By KBB.com Editors
While it's true that an increasingly number of car owners are downsizing, there are times when smaller can be too small. The Mini Cooper is one example, offering buyers cute styling, fun driving dynamics and desired efficiency, but very little room. That's where the Mini Cooper Clubman comes into play, with more than nine inches of extra length, which brings with it much-needed rear leg room. A good bit of added cargo space found its way into the equation, too. If you want a Mini Cooper with greater dimensions, and you're not interested in the larger four-door Countryman, the 2011 Clubman is waiting for a test drive. Shoppers can choose between base and turbocharged S models.
Perhaps you're partial to the Mini Cooper's styling and its promise of precise handling, yet the lack of interior room is a deal-breaker. For buyers like you, Mini offers the more spacious 2011 Cooper Clubman.
Impressive handling often comes with some sacrifice and, in the case of the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman, it's a soft and comfortable ride that fails to make the cut. If you travel extensively on roads in disrepair, you might not appreciate the harsh ride.
Like its stablemates, the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman offers subtle exterior styling changes, slight bumps in power from its two available engines and the addition of HD and satellite radio to the list of standard features. The Clubman also gets a new special-edition Hampton Package.
Driving Impressions Comparisons made of the Mini Cooper and go karts have become cliché, but not all that far from accurate. The Mini Cooper and Cooper Clubman boast precision steering, smooth and...capable brakes and a very minimum of body roll in the corners. The ride is stiff, especially when equipped with the Sport Package, yet that's the price one pays to enjoy such a capable grin-inducer. To get the most out of the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman experience, select the S model for the lineup's best possible performance, courtesy of a strong turbocharged engine with only a negligible amount of lag and exceptional response.
No matter how the Clubman is equipped, its driver is guaranteed plenty of enjoyment. But for those who want to dial things up, a tap of the Sport button delivers improved steering and throttle response and the available automatic transmission maintains peak RPM longer by delaying upshifts.
Access doors, or Club Doors in Mini lingo, have long been used in trucks and even some cars. The purpose is simple: To facilitate entry to and exit from the rear seat. Anyone relegated to the Clubman's second row will appreciate MINI's decision to include this feature.
Added rear-seat legroom and cargo space are direct results of the Clubman's relatively long length. Unlike the regular Cooper, the 2011 Mini Clubman provides moderately sufficient, if not plentiful, accommodations for up to four adults. Better yet, the rear seat can be folded down to offer up to 32.8 cubic feet or expanded trunk space. Along with added dimensions come quality interior bits and a unique design, including a tachometer behind the steering wheel, center-mounted power window switches and a huge speedometer mounted on the center of the dash.Exterior
When viewed from the front, the 2011 Clubman looks like every other Mini Cooper, which means you won't mistake one of these compact cars for anything else on the road. To recognize the primary difference between the Cooper and Cooper Clubman, you'll need to take in the side view, where the latter's extra length is obvious and, if you're on the passenger side, the rear access door is visible. Fitted to the Clubman's tail end are split "barn" doors that pay homage to the original Mini Traveler that first roamed the roads roughly 50 years ago.
Mini equips the base 2011 Cooper Clubman with the usual array of creature comforts, including power windows and door locks, leatherette upholstery, a push-button ignition, a rear wiper and a sound system that incorporates steering wheel-mounted controls, HD audio, Sirius Satellite Radio and an auxiliary input jack. Safety features include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, corner brake control, electronic brake force distribution and dual front-side and side-curtain airbags.
This year marks the debut of the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman's available Hampton Package, made distinct by its choice of paint colors, sport seats, special badges, HID headlights, extra chrome trim and Damson Red interior and exterior accents. Buyers can also choose from a Premium Package that features a dual-pane sunroof and harman/kardon sound system, and stand-alone options that include Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, dynamic traction control and several wheel designs.
Every 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman is fitted with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, though they're not all created equal. In the base model, output is 121 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The Clubman S has a turbocharged version of this engine, with 181 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque that's available from 1600 to 5000 rpm.
