Mini is known for its fun, cheeky, and youthful side, always having known for its “go-kart” feel. Whenever we hear the Mini brand name, we always think of little premium hatchbacks that is fun to toss around a racetrack, especially the S and John Cooper Works variants. Basically, Minis tend to be lifestyle cars, with little to zero practicality, but possesses tons of personality. So then, what happens if a Mini wants to be practical, sensible, but also sophisticated and grown-up? Enter the Mini Clubman.
The Mini Clubman is an answer to a Mini with all its quirks and cheekiness, but with the benefit of added practicality, from its longer body, to its roomier, more spacious interior. As a result, the Mini Clubman is perhaps one of my most favorite Minis of all time. Its elongated body somehow makes it look even more elegant, and thanks to a roof that has been perfectly proportioned, the Mini Clubman does not look awkwardly designed. The rear is particularly interesting. The trademark split tailgate carries over from the previous generation, and the newly redesigned tail lights look quaint. Unlike the previous Clubman which has asymmetrical doors (2 on one side, 1 on the other), it now has 4 legitimate doors. The front is also slightly redesigned, now having a more elegant and more mature lower front bumper design. Overall, the shape and design of the new Clubman is more conventional than its predecessor, but it brings a more elegant and I think quaintly designed small hatchback.
The inside is quite interesting as well. Typically, Minis have a sporty and youthfully designed interior, but this new Clubman strays away from the norm. Many round and curved surfaces have been added to the interior, which brings added depth in the Mini’s interior design, and surrounding these interesting shapes and depths are either wood or piano black trim, which can be selected by the customer as they wish. The interior quality has been elevated as well, now with more shiny bits and pieces that truly make the Clubman a more grown up and sophisticated little hatchback. Thanks to the car’s elongated body, the rear seats can now be considered spacious by people as tall as me, and with the added benefit of a decently sized trunk, the Mini Clubman is the first ever Mini that can be brought out to the countryside with your family and kids, without having to fight whose bag should be left, due to the trunk now having decent space for everyone’s junk.
As usual, there are two variants of the Clubman, the standard Cooper Clubman, and Cooper S Clubman. Both are powered by TwinPower Turbo, direct-injected petrol engines, all of which are of course, from BMW. The standard Cooper is powered by a 1.5 liter three-cylinder mill, producing 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque (230 Nm on overboost), while the S is powered by a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder mill, producing 192 hp and 280 Nm of torque (300Nm on overboost). Both engines are mated to a ZF 8-Speed Automatic, unlike the cheeky hatchbacks with a 6-Speed Automatic. Who says that grown ups can’t have a little fun? The Cooper S Clubman doesn’t think so. The Cooper S Clubman has launch control, which carefully manipulates the computers to give the Cooper S Clubman the optimum levels of grip and engine mapping to provide the Cooper S Clubman with the best possible acceleration times.
Debuting in the new Mini Clubman are a set of driver assist systems, such as a rear view camera, camera-based Adaptive Cruise Control, and a pedestrian detection system. New fuel efficiency measures such as a new “Air Curtain” system, which comes straight from BMW’s EfficientDynamics set of features also comes as standard. These are vents on both sides of the car, which reduces air turbulence in the wheel arches, improving aerodynamic efficiency, thereby aiding the reduction of fuel consumption.
The new Mini Clubman starts at P2,700,000 for the Cooper Clubman, while the Cooper S Clubman starts at P3,200,000, and most of the driver assist features I mentioned are optionally available, and will incur added costs if these features are desired. Whichever the case, you get a small hatchback with loads of personality, albeit in a grown-up and more sophisticated package.