MINI is the only premium brand that is building only small class vehicles. The carmaker evolved from one product to an entire range of small vehicles, which includes everything from three-door hatchbacks to models like the latest Clubman, which is a four-door hatchback. But it is a four-door in an unusual way.
In the company's history there was a model back in the days that was intended to be used as a delivery car. Some sort of small MPV but in a British style and it was called the Clubman. The name remained, but its destination changed. Now it is a fancy car with two doors on each side and a swing-out double-door on the rear. This makes it the only hatchback with six doors on the market.
The new Clubman will have three or four-cylinder engines, FWD or AWD, paired with either a 6-speed manual transmission or an automatic transmission with 7 or 8 gears, depending on the engine. The base model is offered with only 106 HP, but the top version, the Clubman John Cooper Works has 306 HP and is AWD.
Inside, the main theme revolves around style, glamor and fancy options, such as the infotainment system that allows Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with the touchscreen on the center console.
Positioned as the flagship of the new MINI generation, the 2015 MINI Clubman embodies a distinct character defined by its larger dimensions, unique body concept, and premium materials. It introduces a host of new features across various aspects, including driving dynamics, suspension comfort, safety, controls, and connectivity.
Under the hood, the Clubman offers engines equipped with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology. It is available in two variants: the MINI Cooper Clubman, powered by a 3-cylinder gasoline engine, and the MINI Cooper S Clubman, equipped with a 4-cylinder gasoline engine.
The advanced powertrain technology transforms this MINI into a super ultra-low emission vehicle. An optional 8-speed Steptronic transmission is available for the Cooper S model, complementing the compact yet potent engine.
The exterior design of the MINI Clubman exhibits distinctive proportions, iconic brand elements, and innovative details. Its elongated silhouette, extended roofline, and steeply sloping rear pay homage to the estate concept.
At the front, the MINI's characteristic style shines through circular headlamps framed with chrome surrounds, a hexagonal radiator grille, and a broad lower air inlet accentuating its robust nature. Even if the front of the car may be attractive, the defining element of the MINI Clubman can be found on the back side of the vehicle, in the instance of the split doors.
Inside, the Clubman offers ample space, accommodating five occupants in fully-fledged seats and a versatile luggage compartment. Convenient storage options and a spacious glove compartment further amplify its functional nature.
With the rear backrest folded down, the luggage capacity can be expanded up to 48 cubic feet. Enhancing the interior ambiance is the optional MINI Excitement Package, which adds LED interior and ambient lighting, as well as a projected MINI logo on the ground.
The Clubman provides customization choices such as electrically adjustable seats, a wide range of upholstery and interior surfaces, and a panoramic sunroof with a length of nearly 50 inches, creating an enhanced sense of spaciousness.
Standard in the Clubman is the MINI Connected infotainment system, seamlessly integrating smartphones to access a comprehensive range of internet-based services in infotainment, communication, and driver experiences.
The user-friendly system features the MINI Controller in the center console and a color display in the instrument cluster. The optional Wired Package offers an 8.8-inch onboard computer and the MINI Touch Controller with a touch-sensitive surface for expanded functionality. To further enrich the interior experience, an optional 12-speaker Harman Kardon high-quality audio system is available, delivering a serene and enjoyable driving experience, even on longer journeys.
In essence, the new MINI Clubman merges style, practicality, and performance within a larger and more sophisticated package. With its distinctive design, advanced features, and spacious interior, the Clubman offers a unique driving experience in the compact segment.
MINI launched the more spacious version named Clubman in 2007. It was pretty much the same MINI upfront, but longer. In the back for the trunk, had two separate doors that differentiate it from other small hatchbacks on the market. On top of that, it was a premium vehicle that had unusual features for the small segment.
The small vehicle was the only hatchback with four doors. There was a door for the driver, two doors on the opposite side and two in the back, with side hinges. The two doors for the passengers were cleverly installed so that the rear passengers could enter more easily.
Inside, the premium feel was obvious due to high-quality materials, and a retro-design with a big speedometer in the center of the dashboard and a small tachometer in front of the driver. The switches on the central console looked like were taken from an old-school airplane or race-car. The vehicle was available in few trim options, directly related to engines: Cooper, Cooper S and John Cooper Works, the latter being the most powerful.
The platform was unusual for a small-class vehicle, with four-wheel independent suspension. Standard transmission was a 5-speed manual for the Cooper, 6-speed manual for the latter. An automatic 6-speed transmission was also offered.