Mini’s plus-sized Clubman might look like a stretched out wagon version of the standard Hardtop hatchback, but underneath its familiar looks is an entirely different vehicle. The Clubman rides on a platform shared with the BMW X1, giving it more space for people and cargo. It also gains a new feature for 2017: all-wheel drive.
Both the standard Clubman and Clubman S will be available with Mini's All4 all-wheel drive.
The standard engine for the Clubman Cooper remains an excellent 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder that produces 134 horsepower and a heady 162 lb-ft of torque. It’s enough to propel the bigger-bodied Clubman to 100 km/h in around nine seconds. While it may not be as powerful as some of its rivals, the Clubman is still a spirited drive, with available selectable drive modes, and a manual transmission that automatically blips the throttle upon downshifting for perfect rev-matched downshifts. Said manual transmission has six speeds. The front-drive Clubman uses a six-speed automatic, while the Clubman All4 gets an eight-speed Aisin-built automatic.
The Clubman S uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine. Total output is 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, while an an eight-speed automatic is an option. Thanks to their added traction, All4 variants are slightly quicker than their front-wheel drive counterparts taking as little as 6.9 seconds to hit 100.
Access to the cargo area is once again through Mini’s side-hinged doors which are split 50-50 down the middle. Each portion has a windshield wiper; when wiping, they look like a pair of clapping hands. Thanks to its bigger frame and long rear overhang, the Clubman offers the greatest cargo capacity of any Mini – 1,250L. That bests the 1,170L of the Countryman crossover.
Passengers are treated to even more luxurious trappings. The wider cabin shares design elements with the standard Hardtop model but features a wider dash and centre stack with more conventional controls. Unlike Minis of the past, the Clubman features an instrument cluster positioned directly in front of the driver – no more looking over to the middle of the car to check speed.
By far and way the poshest small car around, the Clubman can be optioned out with details and equipment usually reserved for BMW buyers. Quilted leather-upholstered seats can be had in unusual hues (Indigo or Burgundy for example), while ambient lighting and glossy colour-keyed interior accents bring a sense of occasion to the cabin. Contrast stitching and piping for the seats further adds customization. Skip out on some of the accents and trims, and the all-black cabin can look a bit dour.
If technology is your thing, the Clubman is well covered – but you’ll need to pay for it. Two available infotainment systems are available with 6.5- and 8.8-inch displays, colour head-up display, automatic self-parking, and even adaptive dampers. All cars do get standard USB, Bluetooth, and an electronic parking brake.
Pricing for the 2017 Clubman starts at $25,490, with the All4 upgrade costing an extra $3,000. The Clubman S sells for $29,450. The surcharge for adding All4 to the S trim is $1,000.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed