ONE in every 50 cars sold in the UK last year was a MINI and with sales stats like that it's little wonder the company wants to keep its models in the limelight.
With that in mind MINI recently introduced a rather special Black Pack edition to its popular Clubman line-up in the UK and it certainly looks the business.
The Clubman has always been a bit of a stand-out model in the MINI range with its twin rear doors but with the Black Pack styling, it's all become a little more sinister.
There are 17-inch black wheels, black bonnet stripes along with a black roof and mirror caps, plus a Black Pack badge on the rear doors to highlight the car's exclusivity.
Then, when you move inside the addition of piano black styling is instantly noticeable.
In keeping with the rest of the Clubman range, the car also features generous levels of on-board technology as standard including the likes of sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, cruise control and MINI Connected which introduces all the latest music, information and apps via the high-resolution colour display screen.
And in true MINI tradition, the dials are all circular in design.
The car is priced at £21,745 and is powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 9.1 seconds and tops out at 127mph.
According to official figures, the Cooper Black Pack Clubman can deliver combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg with carbon emissions of 121g/km.
One of the unique selling points of the MINI Clubman is its styling. With so many snazzy hatchbacks and estate cars to choose from, it's nice to have that extra little bit of choice and with two rear doors the Clubman offers just that.
Long gone is the escape door set-up that looked so out of place. Instead the Clubman offers four door practicality with ample room for a couple of adults in the rear seats with bags of leg, head and shoulder space.
Then there is the storage - the Clubman can accommodate 360 litres worth of luggage and that capacity is increased to a very generous 1,250 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.
In addition, there is a glovebox, side pockets, cup holders and a central storage bin.
And when it comes to performance, the Clubman can proudly hold its head high within the MINI ranks.
Admittedly, there are faster and more dynamically-appealing MINI models out there, but the quirkiness of the Clubman along with great road-holding and fabulous handling capabilities make it a notable all-rounder.
The acceleration is swift through the six-speed manual gearbox and the cabin remains nicely insulated against outside noise. The highly efficient suspension system irons out the road creases and there is plenty of driver feedback with precise steering.
The seats and steering wheel can easily be adjusted to find the perfect driving position and all dials, controls and instrumentation is perfectly placed for driver usability.
MINI has also packed the car with safety features which combined with its practical dimensions, comprehensive array of connectivity features and stylish design make it an ideal family car for anyone who likes to stand out from the crowd - a fact that will be accentuated if driving the Black Pack version.