The Clubman is instantly recognizable as a member of the MINI lineup thanks to heritage-laced styling cues such as oval headlights and a wide grille that sits low on the front fascia. From the side, its design is characterized by a tall belt line, a low roof line, air curtains behind the front wheel arches, and blacked-out door pillars. Out back, it boasts dual barn doors inspired by the original Clubman launched over five decades ago and large horizontal tail lamps.
The Clubman stretches 168.3 inches long, 70.9 inches wide, and 56.7 inches tall. To put those figures into perspective, it's 10.9 inches longer and 2.9 inches wider than the Hardtop Four-Door, the next model down in the lineup.
Buyers can choose from four non-metallic paint colors and eight metallic colors. For a retro-inspired two-tone look, the roof and the door mirrors can be ordered in white, silver, or black at an extra cost.
With room for up to five passengers, the Clubman boasts well-built cabin that blends modern and retro touches. Motorists used to driving MINIs will immediately notice that the speedometer has been moved from the center of the dashboard to behind the steering wheel. Up to five toggle switches are found at the bottom of the center console, including a large one that replaces the engine on/off button found in many modern cars.
The Clubman is more practical than ever thanks to a storage compartment built into the center console and two cup holders located in front of the shift lever.
While the emblem on the hood might suggest otherwise, the Clubman is also surprisingly spacious inside. It offers 17.5 cubic feet of trunk space with five occupants on board, and 47.9 cubes with the rear seats folded flat.
The Clubman comes standard with the MINI Connected infotainment system. Displayed on a 6.5-inch screen mounted in the middle of the dashboard, MINI Connected groups the wagon's connectivity, entertainment, and navigation (if equipped) functions into a single unit that the front passengers can navigate using a controller knob located on the center console.
MINI Connected also provides access to news, RSS feeds, and social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. A bigger 8.8-inch touch screen is offered at an extra cost.
Under the Hood
The base Clubman Cooper comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that generates 134 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 162 lb-ft. of torque at 1,250 rpm. It sends the Clubman from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 127 mph.
The more expensive Cooper S packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 189 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 207 lb-ft. of torque at 1,250 rpm. The extra power allows the 3,300-pound Clubman to reach 60 mph from a stop in 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 142 mph.
A six-speed manual transmission comes standard regardless of which engine is chosen. The three-cylinder can linked to a six-speed automatic at an extra cost, while the four-cylinder's optional gearbox is an eight-speed automatic.
Standard and Optional Equipment
MINI offers the Clubman in two trim levels called Cooper and Cooper S, respectively.
The Cooper comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, a 6.5-inch screen that runs MINI's Connected infotainment system, a leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, dual-zone A/C, rain-sensing wipers, a keyless ignition, ambient lighting, 60/40 split rear seats, black leatherette upholstery, three pre-programmed driving modes and automatic headlights.
The Cooper S gains a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, halogen fog lights, chromed exhaust tips, and a mesh grille surrounded by chrome trim.
Buyers can spruce up the Clubman by choosing from several option packages. The Sport Package brings 17-inch alloy wheels, LED lights on both ends, sport seats with leatherette upholstery, and an adjustable suspension to the Cooper. Cooper S models ordered with the Sport Package up the ante with 18-inch alloys and LED fog lights.
The Premium Package bundles a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, a 12-speaker sound system, and keyless entry with a hands-free opener for the rear doors.
Finally, the Technology Package is made up of an 8.8-inch display, navigation, MINI Connected XL, parking sensors on both ends and a rear-view camera.
Most of the aforementioned equipment can be ordered individually.
All Clubman models regardless of trim level come standard with six airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The list of options includes adaptive cruise control as well as a collision and pedestrian detection system with an initial brake function.
The MINI Clubman is a bit of an oddball on the market. It has no direct competitors, but it can be cross-shopped against less expensive and smaller hatchbacks like the Euro-bred Volkswagen Golf, the Ford Focus, and the Subaru Impreza, and it can be compared to bigger station wagons such as the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.