The Mini Clubman first launched in the UK in 2007 as a variant of the Mini Hatch and was the largest Mini in production at the time of its debut (although that title is now held by the Mini Countryman.) It was updated to the second generation from in 2015, the model which is still in production today.
It changes the way that people think of a Mini by offering something much more unique and more interesting than what is currently available on the market. Mini themselves describe it as offering "...the sort of spirited drive you’d expect from a MINI as well as a refined design, six doors and plenty of space for the family, with the punch of a performance estate car."
Our Mini Clubman review will guide you through the model and help you to decipher which options are best for you and your needs.
The Mini Clubman estate is a great option for those who want to keep lots of style with their extra space. It does divide lovers of the brand as it loses the compactness that is synonymous with the Mini name but also opens it up to a whole new audience who need larger family cars.
It's built on BMW's UKL2 platform, shared by the Mini Countryman and the current BMW 1 and 2 Series models, which is designed for larger models in BMW's arsenal. It's also done away with the single door to access the rear seats in favour of a sensible and conventional two doors.
It comes with plenty of personalisation options to allow you to tailor to your own style. This includes switching the styling and size of the alloy wheels, a large selection of exterior paint colours, the option to change colours of the roof and mirror caps, and a choice of colours for the iconic bonnet stripes.
The design of the split doors is a nod to the original Mini Clubman from the sixties and are great for accessibility, although we'd recommend avoiding reverse parking if you can to make sure that you can always open them in a car park.
The rear doors do hamper your rear view vision a little thanks to the split between the two window panes but are ideal for dog owners or for moving luggage in and out.
People are drawn to the Mini Clubman's interior thanks to its combination of retro styling and current technology that comes with the Mini name.
The circular infotainment screen is now 8.8 inches in size, a touchscreen, and has an LED ring surround for a truly unique style that is unmatched by other cars. This incorporates Bluetooth, a double FM tuner, and can be controlled via the screen, multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, or the Mini controller next to the electronic parking brake.
Familiar touches such as a row of toggle switches below the climate controls and rounded features are complimented by high quality materials and finishes throughout the cabin, with only other premium hatchbacks competing at the same standard.
New to models from March 2020 onwards was the digital instrument cluster, a five inch screen which replaces the traditional trio of round dials that were a staple of Mini design. This will now include information such as upcoming directions from the sat nav, media information from the infotainment system, and driving information.
There's also interior personalisation options too, which lets you complete your vision of your Mini Clubman. Both the seat upholstery and the interior trim can be changed in colour and material. Perhaps you want leather upholstery and black illuminated interior instead of the standard Frozen Blue?
Looking at passenger headroom you can expect to be just as comfortable in a Mini Clubman as you would be in a Volkswagen Golf although anyone with long legs might feel the space to be a little tight. Likewise, fitting three adults in the rear seats is possible but they'll be knocking shoulders so won't likely be comfortable on longer journeys.
The boot space in the Mini Clubman is a comfortable 360 litres, perhaps a little less than you would expect from a larger car, and then expands to 1250 litres with the rear seats folded. The rear seats have a 60/40 split so you can configure the car as 5, 3, or 2 seats depending on who and what needs to get in the car with you.
The most unique feature of the Mini Clubman is the split rear doors which allows you to open them both outwards from the back of the car in a similar fashion to a van, for full access to the boot.
As per the other models in the Mini range, there are two engine options available for the Mini Clubman: the Cooper and the Cooper S. These are both petrol engines and Mini has removed the previous Cooper D engine from its range entirely in order to move towards greener cars.
The Mini Cooper engine is a 1.5 litre petrol which offers 136HP and a combined mpg of 47.1, a strong performance from a large family car, and produces 135 g/km of CO2 emissions. This is the more efficient engine with the lowest emissions of the two on offer.
The Cooper S engine is a larger 2.0 litre petrol engine capable of 178HP and a combined mpg of 44.8, a little less than the Cooper. It's CO2 emissions are also a little higher at 144 g/km.
Both of these are offered on other models across the Mini range, as you will know if you've been researching for some time, and there are also hybrid and electric options available elsewhere in the family too.
The Mini Clubman offers two trim levels: the Classic and the Exclusive. It does also have a John Cooper Works variant which we have reviewed separately.
As with others in the Mini range there's a great set of standard features and equipment on the Mini Clubman. These include auto start/stop which includes brake energy recuperation, heated windscreen washer jets, automatic LED headlights, LED front fog lights, rear LED lights with Union Jack design, split rear doors, multifunction steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, heated rear window, a rain sensor, and height and length adjustment for the steering wheel.
The Classic has Moonwalk Grey as it's standard exterior paint colour, body colour roof and mirrors, Satellite Grey headlining, and a sports leather steering wheel. Opting for the Cooper will give you 16 inch alloy wheels, Hazy Grey interior trim, and standard cloth seats whilst the Cooper S will give you 17 inch alloy wheels, Piano Black interior trim, and cloth sports seats.
The Exclusive changes the exterior paint colour to Enigmatic Black, adds 18 inch alloy wheels, silver roof and mirror caps, the Mini YOURS badging, anthracite headlining, Mini Yours badging on floor mats, Mini YOURS Frozen Blue illuminated interior style, sports seats in Mini YOURS lounge leather, and a Walknappa steering wheel with Mini YOURS badging.
The Mini Clubman has a four star safety rating from Euro NCAP, which has now expired as it was tested in 2015 and lasts for 6 years. After this time Euro NCAP advise that a car is retested to make sure that the car meets any changes in testing requirements or equipment changes.
The standard safety features that come with the Clubman include anti-lock braking system, auto drive away locking, dead-locking function, dynamic brake lights, dynamic stability control, and intelligent emergency calling.
This is Mini E-Call which will send an automatic emergency rescue call in the event of a collision and will transmit the vehicle location and severity of the impact when necessary. This can also be manually activated by the driver if need be.
The Mini Clubman is a luxury car and is reflected so in its pricing. The entry levels Classic starts at £27,015 and upgrading to the Exclusive costs £30,215. This places it amongst most trim levels of the VW Golf and and the Audi A3.
Choosing to upgrade from the Mini Clubman Cooper to the Cooper S will increase the base price by £1875 for the Classic and £2075 for the Exclusive. Similarly if you opt for any additional personalisation options or accessories this can add up quickly to increase the price substantially.
It's recommended to keep an eye on this when configuring your new Mini Clubman as any car that is over £40,000 at brand new is subject to a VED increase of £355 for the first five years of a car's life.
The Mini Clubman is an excellent option for those who love the Mini Hatch and don't want to have to compromise on style when they need more space. It provides all of the iconic retro styling of the Mini brand and a nod to the original Clubman with the barn-style rear doors.
It's an incredibly unique offering to the family car market and definitely should be a consideration for those looking for something a little bit different. It's a practical alternative to some of the traditional estates on offer and is a vast improvement on its predecessor.