The "go-kart sporty feel" of the Clubman sometimes has its downfalls
Neil Winn - Autocar
9 June 2017

With family split between London, Yorkshire and Scotland, a great deal of my time tends to be spent behind the wheel.

So when it was time to divvy up long-term test cars among the road test team, I was secretly hoping to secure something fun, frugal and spacious, requirements that were largely met by our Mini Clubman.

The first challenge on the Mini’s schedule was a 470-mile jaunt to Glasgow. The 2.0-litre diesel engine provided impressive roll-on performance, the optional sports seats gave generous support and the navigation system (also optional) displayed clear and reliable instructions.

The only real complaint came at higher speeds, where wind noise increased to a conversation-disturbing blast – no doubt a result of the Mini’s steep windscreen.

Surprisingly, where the Clubman felt less at home was back on the demanding country roads of East Yorkshire. Although Mini claims that the Clubman has been tuned for “maximum go-kart sporty feel”, the combination of its soft suspension and the overly quick steering rack results in a car that feels unstable and rather out of tune with itself through quick direction changes – a characteristic that I simply failed to get accustomed to.

Our Verdict

Mini Clubman

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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Not all was lost, though. My bank balance was grateful for the Clubman’s impressive 52mpg (averaged over 1500 miles) and the split tailgate made loading and unloading my sister’s wheelchair a relative breeze. If the Clubman sported more cohesive dynamics, Mini would have a genuinely exciting alternative to a mainstream estate on its hands.

MINI CLUBMAN COOPER D

Price £21,810 Price as tested £29,925 Economy 52.0mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 30.11.16

Read our previous reports here:

Connectivity overload

Interior issues

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Comments
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9 June 2017
I used to have an Audi A6 2.0TDi and I could get better than that on a long run. I'm not impressed.

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Our Verdict

Mini Clubman

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

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week