From the L.A. Auto Show, Cars.com's Suburban Dad, Patrick Olsen, and Mother Proof's Chief Mom, Kristin Varela, compare their first impressions of the 2008 Mini Cooper Clubman.
(upbeat background music) This is Kristin Varela, chief mom with MotherProof.com. And I'm Patrick Olsen, managing editor for cars.com. <v Kristin>We're here at the LA auto show, checking out the brand new 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman.
The Clubman is longer than the original. <v Patrick>It's got more room and legroom in the second row. <v Kristin>And it has a brand new back door. The Clubman is much easier to get into the second row than the original version. Just pull the seat back and climb in. Even at six foot one, it was easy to get in here and there's still enough legroom, depending on how generous the person in front of you is gonna be. While the original MINI Cooper had a hinged hatchback, the new Clubman has doors that swing out to give you plenty of wide access to the cargo space. And if the cargo space that's here isn't enough, it's an easy one hand gesture to put the seats down. The new style for the Clubman had me a little worried. I thought the longer shape would kind of ruin the aura of the MINI. It really hasn't turned out that way. I like the new shape. I like the club door and I liked the bigger space in the back. So overall style wise, I think it's a worthy contender for the MINI line. I don't know if I agree as much. I still like the MINI-like front end of the Clubman, but on the side, it's a little bit Scion xB-like. I don't know if I love it. Overall as a family car, the MINI Clubman could potentially work. Although I still have a few reservations: that club door that's only on the right side of the vehicle, bugs me a little bit. If I'm going to be loading my kids in and out of this car, it's probably going to be on the left-hand side where I myself get in and out. I also still really liked the fact that booster seats would fit fantastically in the back of this car. Seat belt buckles are easy to buckle and also latch connectors are easy to install. I agree. I don't have as much problem with the club door as you did. And I know that my teenage kids who climb in and out pretty easily would really love the extra three inches legroom back there. So I think it's pretty safe to say you might see the Clubman in my driveway pretty soon. If my wife will let me. <v Narrator>For additional information on this car or any other go to cars.com and our blog, Kicking Tires.