The rear exterior of a red Mini Clubman

Mini Clubman review

Ideal if you need more space, the Mini Clubman is a great choice for families who need more room without compromising on fun. It has plenty of leg and headroom and a good sized boot.

Pros

  • Great fun to drive
  • Easy to find one to suit your style
  • It looks stylish

Cons

  • It's not as spacious as rivals
  • It can be a little less comfortable than other family cars
  • The low driving position isn’t for everyone

Summary

“It offers all the fun of a Mini, but with practical space and a good boot.”

The Mini Clubman has heaps of character. There’s plenty of cool features, like the centre console circular display with its ambient lighting choices. Many owners will have personalised their Minis when new, so you should be able to find one with lots of equipment and in the spec that suits you.

It’s also really practical with space for five. There are four doors while the rear features twin doors that open horizontally, which makes loading luggage easy.

You can choose from different engines, such as the responsive petrols and economical diesels as well as the very sporty John Cooper Works version.

The side exterior of a black Mini Clubman

What's the interior like?

“It's more cramped than rivals but it’s way more fun.”

It feels very Mini inside, which means high-quality materials, great technology and lots of fun. 

The instrumentation is simple with most features in a circular display high up in the centre of the dash. It contains BMW’s infotainment system, which is controlled via a dial behind the gearstick. Depending on the options fitted, it can include everything from basic audio to a full suite of streaming and connectivity services, as well as sat nav and a weather display. There’s also an LED light around it which shows how briskly or economically you’re driving.  

You sit fairly low down but the seats are comfortable and compensate slightly for the fairly firm ride. Back seat passengers will find things a little cramped but the big advantage for the Clubman is the extra luggage room. 

There’s 360 litres of boot space with the seats up which is enough room for three medium sized suitcases. Fold the seats down and you’ll squeeze in up to 1,250 litres. Some models also include a storage package which allows you to move the back seats forward for more boot space.

Fascia shot of the Mini Clubman

What's it like to drive?

“The Clubman loses none of the fun factor when it comes to driving.”

The sporty Cooper models have a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that delivers plenty of power. The John Cooper Works comes with all-wheel drive, which is great for driving in bad weather or on tricky terrain. The petrols also produce a great exhaust sound, while the diesels are very efficient.

Six-speed manual gearboxes are standard but you’ll find plenty with the Steptronic (automatic) transmission which is much easier to drive in built-up areas. In some cases, they have paddles on the steering wheel which allow you to change gears without taking your hands off the wheel. 

All provide a slightly firm ride which is typical of any Mini, but is still quite comfortable for short or long journeys. This means that you’ll notice bumpy roads, but it’s all part of the fun nature of the Mini.

The front exterior of a black Mini Clubman

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Super efficient diesels, but the petrols offer much more fun.”

You’ll pay quite a bit more for the Clubman than for the three- and five-door hatchbacks. The petrol and diesel versions are similarly priced but the diesel is only worth going for if fuel economy is at the top of your list. Although, the Cooper SD will still give you decent performance.

The diesels will give you up to 68 mpg but the petrols can still deliver up to the mid-50s if you drive carefully. Insurance premiums are similar to most rivals and servicing costs are quite reasonable.

Badge shot of the Mini Clubman

How reliable and safe is it?

“Great reliability makes it a good long-term purchase.”

Mini has a higher than average reputation for reliability. Many are driven fairly enthusiastically so it’s worth checking for general wear and tear issues, such as brakes and tyres.

Euro NCAP only gave the Mini Clubman a four-star crash test rating, which is disappointing for a family car. Even so, there’s a long list of safety kit from Isofix anchor points and airbags to dynamic traction control systems.

Engine shot of the Mini Clubman

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - Cooper D

Best for family - 1.5 Cooper

Best for fun - John Cooper Works

Like the hatch, the 1.5 TwinPower turbo Cooper is the pick of the range. It’ll zip around town easily and is also decent on longer drives. The diesel will give you the best economy but if you don’t plan on driving over 12,000 miles per year with regular long journeys, the petrol will suit you best.

There are many trim levels and packs so you're likely to find some with infotainment and connectivity systems. It should be fairly easy to find a Clubman that has all the features and individuality you want at a price to meet your budget.

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