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Mini Clubman Wagon 2015 review

Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Mini Clubman with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its international launch in Sweden.

Funky and roomy — it's a long way from the original 'brick with wheels'.

Mini's Clubman has wandered a long way from its utilitarian roots.

The latest iteration looks a world apart from the "brick with wheels" that debuted in 1969.

As we prepare to put it to the test on the streets of Stockholm, the first thing that sticks out is the extra door. When the modern-day version of the Clubman arrived here in 2008, it came with a rear-hinged "suicide" door that controversially opened into the traffic, rather than onto the footpath.

It has been replaced with a conventional two-doors-a-side layout, although the quirky split rear "barn" doors remain at the back.

The new Clubby has plenty to offer

Bigger than ever in every dimension, the new Clubman can be shopped against small SUV style vehicles by those who eschew 4WD styling but still want wagon versatility.

And in this regard, the new Clubby has plenty to offer. The small boot is expandable to a relatively large load space through the 40-20-40 folding rear seat arrangement and the two deck boot floor. Maximum luggage capacity is a healthy 1250 litres.

Mini says the car is a five-seater but we reckon that's a stretch, four adults or two biggies and three littlies maybe.

We sampled the Cooper S version, which had plenty of grunt percolating from the 2.0-litre, direct injection, turbocharged four that's good for a maximum 141kW and 300Nm.

Both manual and auto transmissions are excellent, although the eight-speed auto is the pick for city driving, with smooth gear changes and a wider spread of ratios to fully harness the engine output.

It's just as economical as the manual and clocks the same 0-100km/h time, although it will cost more.

Our Cooper S had multiple drive modes — green, mid and sport. Dial up the sportiest setting and the Mini delivers what it promises in the digital read-out — "maximum go-kart feel". The pinpoint roadholding is helped on all models by an electronic differential lock that delivers improved drive out of corners.

The Clubman has a firm controlled ride, direct steering, strong brakes and plenty of grip thanks in part to the wheel at each corner design and newly widened track.

Despite the sporting intent the car is easy to get comfortable in thanks to a wide range of adjustment for the driver's seating position.

Exterior styling follows unmistakeable Mini cues, albeit with tweaks to the grille, bumper and lights, larger doors and a more assertive stance.

Interior styling is derivative of the previous model but with upgraded materials to the cockpit-style fascia and more technology incorporated in the MiniConnect multimedia system.

It's a great little car; funky, perky, safe and well-built

The Cooper S we drove had plenty of gear, including satnav, multiple drive modes (Green, Mid and Sport), funky "atmospheric" lighting, optional dynamic dampers and plenty more. Though local specifications are yet to be finalised, it's likely the S at least will score a swag of driver assist features possibly including automatic parking, a reversing camera, active cruise control, collision and pedestrian warning with brake function, high beam assist and possibly more. They are likely to be available in an option pack with some coming standard.

The new model is expected to receive the same four stars as other Minis in crash testing.

Due to hit showrooms by the end of the year, the Clubman should be priced similar to the current generation at between $35,000 and $45,000 for the Cooper and Cooper S respectively.

They will have the same powertrains as other Mini models. The Cooper will run a 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder and the S a 2.0-litre turbocharged four. A diesel may follow sometime down the track followed ultimately by a JCW version with a strident 170kW engine and high performance underpinnings including huge front brakes and sports suspension.


The previous Clubman barely caused a ripple on the local scene as Mini buyers went for the more mainstream versions. They'd be well advised to give the new model a second look. It's a great little car; funky, perky, safe and well-built. As with all Minis, the proof will be in the final price and specification. Here's hoping it's sensibly priced when it arrives.

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Range and Specs

Cooper 1.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $19,580 – 24,750 2015 Mini Clubman 2015 Cooper Pricing and Specs
Cooper Chilli 1.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $22,880 – 28,270 2015 Mini Clubman 2015 Cooper Chilli Pricing and Specs
Cooper JCW 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $31,900 – 38,390 2015 Mini Clubman 2015 Cooper JCW Pricing and Specs
Cooper S 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $24,640 – 30,470 2015 Mini Clubman 2015 Cooper S Pricing and Specs
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