- Competes with: Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
- Looks like: With all six doors open, a flying grasshopper
- Drivetrain: 134-hp, turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder; 189-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; six-speed manual transmission standard, optional six-speed automatic on the 1.5-liter and optional eight-speed automatic on the 2.0-liter
- Hits dealerships: Early 2016
After taking a year off, the Mini Clubman rejoins the Mini lineup in next-generation form with four doors and a much larger footprint than the Clubman we last saw from the three-door 2014 model. The new Clubman, available in turbocharged three-cylinder Clubman and turbocharged four-cylinder Clubman S form, rides on the redesigned Cooper chassis and offers more room than both the outgoing Clubman as well as the recently introduced four-door Mini Hardtop.
Related: 2015 Mini Hardtop Expert Review
You’d think there’d be a big overlap between the Clubman and four-door Cooper considering their similar shapes — and there might be; we’ll know more once we get our hands on one. Mini stretched the Clubman to accommodate more goods. And how can you forget about the Clubman’s signature, quirky rear barn doors?
The 2016 Clubman is a whopping 12.4 inches longer, 4.6 inches wider and 0.6 inches taller than the outgoing Clubman and 10.9 inches longer and 2.9 inches wider than the Hardtop four-door. The Clubman’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than the Hardtop four-door. While larger in many dimensions, the 0.6-inch increase in height creates a long, sleek shape. The extra length is clearly enough to accommodate four real doors instead of the previous Clubman’s clamshell rear-hinged access door on the passenger side.
Another signature Clubman feature sticks around, however, as the cargo area’s barn doors still sweep open like a commercial van. Mini improved the door framing to increase visibility, which was always a concern of ours while driving the original Clubman. Those rear doors are also now available with an automatic opening feature triggered through a kicking movement under the rear apron, much like systems used in SUVs such as the Ford Escape.
Larger exterior dimensions free up room on the inside for five occupants, which is one more occupant than the old Clubman’s seating arrangement. Total cargo room is up, too, with 17.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat and a total of 47.9 cubic feet with the backseat folded. That’s more than the Mini Hardtop four-door (13.1/40.7 cubic feet, respectively) and the outgoing Clubman’s 9.2/32.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Clubman gets a full treatment of Mini’s modern interior styling that’s bright and playful like the current Hardtop. An available Mini Excitement Package includes LED interior and ambient light plus a Mini puddle light that projects the Mini logo on the ground from the side mirror.
Multimedia offerings include a standard 6.5-inch color screen or an optional 8.8-inch display with LED ring surround that’s interactive with many of the system’s functions. For the first time in any Mini, the parking brake is now electric and can be toggled on and off through a switch on the center console.
Also new are optional power driver and passenger seats with adjustability for seat height, fore/aft, surface angle, backrest angle and lumbar, plus the driver’s seat has an available memory function. The seats have standard cloth upholstery with available leather coverings.
Under the hood
The Clubman’s powertrain offerings are similar to what’s available in the Hardtop with the exception of an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission available only in the Clubman S. The new eight-speed transmission comes with steering-wheel paddle shifters and has a launch control feature for maximum performance from a standstill.
Otherwise, the base Clubman comes with a 134-horsepower, turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. The higher-performance S has the more potent 189-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with standard six-speed manual transmission and the eight-speed automatic optional.
Mini says the three-cylinder can do zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, while the S takes 6.9 seconds with the eight-speed automatic transmission and 7 seconds with the manual transmission.
Clubmans come with six airbags standard. An available collision and pedestrian warning system warns with visual and audio alerts, while an automatic brake function is triggered when a rear-end collision is detected in urban traffic. Front and rear parking sensors as well as a head-up display are also available.