Driven: Mini Clubman 2.0 Auto
The success of the Mini Range is partly due to its expansion into a wider market – now aimed squarely at the premium buyer with their all-new CLubman Estate. As a direct competitor for the ever-popular VW Golf and Audi A3, Mini are hoping to gain far more success than the old model with both private and fleet buyers in a very competitive marketplace.
I’ve been driving the Mini Clubman 2.0 Auto recently, and it’s big. Really, really big. At 14ft long, it’s certainly the largest model of Mini I can remember. This makes it much more spacious in the rear than the previous model and with more conventional rear doors on both sides rather than the old, rear-hinged door on the drivers’ side, much more practical too. The rear barn-doors open wide to a much larger boot area and give the Clubman a distinctive, signature look.
A little peek inside the Mini Clubman S
As a launch-specification car, my Clubman has all the bells and plenty of whistles. However, every Clubman has the Cooper spec as standard, so will have alloy wheels, navigation, air conditioning, Bluetooth, keyless start and an alarm as standard. Wast to add leather sports seats, heads up display, a reversing camera or sports suspension? No problem – Mini will happily build the car just for you.
The 2.0 litre diesel in the car I’ve been driving has plenty of ooomph. Hungry for more? The 2.0 S diesel increases the power from 150bhp to 190 and gives you greater performance. If you’d prefer a petrol, then you also have a choice of BMW’s clever and economical 3-cylinder 1.5 litre engine or the punchy 2.0 litre on the S range. On the motorway and country lanes, the suspension was compliant, and engine, wind and road noise levels were impressively low. A softer suspension than other Minis makes the Clubman very refines yet still fun to drive, and with the (as expected) high standard of materials used in the cabin, the Clubman was a very comfortable place to be.
And, more importantly, it’s not as expensive as you think.
For: Distinctive looks, well equipped, high quality finish.
Against: Can feel a little cramped inside compared to rivals
Verdict: Well worth your time!
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