What do you call a MINI that isn’t really “mini” anymore? It’s called the 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman, and it’s designed for those who want the sporty handling of the traditional MINI Cooper, but need a larger compact with greater utility. This gives compact hatchback shoppers another option.
How big is it? The Clubman is around 10 inches longer and 3 inches wider than the four-door Cooper hatchback. It also has a longer wheelbase by 4 inches.
This weekend, we saw what makes the Clubman a potential option for anyone looking for something a little different than your typical, ordinary sedan or hatchback.
What’s New For 2016?
The MINI Cooper Clubman receives a complete remodel for 2016. It gets stretched in all directions, translating to a larger, more usable backseat and cargo area. What hasn’t changed is the sporty ride and handling.
Features & Options
Standard features on the 2016 MINI Clubman ($24,100) include automatic headlights and wipers, heated mirrors, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, and multicolor ambient lighting. It also comes with a six-speaker sound system with HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, and a media player interface.
Our tester came with the optional Chesterfield leather indigo interior ($1,750) and the Fully Loaded package ($5,250). That included panoramic moonroof, keyless entry, and Harman/Kardon premium sound. We also had the Sport package ($500) with 18-inch silver wheels, sport seats, LED headlights, automatic transmission($1,500), heated front seats ($500), and piano black interior ($200).
Total MSRP including destination: $35,450.
It’s sounds like an oxymoron, but this MINI feels big inside. And the optional packages pushed this MINI Clubman into near luxury territory with Chesterfield leather, heated seats, panoramic moonroof, and Steptronic automatic transmission.
The material quality is dialed up with the remodel and this cabin felt comfortable.
The cabin will fit four adults comfortably and still leave room for cargo behind the rear seat. We were able to load cargo after opening the quirky, van-like rear doors, and had plenty of room for the extra boxes over the weekend. With both doors open, there’s 17.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up. Fold the rear seats flat and it offers up 47.9 cubes of cargo carrying utility.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The MINI Cooper Clubman is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The power is sent to the front wheels through the optional six-speed automatic.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is 25/34 city/highway and 28 combined mpg with the automatic.
The MINI Clubman is sporty and nimble. It dials up the fun-to-drive meter to an 8 out of 10. Driving enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with the Clubman despite the stretched wheelbase.
We chucked it around tight mountain corners here in Colorado and the four-door stayed planted no matter how hard we pushed it.
The MINI just seems to inspire driver confidence with its agile and sporty demeanor. The Steptronic automatic transmission is smooth and offers quick shifts throughout the power band. It’s ideal for stop-and-go traffic.
On the highway, the ride, comfort, and interior quietness are noteworthy – MINI has improved this with the new Clubman. In front, the Clubman is comfortable for long-distance driving, although rear passengers will get tired of the upright seating position for long hauls. Still, the cabin feels larger than you would expect. One passenger over the weekend commented on this and we would have to agree.
The Clubman’s longer wheelbase and more comfortable ride, combined with a quieter cabin make it a joy to drive on longer jaunts. With its increased cargo and passenger carrying abilities, the Clubman competes well with other hatchbacks. If you don’t load up your MINI with a lot of expensive options, it’s a good choice for urban dwellers wanting a fun, sporty, and economical commuter.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
Although our review of the Clubman S is remarkably similar to this MINI, there are a few key differences.