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2018 MINI Cooper Clubman Overview
After the success of the new Mini that BMW revamped in the early 2000s, the brand has gradually expanded its lineup to include convertibles, sport models, and even crossover SUVs that you could barely consider to be “mini” in any way. The Mini Clubman was one of the first of the BMW Mini offshoots 10 years ago, and a second-generation version was introduced for the 2016 model year. The latest generation ditched the odd asymmetrical suicide door arrangement on the original cars for a more conventional four-door hatch. The Clubman is also distinguished by available ALL4 all-wheel drive, barn doors at the rear, and a longer wheelbase than the standard Mini Cooper hatchback. Otherwise, the Clubman isn’t much different from the basic Mini in layout or in available options. Because the latest model is so new, 2018 changes only include a rearview camera as standard equipment across the board as well as some shuffling around of options packages.
The base powertrain for the 2018 Mini Cooper Clubman is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that is good for 134hp, while the Cooper S gets a 2.0-liter turbo four that makes 189hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The range-topping, extra sporty John Cooper Works model has a more potent version of the Cooper S engine that makes 228hp. While all three engines are powerful enough to ensure the Mini Clubman is an exciting, fun little car, the extra heft in this model means things won’t quite be as zippy as they are in the standard hatch. Transmission choices are either a 6-speed manual or an automatic with paddle shifters. The extra mass means fuel economy suffers a little bit as well, with the base Clubman getting miles-per-gallon in the high 20s and sportier and all-wheel drive models decreasing from there.
The Clubman is the longest Mini to date, weighing in at over 3,000 pounds. Despite not being quite as tossable as its smaller siblings, the Club man shares the soul and taut handling characteristics of the original Cooper. Like the normal Mini, the Clubman has a spring strut front axle and multi-link rear suspension. A $2,000 sport package adds adaptive dampers and bigger wheels.
It will seat five people comfortably and has a handy barn door arrangement at the back that opens into 18 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats up, expanding all the way out to 48 cubic feet when the seats are stowed. Otherwise, the interior matches the spacious front seating and quirky charm of the standard Mini. A “Fully Loaded” package adds a head-up display as well as parking assist while a premium package adds Harman Kardon audio and a dual-panel sunroof. A technology package, meanwhile, includes an 8.8-inch infotainment screen and navigation.
Thanks to thick window pillars, the Mini Clubman isn’t particularly easy to see out of, which is perhaps why a rearview camera is now standard equipment. Buyers will have to opt for other active safety features often found on similar cars. The Mini Clubman is highly configurable with numerous color combinations to choose from inside and out. If buyers are willing to pay the price, the Clubman can be personalized to fit just about any taste.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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