Excellent engines; good fuel economy; sharp handling; very versatile for its size
Somewhat awkward proportions; ergonomically challenging; stiff ride with sport package; base engine feels a bit taxed
The Mini Cooper Clubman is unchanged for the 2014 model year
As with the regular model, our choice would be the Cooper S version with the standard suspension, 16-in wheels and a manual transmission. That turbocharged engine really puts the Clubman in its element, but we could do without most of the optional goodies.
Like all Mini models, the Clubman comes in three trim levels. Base models are simply called the Clubman (or, technically, the Cooper Clubman). If you want more performance, you can step up to the Cooper S Clubman. At the top of the range is the John Cooper Works trim.
The base-level Mini Cooper Clubman ($22,400) offers 15-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air conditioning, keyless entry, vinyl upholstery, HD radio, Bluetooth, vinyl upholstery and an AM/FM stereo with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary jack. It also comes with the car's 121-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Step up to the Cooper S Clubman ($26,100) and you get a turbocharged version of the base model's engine that's good for 181 hp. You also get fog lights, sport suspension, sport seats, alloy pedals and dual exhausts.
At the top of the Mini Cooper Clubman lineup is the sporty John Cooper Works ($33,300), which boosts power to 208 hp. It also includes larger brakes, 17-in wheels and grippy cloth upholstery.
The Cooper Clubman lineup is full of optional extras, as Miniis famous for letting drivers customize their cars any way they want. Options include adaptive headlights, heated seats, automatic climate control, a navigation system, a keyless starting system, satellite radio and a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. Drivers can also choose from dozens of wheel combinations, paint colors and interior schemes.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
Audi A3 -- If your Clubman's projected price is creeping into the high $20,000s or above, consider the base Audi A3, which provides satisfying turbo power in a premium but more traditional package.
Volkswagen GTI -- Featuring basically the same engine as the A3, the GTI is another enticing option among premium hatchbacks. It has less adrenaline in its veins than the Clubman, but the overall driving experience is more refined.