Currently reading: Mini Clubman long-term test review: interior issues
Jukebox-like interior lighting is already beginning to grate

It’s funny how your opinions on a car can change so dramatically with a little time, the initial wave of contentedness morphing into annoyance, dislike or even hatred.

It’s not like the catalyst for this change of mood even has to be particularly big. Sometimes the little things make all the difference.

And so we come to the Mini Clubman. I would argue that one of its finest attributes is its interior, a classy and well-built environment that invites you in with supple leather seats, high-quality finishes and enough Mininess to make it a more interesting alternative to the ubiquitous Audi A3.

Even so, within that cabin is something that would grate if I had to drive this car every day. Surprisingly, it’s not to do with practicality. (It may not be as roomy as an A3 Sportback, but it’s perfectly acceptable.)

No, it’s the interior lighting that really grinds my gears – specifically, the LEDs that surround the central infotainment screen. No matter what you do, they always seem to be flashing one colour or another. Switch driving modes and the colour changes. Increase the volume on the stereo and the lights flash. Have the sat-nav on and they signal your approach to a turning.

Mini clubman lter 3026

During the day, this isn’t really a problem.If anything, the sat-nav linkup can be quite handy. Try driving the Clubman at night, though, and the LEDs go from an amusing light show to a serious distraction.

Where an infotainment display adjusts itself to account for darkness, the Clubman’s LEDs continue to glare with the ferocity of a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox. Factor in their continual changes in colour and brightness and you feel like reaching for the duck tape to cover them up.

I have since found a sub-menu for the central display that allows you to adjust the brightness of the disco lights at night or turn them off completely. Hopefully that means the duck tape won’t be necessary…



Read our review

Car review

Mini's Peter Pan image finally diminishes as it grows up with the arrival of the mature-looking 'six-door' Clubman

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Price new £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy 49.6mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 12.10.16

Read our first report on the Mini Clubman here

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TrevorH 21 December 2016

Despite the naysayers...

Despite what the perennial naysayers keep on about, the range of new MINIS are good cars and not bad looking.
I had a Mk 1 new MINI and followed that with a Mk 2. They were tremendously competent cars.
The new Clubman is clearly filling the gap left by the old countryman and the 4 door hatch slots in in place of the old clubman. Its a much more coherent range.
People who moan about in not really being a proper 'mini' should perhaps look at the new Fiesta Active and compare it to the original Fiesta.
All cars have grown quite significantly. Take the Mk 1 Cortina and compare it with the latest Mondeo. Or the Anglia with the Focus (whose next iteration will surely be bigger still)
The MINI especially in its Cooper forms is not simply a small family hatch it is really a logical successor to the MGB GT - just like the VW Golf GTi was.
As such its tremendous value for money provided you don't go silly with extras as road test magazines always do.
coolboy 20 December 2016


Far worse, IMHO, is that TESLA front end. No visible cure for it: you can't adjust, switch it off, unplug it... and the side view reveals a disgraceful overhang, mind the rims below 17 inch.

Might be needed the duct & duck tape after all.

Citytiger 20 December 2016

Green Mode

low consumption driving fun.. PLEASE HAVE A WORD WITH YOURSELF! It sounds like some dodgy Chinese translation..