Tuesday, February 9, 2016

2016 MINI Cooper Clubman: Bigger, Bolder And Roomier

Highlight: A new all-wheel drive Cooper Clubman joins the line up for the 2016 model year.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $33,450 (Base Model $24,950)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bag; ABS; electronic brake distribution; dynamic stability control system; a tire pressure monitoring system; rain-sensing windshield wipers; electric parking brakes; and automatic headlights

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed manual transmission; a dual zone automatic climate control system; a leather wrapped steering wheel;  leather-like seats; a 6.5-inch circular infotainment screen;  a keyless ignition system; 12-color ambient interior lighting; and three driving modes: green, mid and sport

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: 17-inch wheels; automatic transmission; leather; silver metallic; a rear view camera; park distance control sensors; a navigation system; a panoramic moonroof; sport seats; heated front seats;a 12-speaker, 410-watt audio system; a hands-free easy opener for split rear doors; and a satellite radio system

Other Trim Level:

S model

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle:  a 6-speaker AM/FM/HD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity:  Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder/134-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New: An all-new redesigned MINI Cooper Clubman joins the British brand’s line up.

What We Like: The roomier MINI Cooper Clubman, with its circular headlights, offers the same engaging driving experience one expects from its pricier siblings from BMW and the traditional MINI Cooper.

Without losing its character, the larger and wider Clubman offers easier access for rear occupants, more leg room and an automatic swing out rear door that opens like a station wagon. When compared to the MINI hardtop four door, the Clubman is close to 11 inches longer and 3 inches wider than a traditional four door. And unlike a traditional wagon, the larger Clubman still gives one the same cool vibe as the traditional MINI.

Likewise, the new Clubman even offers a more premium feel than the standard hardtop, feeling more like a luxury vehicle.

Even more important, the base Clubman can be enhanced by stepping up to the S trim, which includes a standard 4-cylinder, 189-horsepower engine, 17-inch wheels, sports seats with bolstering, halogen fog lights, chrome tip dual exhaust outlets and additional brake ventilation ducts.

The Clubman can also be outfitted with such optional safety driving aids as a radar-activated cruise control system and a pedestrian warning collision system.

Not So...: While the Cooper Clubman is larger than the typical MINI, it still lacks a rear seat armrest. Added to that, a keyless door lock system runs the price up an extra $500. The old school vehicle still requires one to pull out the remote to both lock and unlock the doors with the standard remote. Moreover, the driver’s vision is slightly impeded due to the  limited view of the rear window.

Lastly, this iconic vehicle lacks a CD player to play our old school CDs and a blind spot lane changing system.

The Verdict: For those who yearned for a roomier four door MINI that offered legroom for the rear occupants, the British engineers of this premium sedan has answered with the return of the Clubman. The larger MINI still maintain its iconic style, while costing about $2,300 more than the conventional 4-door MINI.

Indirect Competition: Fiat 500L


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