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2013 MINI Cooper Clubman

Overview
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2013 MINI Cooper Clubman Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

More than a decade after re-launching in the United States under BMW, Mini's vehicles continue to make a big impact on the small-car landscape. More than just compact cars that fit anywhere, Minis offer some of the best smiles per gallon. Mini's stable of diminutive British vehicles is anything but small, expanding in both size and function with new editions such as the larger Countryman, Paceman and delivery-oriented Clubvan. Despite their growing numbers, all Minis remain based on the original Hardtop's architecture and use a fuel-efficient 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that comes in a variety of power outputs. Base Mini Coopers have a relatively low starting price, but these cars' premium build quality and highly customizable features are reflected in prices that rise quickly with trim levels.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a car that feels more like an adult-sized go-kart, you'll love the Mini. These tidy 4-passenger vehicles are also effortlessly stylish inside and out, and offer high fuel economy. The Clubvan deletes the rear seat and replaces it with a level floor and an aluminum mesh divider.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Even in the larger Clubman form, the 2013 Mini Cooper does not have an expansive interior. If you need to carry more than one passenger on a regular basis, you'll want to step up to a Mini Countryman. The new Clubvan is stylish, but it's not as functional as a Ford Transit Connect.

What's New for 2013

Bluetooth is now standard and satellite radio is made optional. John Cooper Works (JCW) models can now be had with an automatic transmission. Joining the lineup this year is the fastest Mini ever made – the he limited production John Cooper Works GP – and the Mini Clubvan featuring opaque side windows and an expanded cargo area.

Driving the Cooper Clubman

Driving Impressions Minis are nothing if not fun. With a rigid body structure and sporty suspension, Minis are attracted to twisty roads like metal to a magnet. For a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the...

Mini is immensely nimble in corners. Perhaps more impressive is how solid these cars are on the highway. For such a small vehicle, the Mini displays little to none of the nervousness that can plague other subcompacts at freeway speeds. The Convertible also deserves kudos for feeling remarkably planted. Even with the base engine, Mini Coopers are a blast to drive. We endorse Mini's excellent 6-speed manual transmission in all of the brand's models, but especially in the base form, as that engine with the automatic transmission makes the vehicle noticeably slower. With their turbocharged engines, stepping up to Cooper S and JCW editions does just the opposite, making these vehicles even more thrilling. The 2013 Mini Cooper JCW GP, meanwhile, is a delightful deviant with great acceleration and excellent braking and cornering ability. If driving requires a soundtrack, you'll be happy to know the Mini's audio system is a good one, even in standard form.

FOLDABLE REAR SEATS
Cargo space behind the rear seat of Minis is inherently meager. Flip down those seats, though, and interior space opens up commendably. Mini says its Hardtop, for example, can haul 15 bags of cement. Or, opt for the Clubvan and forgo the rear seats altogether.

FUEL ECONOMY/FUN FACTOR
The Mini is proof that you don't need a big, gas-guzzling engine under the hood to have massive amounts of driving satisfaction. The Mini may not win street races, but with up to 37 mpg, you'll experience a different type of joy when you pass your competition at the gas station.

2013 MINI Cooper Clubman Details
Interior

The Mini's stylish, retro exterior looks extend to the interior. High in the center dash is Mini's trademark speedometer, which has nearly the circumference of the steering wheel. Then there are all those tiny toggles and dials, the former of which are ensconced in what appear to be the world's smallest roll bars. The metal switches look and feel great, but can be awkward to use. The Mini's front seats are comfortable and relatively roomy. Worried that you won't fit up front? The automaker claims that even Sasquatch – or drivers up to 6-foot-7 – will fit behind the wheel. The Hardtop and Convertible's tiny rear seats, on the other hand, are best used for luggage. Legroom is marginally better in the Clubman, whose longer body also increases cargo room. Performance-oriented 2013 Mini GP models have only two seats.

