really enjoying the drive and isn’t that exactly what a MINI is all about?
Sure, you are paying a price premium for any MINI model, but with BMW engineering and a solid and well-built feel and a heap of character, how could you say no?
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman
Engine: 1.5 litre turbo-petrol producing 100kW and 220Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (standard)
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Origin: United Kingdom
Price: from $34,900