Test Drive: 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman, full review [video] – Chattanooga Times Free Press

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 5/12/16. Mark Kennedy test steers the Mini Cooper Clubman.

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga…

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Fast facts

– Model: 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman

– Exterior color: Silver Metallic

– Interior color: Burgundy

– Engine: 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder

– Horsepower: 134

– Transmission: six-rate automatic

– Fuel economy: 34 mpg highway, 24 mpg city

– Fee (as tested): $33,450

The 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman is a contradiction in terms. Mini’s brand-new wagon is, in fact, the biggest car ever brought to market by the British nameplate, which is owned by BMW.

The 2016 Clubman is an attempt to push the Mini Cooper brand in to the realm of full-featured family vehicles, lifting it from the ranks of mere weekend-getaway cars for adventure-seekers. (At the least, we suspect, the added length is meant to extend a Mini Cooper to suit the calls for of a Millennial along with a mountain bike and a Wonderful Dane.)

If your image of the Mini Cooper is of a British (VW) Beetle, after that the Clubman could slay your stereotype. Fully 17 inches longer compared to the two-door Mini Cooper hardtop, the Clubman has actually ample back-seat legroom and 18 cubic feet of cargo space behind the barn-enjoy “split doors” in the rear.

With the added space comes a premium Fee tag. While the Clubman has actually a base Fee of $24,950, our tester along with automatic transmission and a host of selections (sunroof, navigation, custom wheels, etc.) has actually a bottom-line asking Fee of $33,450. The nearest Mini Cooper dealers are in Knoxville and Marietta, Ga., even though you wouldn’t understand it from scanning the roads about Chattanooga where the diminutive autos are located in abundance.

If you believe Minis are cool, there’s zero hipper you can easily own. (Warning, older drivers: You could locate the physics of extracting on your own from a automobile this reduced to the ground somewhat challenging.) Still, the Mini Cooper Clubman is a nice compromise between enjoyable and practicality and could appeal to those along with growing families — puppy or otherwise.

STYLING AND COMFORT

From the front, the Clubman highlights the brand’s whimsical styling. Mini’s unifying design elements are circles and ovals. From the egg-shaped headlight assemblies to the circular screens and switchgear inside, its challenging to locate a sharp corner anywhere on this car.

The Clubman wagon is so a lot longer compared to the two-door Mini that it looks enjoy it’s been flattened enjoy a beef patty on a short-order grill. The swing-out doors in the spine are the the majority of distinctive feature on the wagon. Once deployed remotely along with the vital fob, the doors open in sequence, ideal initial then left. To close the doors you have actually to shut them in the reverse order.

It’s among several quirky features on the Clubman, along along with a hood release that calls for specifically two pulls, and a gas-tank fill door as big as an individual pan pizza. The circular telematics cluster inside the Clubman is outlined in multi-colored LED lights. Also the door pulls are circular.

The graphics on the navigation system are a bit primitive, which is disappointing because it’s section of a $1,700 tech package.

Despite its low-to-the-ground architecture, the Mini Cooper Clubman offers a comfortable driving placement along with decent outward visibility. Second row headrests and the split spine doors obstruct rearward visibility a bit.

Our tester has actually a six-rate Steptronic automatic transmission, a $1,500 option.

The interior of the Silver Metallic tester is upholstered in attractive burgundy leather along with suede bolsters. The seats are snug and supporting for those times Once you hope to fling the Clubman through twists and turns.

Other amenities consist of heated front seats ($500) and 17-inch black spoke wheels ($750).

Mark Kennedy

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

Our Clubman tester is powered by a 134-horsepower, three-cylinder turbocharged engine. While the three-cylinder has actually adequate power, we suggest you step up to the Clubman S along with its 189-horsepower turbocharged four cylinder if you want the “complete Mini” experience.

The base engine propels the Clubman to a top rate of 127 miles per hour, while the four-cylinder turbo can easily climb to 142 miles per hour. Expect a zero-to-60 mile per hr time of regarding 8.0 seconds in the three-cylinder.

Except for wishing for a little a lot more power, we located the Clubman a blast to drive. The BMW inspire is evident in the car’s handling. The steering is heavy and the automobile feels planted and substantial, belying its Matchbox-automobile looks.

The little three-cylinder engine gathers electricity swiftly and is fast off the mark, even though the electricity band wanes a bit between rpms. A complete manual transmission would certainly include considerably to the enjoyable factor.

BOTTOM LINE

Routine upkeep on the Clubman is free for 3 years or 36,000 miles, bumper to bumper, or as the Brits say, “boot to bonnet.”

All in all, the Mini Cooper Clubman combines enjoyable and practicality in a method that will certainly most likely make the brand appeal to a wider audience.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him or her on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.