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 jayhall on Monday, April 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quick, classy, fun. double sky roof, harmon-kardon"
Cons: "Bluetooth and phone buttons but no actual BT."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've always wanted one, so I got one. I'm not looking back at the '91 Taurus I had before. My 2010 MINI was worth the payments I got. AND, Mini cut me a deal with 1.9% interest only and monthly payments of $284.98 a month for 5 years.. WORTH IT!!"
By Paul H. on Friday, April 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, Fast, Fuel Efficient, Stylish, Cargo Space"
Cons: "Very poor drivetrain reliability, lots of rattles"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"MINIs have well-known bad repair records everywhere, but I took the risk anyway when I bought it in 2010 because I loved driving it so much. The four-year warranty ran out a few months ago and I'm now looking at a truly gigantic bill to fix many problems that have come up, not to mention the multitude of times I've already brought it in before during the warranty period, for tons of issues. The problems I'm having are apparently very common for these cars. I love the car itself, but they simply aren't made well. It's developed tons of rattles, clacks, and weird sounds from the very beginning, as well (also a very common problem people tend to have with them). I'm sure there are some people who don't have problems with 'em, but please take a hard look at the general reliability records of these things before you buy one, and don't make the decision I did if you like a car that's largely dependable and well-made. It drives great (aside from the really bad torque steer and bump steer -- not good), but it all ends there. It's a big risk to buy one if you want something that's remotely reliable."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ccbdiver on Friday, March 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Stylish, Amazing handling, Tons of room for size,"
Cons: "Premium gas, Sticking Moonroof."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'm surprised by some of the other reviews, I've loved this car since I bought it. The Mini Cooper Clubman is by far the most practical and affordable sports car out there. I have the S version and it screams when I hit the gas in sport mode; It's like a go cart on crack. It's performance is on par with cars that cost 10k+ more. The interior volume is really surprising when inside. 2 full sized adults can actually sit in the back seat comfortably and when the seats are folded down the amount of storage is exceptional. The exterior is very stylish, and the huge moon roof almost makes it feel like a convertible. I've only been out out of warranty for about 9 months and haven't had any type of problem. While in warranty every minor issues was taken care of quickly and for free. I'm kind of cheap so the premium gas is a bit of a turn off, but any sport car recommends that. When not in sport mode I easily get about 33 mpg in the city (manual), and close to 40 on the highway. Those numbers are awesome for how fun of a car it is to drive. The only negative I can find might be the need for a better place to put change and that the moon roof sticks (closed) when it's been sitting in the sun for a long time (Though I'm in hot SC not England)."
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By rayc2 on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "loves to go to the service department"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This car could never go over 12 months without some kind of repair. Costs for repair are very expensive (replaced thermostat housing cost over $450) I have never gotten the promised gas mileage that the salesman said I would get and even the service tech didn't know what options this car had and admitted it had a problem that he couldn't fix. The one good thing about this car it is fun to drive."
By Willie 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."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By NIKFAY 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."
9 people out of 10 found this review helpful