The Mini Clubman is a BMW-manufactured estate car that is marketed as a family hatchback. The Clubman offers a number of improvements to the Mini line, which is noted for its cozy interior space and slight size. However much the Clubman accommodates as a family car, it still falls short with a number of features. In addition, the standard trim is on the bare side, making it one of the more expensive models in the segment. Still, Mini loyalists who are clamoring for a bigger car will find a suitable ride with the Clubman.
What is especially great about the Clubman is its engines. There are three variants, all offering competitive power and great drivability: the 1.6L I4 petrol and diesel engines, and a 1.6 turbocharged I4. Despite the increase in size, the Mini engines feel light in the Clubman, giving effortless pull to the vehicle. Economy is impressive at 45mpg, which also means low running costs in the long run. Six-speed manual is the standard gearbox, although automatic versions are also available. Like the three-door Minis, the Clubman is also fun and responsive, although it is not quite sharp in corners. It also feels stable on wet roads, and is comfortable even in bumpy roads.
As a family hatchback, the Clubman does not fail security and safety requirements. The model has received a 5 star rating from Euro NCAP. Some features include stability control, top-notch security system, front, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and ISOFIX child seat mounting. Overall, the Mini is one of the most reliable brands in the automotive world.
Comfort is attributed to generous legroom, and access to the rear seats is easy with a quick slide mechanism for the front seats. The cabin is highly supportive with padded seats and fully adjustable steering wheel, although it may lack the zing that the Mini image so often portrays. The vehicle comes in several trims, including One, Cooper S and D.
Although engine performance is unquestionable, the Clubman still needs refinement in other respects. Wind noise occasionally breaks through the interior, and road noise can disturb the cabin.
Individuals who are taken by the trendy exterior may not feel the same way once they see the interior outfitting. For its initial price, the Clubman feels inadequately styled and equipped. Older models do not come with air conditioning in standard trims, and newer models come with steel wheels. Design options available in higher trims can be expensive for buyers, but there are a number of choices that can help personalise the vehicle.
Practicality is also disappointing. Although there is considerable increase in size, the boot space is still minimal at 260 litres. Lowering the rear seats can boost capacity to 930 litres, but other models in the segment offer greater numbers than the Clubman.
Fans of the Mini line are in for a surprise with the Clubman because of the noticeable improvements in space. However, buyers should not raise their expectations too much, and should be ready to pay more at point of purchase.
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