How the Mini Clubman drives depends entirely on the model you go for and the options added. All share the basics though and it steers beautifully for a front-wheel-drive car with electric steering. Levels of traction are surely the highest of its genre; it feels very secure and remains great fun to drive.

The entry-level cars may not have the performance to test the chassis, but they cling on gamely through corners, encouraging the driver to use momentum to keep up a decent pace. Body roll is kept to an absolute minimum, even at this end of the range.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
If comfort and refinement are of the highest priority, the Clubman is not the car to buy

Further up, the Cooper S and SD offer more thrills thanks to stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars. In a way these feel more like the original Mini in that they can be thrown into a corner with abandon knowing that the car's attitude can be adjusted easily on the throttle. However, it's all too easy to spin an inside wheel if you're a little too enthusiastic on the exit of a corner.

We are considerably less enamoured of the ride quality, especially on any version with sports suspension or larger alloy wheels. Roads known to be very smooth suddenly appeared to have been cobbled, thanks to the jittery nature of the ride. The suspension is not only harsh but also rather noisy.

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