By on 2023-09-08 -
MINI Clubman - Used
MINI hatchbacks have never been the most practical of cars but that can't be said of the Clubman estates.
These five door models, together with the Countryman SUV, are truly family friendly smaller premium cars but with the usual added MINI pzazz of marvellous handling and roadholding backed up by great engines and reasonable running costs.
The Clubman range was given a major redesign in 2019, with a new wider grille, updated circular LED headlights, a smaller engine range and excellent levels of equipment.
From some angles it looks rather like longer version of therather ungainly five door MINI hatch but the more I see them, the more I realise that it's wider, has a longer roof and there are six doors.
In an attempt to liken it to the original 60s Mini estates, which were basically vans with windows, access to the boot is by a pair of side-hinged doors, each with its own wiper.
In a van, this gives rearward blind spots, but in the Clubman, the gap between the two windows is very narrow and there's little problem.
There's a choice of six power outputs in later models - four petrol and two diesel.
The petrols start - in the MINI One entry model - with a 1.5 that has 100bhp and reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in 10.7 seconds. This is capable of 55 miles per gallon in the official tables, so expect a best of 45.
Next comes another version of the same engine but this time turbocharged to give 134bhp. It brings the sprint down by just under two seconds to 8.9, and is rated at 48mpg.
Then comes the Cooper S 2.0-litre turbo, which boasts an excellent 189bhp and gets to 60 in 7.1 seconds while managing 42mpg.
And finally, there is the barnstorming Cooper S Works, with four wheel drive, and a more powerful version of the 2 litre producing 227bhp. It covers the sprint in 6.1 and can do 38mpg.
The two diesels are both 2.0-litre units borrowed from parent company BMW. The 2.0D comes with 147bhp and sprints to 60 in an excellent 8.6 seconds. It's rated at 65mpg.
And finally, the SD boasts 187bhp, and can cover the sprint in just 7.2 seconds while managing 62mpg.
All come with a six speed manual gearbox that's a joy to use as standard, but there is also a seven speed twin clutch automatic that works beautifully and has a manual setting.
As ever with the MINI range, handling and roadholding are a revelation to anyone who has never driven one.
And the quality of ride is also excellent.
In many accomplished cars, the combination of good ride and handling is a rarity - you can have one or the other.
But like many of parent company BMW's products, almost every model in the MINI range is very comfortable over all surfaces.
And at the same time, it takes the worst of corners in its stride and in great safety, with tremendous roadholding, helped by excellent, informative steering.
Cooper Classic mid-range trim includes sat nav with a 6.5-inch display and real time traffic information, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, rain sensing wipers and automatic headlights.
MINI Connected Services are also standard, together with and intelligent emergency call system, Bluetooth, alloy wheels and black cloth seats.
But all secondhand examples will have added spec from first owners, so make sure you get one with everything that you want. There are a huge number of permutations and combinations to choose from.
Pay about Â£11,850 for a '19 19-reg Cooper 1.5 petrol, or Â£22,800 for a '21 21-reg Cooper S auto.
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