1.6-liter in-line 4
121 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
114 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/35 (manual), 27/36 (automatic)
1.6-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
181 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)
By Willie (NM) on Sunday, November 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Kick in the pants to drive, great MPG, stylish"
Cons: "maintenance, highway noise, resale value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The car is great if you need to zip around town or commute. The "S" model has plenty of power and are actually safe especially for the size. We average about 31 mpg and it is recommended that one uses high octane gas. There is plenty of cargo space with the seats folded down. On the other hand there is quite a bit of highway noise when on the open road even after better tires were put on it. Watch out for getting maintenance done at the dealership. $600 brake jobs and $300+ battery installations had me doing it myself. Bottom line: if you want to look cool, drive fast and have the cash to keep up with the maintenance... this car is great."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By NIKFAY (CA) on Sunday, September 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good on Gas, Fast, Roomy, Unique, Price, Cute"
Cons: "89 grade for gas, Pricey to fix, rolls back n auto"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I saw this car about 8 months ago, had never saw it before or maybe I just wasn't paying attention before then. Once I saw it, I started doing some research on it to find out all I could about the Mini Cooper Clubman. What I found out about them is that they are pretty cheap considering that its owned by BMW. I currently own a Scion XB and did not trade it in when I purchased the MINI in June 2013. So far I can admit that I love the way it drives, very fast, the car can hit corners like no other car I have driven. I love those Barn doors in the back and my 2 stripes on the front of the hood. It is very good on gas also, the tank size is much bigger than my Scion XB but gas last longer in the MINI (this could be due to the fact that I have to put in 89 grade of gas instead of 87). On the first fill up on my car I was about to put in 87 and someone stopped me and said that Mini Coopers require 89, good to know or else I would have messed up the engine probably. Im still getting used to the auto/manual, especially the manual side of driving the stick. I do like that there is no clutch, so all I have to do is go from M1-M6 and vice versa. The only thing I hate is when I have to wash the car, it has so many nooks and crannies & for it to be such a small car, I spend way too much time drying it. I would recommend this car to anyone who likes small cars (it looks small but its not) that get up and go and like I said earlier the price is very reasonable."
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By tlh (AL) on Friday, August 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,654overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great reliability, price and fun to drive"
Cons: "somewhat noisy on rough roads"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"2010 MINI Clubman is a great little car, fun to drive and has a surprising amount of room. The fold down rear seats allow for a lot of stuff to be packed in. Two adults can ride comfortably. the passenger third door makes getting in/out of back seat much easier than average two-door. Ride is not as smooth as some vehicles but owning a MINI makes up for that."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Leep (NH) on Friday, May 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,900overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Always makes me smile!"
Cons: "No back window that opens or variable wiper speeds"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Have owned this car for 3+ years and ADORE it. This, after two VW Turbos and a 1-owner (still) of a 1976 BMW 2002. I feel so lucky to drive this little bugger every day! Everything about this car, handling, interior/exterior design, comfort and looks are stellar. This is a sporty driver's car, offering up all the thrills and chills that one would expect of a much more expensive sport car. And the service suits the car ... excellent, efficient and above expectation. Just go drive one, fasten your seat belt and hold on! (Not sure why they list this as a "hatchback" when it has "barn doors", which are far better!.)"
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Mini Man (TX) on Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, reliable mechanics"
Cons: "The price point is a bit high"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have had my MINI Cooper Clubman for about 18 months. It's a fun car, that is a blend of compact and sports car. It has the feeling of driving a go-kart! It has been very reliable for me, and I love the responsiveness of the steering and handling. The downside is obviously the size of it. Wish I had bought something with a little more room, but then again you shouldn't expect to have a lot of room with something named MINI. On the plus side of the size, I am able to maneuver in and out of tight places that most cars cannot. That comes in very handy in traffic, and in parking lots!"
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Not Impressed on Thursday, January 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive. What works does work well."
Cons: "Water leak in the boot. Poor stereo performance."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"This is a really fun car to drive. There is very little road noise for such a small car. It also handles well and feels comfortable even on longer drives although there is little to no lumbar support with the basic seats. I use a small cushion for my back on long trips. It does have room for a surprising amount of items. We put dining room chairs and other items inside the cargo area (with the back seats folded down)with no problem. The controls are easy to get to and easy to use. The 'sport' mode is really fun. I am averaging 30.7 mpg with mostly highway driving. I have had as high as 41 mpg on the highway. Not bad at all. The Devil is in the details: Water leaked into the boot during the first hard rain. I chose to reseal the gasket that seals the rear doors to the car after reading up on this issue on the internet. It seems to be fixed, but I am waiting for the next hard rain to be sure. Also, the Harman Kardon stereo sounds 'off', almost like a radio station that is not fully tuned in. This occurs on the CD, XM, regular radio, and Iphone. According to a car audio specialist the head unit may not be well tuned to the amplifier. BMW USA says this high end stereo is working to specifications. That's to bad as I will have to buy (not cheaply) an after market amplifier to fix this problem if I want quality sound. These are not issues I would expect for this price and brand."
9 people out of 9 found this review helpful