MINI Clubman Review & Prices
The MINI Clubman is the British brand’s take on the hum-drum estate car. It looks great and comes with plenty of kit but more traditional alternatives are cheaper and more practical
Find out more about the MINI Clubman
Practical family cars don’t tend to be the most exciting models on sale, but the funky Mini Clubman goes some way towards bucking that trend. Sure, the old car’s odd asymmetrical back doors have long since gone, but it still has a huge sense of fun and quirkiness that you won’t find in the likes of the VW Golf Estate.
A big part of this is down to how it looks. At the front, you get all the hallmarks of the cutesy and cool Mini hatchback, while at the back there’s a set of double barn doors inspired by the sixties original and – if you fancy – some optional Union Jack brake lights.
If you’re the type who wants their Mini to stand out, the Clubman comes with plenty of personalisation options, including various contrasting roof and mirror designs, stripes on the bodywork and, inside, a range of plush trim inserts and colourful leather seats.
Even without these extras, the Mini Clubman’s interior has the VW Golf beaten hands-down in the style stakes. The easy-to-use infotainment system, for example, is set in a round mood-lit bezel that makes it look like you’re peering at the sat-nav through the portal on a cruise ship and the free-standing speedometer and rev-counter feel more like they belong on a sporty hot hatch.
Sure, some of these features won’t appeal to all, but at least everyone short of a Harlem Globetrotter will agree there’s plenty of space in the Mini’s roomy front seats to get comfy. Things get a bit cosy if you try to carry three adults in the back at once, but two tall passengers have space to stretch out, and there’s room to fit a bulky child seat.
It’s a little tricky to recommend the Mini Clubman over the likes of the cheaper and roomier VW Golf Estate, but it’s easy to be won over by the Mini eye-catching looks and funky retro cabin
Unfortunately, things aren’t so spacious in the Mini Clubman’s boot, which is smaller than that in a VW Golf. At least it’s easy to load heavy luggage and the split rear doors let you open half of the bootlid if you need to throw in a few last-minute bits and bobs.
So, the Mini Clubman isn’t the most practical small car on sale, but it is at least one of the most fun to drive. Even the entry-level model will put a big grin on your face on a twisty backroad while sportier Cooper S and racy four-wheel-drive JCW models feel nippier and much more nimble. The fast JCW will even sprint from 0-60mph in less than five seconds – not bad for a boxy hatchback.
If you’re looking for a car that puts fuel economy ahead of outright speed, there’s also a range of more efficient petrol engines for pottering around town.
These less sporty models are also more comfortable to drive for long periods and come with a decent amount of active safety kit to help prevent accidents and take the edge off very long trips.
Unfortunately, all this pushes the price of the Mini Clubman beyond what you’d expect to say for an equally capable and more practical alternative such as the VW Golf. If, however, a car’s style is just as important as its substance, then the undeniably funky Mini Clubman is certainly worth a second look.
Head over to our Mini Clubman deals page to see how much you can save on this stylish family estate car. If you'd rather opt for a used Mini Clubman then browse and compare our current stock, and when you've found your perfect new car, sell your current car through carwow.
The MINI Clubman has a RRP range of £27,440 to £41,000. However, with carwow you can save on average £1,580. Prices start at £26,110 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £351. The price of a used MINI Clubman on carwow starts at £14,890.
Our most popular versions of the MINI Clubman are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.5 Cooper Classic Premium 6dr Auto||£26,110||Compare offers|
Mini sees itself very much as a premium brand, so don’t expect the Clubman to be a cheap small car – instead it should be viewed as an alternative to the likes of an Audi A3 rather than a mainstream model
With that in mind, more practical and mainstream cars such as a Skoda Octavia will have the Mini beaten in pretty much every area on a checklist, but it’s easy to be won over by the Mini’s eye-catching looks, retro cabin and quality feel.
While the base price might look reasonable, bear in mind that you’ll need to fork out for some expensive options to get the best from it and the top models can stretch as high as £50,000 once a few options have been ticked.
The Clubman has many of the Mini-like driving characteristics you’d expect, which means it is good fun to drive, although it’s not the comfiest car around town, and visibility isn’t the car’s strength
A Mini’s natural environment should be in towns, but the Clubman is not a small car at 4266mm long and 1800mm wide. That means it won’t be nipping into the same gaps as smaller city cars. That said it’s smaller than most Golf-sized hatchbacks so still has some advantages.
The driving position will allow most drivers to find a comfortable position, although the seats don’t offer the best support, even on the pricier sports models. And the visibility isn’t the best for urban environments, with thick pillars obscuring the view at the front and the novelty ‘barn door’ access to the boot meaning you lose a chunk of rear vision down the middle too.
You are also sitting low to the road – something which makes the Mini feel sporty but may come as a shock to anyone used to SUVs and crossovers.
Our final word of warning is around the wheel choices. While the larger rims which come with sporty models or from the options list may help you cut a dash around town, they struggle to cope with broken road surfaces and potholes.
On the motorway
For a small car, the Mini copes surprisingly well with longer trips up the motorway. Wind noise is well suppressed and all cars including the entry level 1.5-litre version feel perfectly happy at the legal limit, even when faced with inclines and the family on board.
The more powerful John Cooper Works models are only getting into their stride at 70mph, as they have enough performance to keep German customers happy on the limitless Autobahn.
The firmer ride of the Mini compared to other family cars is less apparent on smooth motorway surfaces, but you will notice tyre roar if you’ve chosen the larger wheel options.
On a twisty road
The company’s engineers have worked hard to give the Clubman the ‘Mini’ feeling when you drive it, so you will notice the trademark quick steering and fun-to-drive responses, even on the slowest versions.
