A mid-life facelift has enabled us to re-acquaint ourselves with Mini’s mid-size, and rather unique, six-door model, the Clubman.
Sporting its signature barn doors at the rear, the Clubman aims to combine the driving enjoyment of a regular Mini with the refinement and practicality of a larger VW Golf-sized car.
The combination works well and gives company car drivers a slightly more exciting alternative to the regular crop of hatchbacks, without losing valuable boot space.
Mini has stripped back the range for the new Clubman to make it as simple as possible. There are two core versions, the Cooper and the Cooper diesel. Then there is the more potent Cooper S and a new range-topping John Cooper Works model.
The Cooper uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which develops 136PS and emits between 120 and 129g/km of CO2.
It is likely the petrol motor will take the bulk of sales, returning a reasonable 50mpg while giving decent performance.
The Cooper D is the most efficient though, achieving upwards of 64mpg and emitting 111-114g/km of CO2. It also packs more punch with 150PS on tap, giving a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds.
Both engines carry similar tax penalties, so drivers will need to assess which engine suits their requirements best.
We found the petrol motor works best when paired with a manual transmission, although the optional seven-speed auto is more efficient on paper. It’s £1,600 price negates any company car tax benefit, however.
Switching to the diesel and it’s the opposite. The eight-speed auto (also £1,600) offered here is a better suited to the oil burner and gives an effortless drive – great for those who cover long distances.
While we’re on the subject of mile-munching, the Clubman is a great motorway car. Its lower driving position may not appeal to those that have converted to crossovers and SUVs but the upshot is vastly improved handling and stability as a result of a low centre of gravity.
Interior quality is high and all models feature sat-nav as standard along with a permanent online connection that provides remote services via an app.
Prices start at £21,200 for the Clubman Cooper in entry–level Classic trim. Each model is available in Classic, Sport and Exclusive flavours. These can be enhanced with the optional Comfort pack.
All versions get automatic headlight and wiper activation, LED headlights and alloy wheels. As part of the facelift, the Clubman now gets Union Jack LED rear lights as standard too.
The Sport adds John Cooper Works branded parts such as a sports steering wheel, sports seats and larger alloys. Exclusive models provide a more luxurious feel with leather upholstery.
As with all Minis, there are plenty of ways to customise the Clubman with optional features and accessories including a Harman Kardon audio system, bonnet stripes, various alloy wheel designs and adaptive cruise control.
Specifications shown for Mini Clubman Cooper 1.5 Classic Comfort