Road Test: Mini Cooper Clubman Classic
Facelift changes help the Mini Clubman’s positioning, thinks Martyn Collins.
SECTOR Lower Medium PRICE £24,100 FUEL 42.8mpg* CO2 122g/km**
We had the chance to sample the Volkswagen Golf R-rivalling, range-topping 306hp John Cooper Works (JCW) at the international launch back in July. But, with revised versions of the quirky five-door estate available in the UK now, we got behind the wheel of the more fleet-friendly Cooper in £24,100 Exclusive trim. Also available in Sport, with some of the JCW trim elements at the same price, it’s the Cooper D diesel in entry-level Classic trim, priced from £24,290, that’s expected to be the key fleet model.
In unison with the rest of the updated Clubman range, the Cooper Exclusive gets new adaptive LED headlights, plus Union flag-style LED rear lights. Like the JCW, all models get new larger front grilles (chrome-trimmed on our Cooper Exclusive test car), plus new alloy wheel options, which include the very patriotic 18-inch Mini Yours, two-tone British Spoke alloys, also fitted to our test car.
Inside the spacious interior, all models get standard navigation including Apple CarPlay via a 6.5-inch display. In addition, it has attractive and stylish Mini Yours leather, as standard on Exclusive models.
The 134hp, three-cylinder, 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol in this Cooper is unchanged mechanically, performance remains impressively pokey considering its size and the bigger Clubman body. The optional seven-speed, dual-clutch Steptronic automatic, shifted through its gears quickly and smoothly, but is best-suited if you don’t want to make fast progress. The slick-shifting six-speed manual is the better option in our opinion, plus you’ll be saving £1,600 in the process.
The Clubman is the second biggest model in the range, but the steering and handling are up to usual Mini standards. The steering feels precise, the handling tidy – the ride was even quite comfortable on the optional 18-inch wheels.