But while the steering might have a go-karty feel and quick responses, there’s not actually a lot of feel through the wheel and the limits of front-end grip can be quickly be found if you go looking.
The JCW top version has a daft-sounding 298hp, which is a huge amount in a car of this size. This makes it more fun on a twisty road but the auto-only format means it’s not the best for enthusiast drivers.
The Mini is surprisingly spacious for passengers, but the boot is tiny, even compared to hatchback rivals
It might be a Mini, but there is actually enough space for tall adults to get comfortable in the front of the Clubman. This is a result of the Mini having a longer than average wheelbase, so the space for passengers has been increased – just like the original Mini.
Unlike the classic model, the Clubman’s seats and steering wheel have plenty of adjustment in all the usual directions and it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position.
While larger occupants might be comfortable once they are in the car, the door openings are surprisingly small, making access awkward. This can also mean it is tricky to load kids into child seats in tight car park spots.
The interior has a reasonable amount of storage space too, with cupholders and a tray ahead of the gear lever/selector and door pockets which are lit at night with a choice of moody shades. The glovebox is big enough for a litre bottle of water or a sunglasses case, manual and a few mints, but not much more.
Venture into the options list and you’ll be offered an armrest which can incorporate a phone charging pad which is also claimed to improve mobile reception.
Space in the back seats
Again, the Clubman’s got more room in the back than you might expect but it will get a bit cosy if you try to carry three adults in the back at once. Two tall passengers have space to stretch out as long as the driver and front passenger haven’t got their seats all the way back, and there’s room to fit a bulky child seat. ISOFIX points are easily accessible for both outer seats.
Add in a third passenger and things start to get a little tighter. The seats are shaped to be comfortable for two and the middle seat is only going to be comfortable on shorter journeys for shorter people.
The Clubman’s boot is smaller than that of a VW Golf hatchback’s, and can hold 360 litres of luggage, or 1,250 litres if you fold down the split rear seat.
At least it’s easy to load heavy luggage and the split rear doors let you open half of the bootlid if you need to throw in a few last-minute bits and bobs.
Venture to the options list and there are various packages and options which make carrying stuff easier too, including a variable boot floor.
The Mini Clubman’s interior is cool and retro, with plenty of interesting options – if you are happy to pay for them
You pay a premium for a Mini Clubman compared to other family hatchbacks, but you get a car which looks and feels like a more premium product. Firstly, the design is purposefully different to the accepted norm for this type of car, and it’s all the more interesting as a result.
The central, circular infotainment screen is a perfect example. While it is an interesting talking point and looks great, it also has good functionality.
Most of the plastics you’ll touch are squishy and expensive-feeling, the toggle switches are metallic and satisfying to click, and cubbies open with a damped smoothness which oozes quality.
There are of course endless options too. Whereas some manufacturers only offer a couple of options for the inside of your new car, there are almost infinite choices of trim and gadgets you can add on to make your Clubman truly unique – if you are prepared to pay for it.
John Cooper Works models are sportiest of all – their seats are even more heavily bolstered, you get JCW-branded metal kick plates in the door openings, a sports steering wheel and a sportier gear shifter with a red-stitched gaiter.
The infotainment system, housed in a circular screen which is designed to resemble the classic Mini’s central dials, also has a bezel which incorporates ‘mood lighting’ that can change according to the drive mode selected. This makes it look like you’re peering at the sat nav through the portal on a cruise ship and the free-standing speedometer and rev-counter feel more like they belong on a sporty hot hatch.
The system itself is easy to use and navigate too, using a good balance of buttons and a rotary knob near the gear lever. But only certain versions have a touchscreen control, which means you may be left to use old-fashioned buttons on certain models.
Like many car makers, Mini has quietly dropped the diesel versions of the Clubman, leaving three petrol-engined models. These vary from the sensible, three cylinder 1.5-litre used in the Cooper Classic up to a turbo 2.0-litre which has more power than supercars from a couple of decades ago.
None of the engines are particularly efficient though. The standard Cooper can manage to top 47mpg according to the official figures, with CO2 emissions figures of 135g/km.
The Cooper S has a 176bhp engine which knocks two seconds off the 0-60 time of the smaller engined car, with a time of 7.2 seconds. Official economy isn’t substantially worse though, at 44.8mpg and 144g/km of emissions.
The John Cooper Works will be bought by people who presumably won’t have economy or emissions as their first priorities and will be more attracted to the 303bhp power output and sub-five second 0-60 time. In case they are interested, the JCW can average 38.2mpg and 169g/km of CO2. That’s not great for a Mini, but is impressive for a car of this performance.
Watch out for the wheel choices though, as the bigger rubber can really impact the efficiency. This will be especially important if you are getting your Clubman as a company car, as you’ll be taxed on the emissions.
The independent safety organisation Euro NCAP tested the Clubman in 2015 but only awarded four out of five stars for safety – and that was under the earlier, more lenient testing regime.
It’s not that they thought the car didn’t protect its occupants in a collision – the car has plenty of airbags and proved strong when shoved into a barrier. The issue was rather that it lacked some of the electronic crash-prevention tech which newer alternatives have fitted as standard, such as land departure warning.
On the plus side, the Mini does have an intelligent emergency calling system which will make an emergency rescue call in the event of a collision.
Independent reliability surveys show that Mini owners are generally happy with the dependability of their Clubmans, with scores which place the brand above some German rivals but below the Japanese and Korean brands generally. There have been no major recalls for the model either.
That’s just as well, as the three-year/60,000 mile warranty offered by Mini is the basic offering from a manufacturer, with others going up to as much as seven year’s worth of cover.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.