What is it?
The big new Mini, the Clubman, which is not really all that mini, at 240mm (and two doors) bigger than the standard car.
If 240mm doesn’t seem like a lot, then you really ought to know that the Clubman’s wheelbase is, in fact, just 80mm longer than the regular Mini’s. The rest of the length is eaten up by slightly larger overhangs and around 100 litres more boot space.
That means that in the cabin, not an enormous amount has changed; you could fit four six-footers in there, but they’d need to be friends. Still, the extra boot space is a tangible benefit for anyone who’s ever struggled with the Mini’s pitiful effort.
What's it like?
The regular Mini did not succeed thanks solely to references to its predecessor and the same applies here. So while there are echoes of the Mini Traveller and Countryman, the attention to detail that has made the modern Mini so refined is still in evidence. There are some beautiful engineering touches such as damped twin rear doors with built-in surrounds that clunk over fixed light clusters, or a pair of rear windscreen wipers.
And of course, there’s that extra door on the flank (officially called the ‘Club door’), positioned behind the driver in right-hand-drive models. It’s neatly done and it does make access the rear easier but then, as even Mini has admitted, it’s on the wrong side of the car for UK.