The extra door of the Mini Clubman is a nice party trick, but it doesn’t work too well. For a start you have to push the front seat forward to allow passengers safe and reasonable access to the back. Which rather defeats the point.
Second, once you have slid the front seat forward it refuses to return to its original position. Third, the driver’s seatbelt is anchored to this door to make a perfect tripwire.
Finally, there is no second door on the other side, so on a busy street your children will have to clamber out of the only door on the kerbside, or be discharged into heavy traffic. That this glaring error has been evident since the car’s launch does not prevent us from still being astonished by it.
Once installed in the rear seats, small children will be entirely comfortable and even adults will find good headroom and acceptable legroom. Just don’t expect it to be anything approaching spacious. A standard VW Golf is rather more accommodating and practical than the Clubman.
Move around to the back and those retro rear doors are not without charm, but they reveal a boot that, while larger than that of a normal Mini, is still small when compared with our aforementioned Golf.