Exterior
2013 MINI Cooper Clubman photo

Minis stand out with their low, squat profile. Hardtop versions stand further out with available contrasting-color roofs, while Convertibles use black fabric tops that when up create large interior blind spots. The convertible roof is automatic and has a nifty feature that enables it to remain partially open. The 2-door Hardtop has a rear hatch-style door that lifts high for easy access to the cargo hull. The Clubman/Clubvan has a small third door on the right-hand side that allows easier access to the rear passenger compartment. The Clubman/Clubvan is roughly nine inches longer than the Hardtop, and its cargo bay is accessed by two swing-out doors. S and JCW models feature an air-intake in the front hood and twin tailpipes in back.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2013 Mini Hardtop, with a starting price of $20,400, comes with remote entry and trunk release, a climate-controlled glove box, 6-way front seats, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio system with auxiliary input, Bluetooth wireless communication, and 15-inch alloy wheels. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with an automatic optional. A "sport" button recalibrates throttle and steering response for a more aggressive feel. On the safety front, there are six airbags, 4-channel antilock brakes, and specialized systems to control traction and braking functions. Complimentary maintenance is included for three years or 36,000 miles, and roadside assistance is provided for four years/unlimited miles.

Optional Equipment

Start to configure a Mini, and its website will proudly tell you there are more than 10 million ways of doing so. Suffice to say, Minis are highly customizable cars in both aesthetics and creature comforts. For simplicity, many options can also be grouped together, which can save money vs. going a la carte. Among the more prominent options are an automatic transmission (unless you're one of the 500 to get a John Cooper Works GP, only available with a manual gearbox), the Mini Connected infotainment system with or without navigation, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, 10-speaker harman/kardon premium audio, and Dynamic Traction Control system with electronic differential lock.

Under the Hood

2013 Mini Cooper models use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that powers the front wheels and is connected to a 6-speed manual or optional 6-speed automatic transmission. Base models are naturally aspirated (not turbocharged) and make an adequate 121 horsepower. Cooper S and JCW models use a twin-scroll turbocharger and make 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. And now there is the new top dog among Minis, the John Cooper Works GP, available only with manual transmission. This limited-edition model also uses the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, but it has been bumped to 211 horsepower and up to 207 lb-ft of torque when in "overboost." Mini says the 2013 GP can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 150 mph, making it the fleetest model in the lineup. Mini models are fuel efficient, but they do require premium gasoline.


2013 Mini Cooper
1.6-liter inline-4
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/37 mpg (manual, Hardtop), 28/36 mpg (automatic, Hardtop), 27/35 mpg (Convertible), 27/35 mpg (Cooper Clubman/Clubvan)

2013 Mini Cooper S
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)

2013 Mini John Cooper Works
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
192 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 26/34 mpg (automatic)

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
211 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35

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2013 MINI Cooper Clubman Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 46 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great car, with a few reservations

By on Thursday, June 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, beautiful, holds lots of cargo"

Cons: "Repairs may be costly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"A bought my 2010 Clubman S last fall with only 32,000 miles on it and got it at a great price because the previous owner couldn't make the payments and sold it to me for his payoff balance. I have absolutely LOVED driving it around town and we even drove it on vacation (430 miles on one tank of gas!). But alas, my heart was broken few weeks ago when my clutch started slipping. The dealership wanted nearly $3000 to replace (that included the flywheel) but a got it repaired locally for less than $2500. STILL, I am dismayed that a clutch would fail with so few miles. I guess it's possible the previous owner did not drive it properly. I have driven a clutch over 40 years and have never even had to have one adjusted let alone replaced. SO, if you are going to purchase a used Mini be aware that the repairs may be more expensive than the Honda you are used to. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last major repair I have to make for a while. It's just too good a car to not be highly dependable... I hope."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Least reliable car I have ever owned

By on Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "value, quality, engineering, expense of repairs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This car while a blast to drive has been a problem from the beginning. Clutch out at 30K, timing assembly out at 50K, rattles interior and exterior are many and irritating. I have shelled out thousands for repairs including the above, and oil line leaks, thermostat replacement, heating and cooling problems, electrics, door sticks, windows stick, trim falling off, door panels popping off. Just poor quality and terrible value. Unless you enjoy spending lots on money on car repairs I would not recommend this vehicle."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

I love my MINI!

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Most unreliable car I've ever owned.

By on Friday, April 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

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."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Most practical Sports Car out there...

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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)."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

always broke

By on Saturday, March 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

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."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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