What Is It?
The 2016 MINI Clubman is the latest version of MINI’s popular Clubman hatchback. Based on the all-new, third-generation MINI Cooper, the Clubman offers major styling updates compared to its predecessor — and some other big changes, too.
Clubman fans will recognize the most obvious change with one look at the exterior: The outgoing model’s rear-hinged back doors are gone and have been replaced by standard front-hinged doors. Fortunately for loyalists, the new Clubman keeps its other signature touch — barn doors in back that swing open instead of a traditional tailgate. Other exterior revisions roughly mirror those of the standard MINI — namely, a larger footprint and revised front and rear ends mated to a similar overall profile that ties in the car’s latest design with its longtime look.
Inside, changes also roughly mirror those of the recently redesigned MINI Cooper — until you get to the back seat, where the wheelbase has been extended to accommodate the 4-door body style. But don’t assume that the Clubman is just a new 4-door MINI with rear barn doors. In fact, in order to distinguish it from the standard model, MINI stretched out the Clubman’s wheelbase even farther for additional passenger room. The result is a total length of 168.3 inches, compared to 157.4 inches in the standard 4-door MINI. This figure makes the new Clubman MINI’s longest car ever.
Cargo room is improved, too. MINI says there’s now 47.9 cu ft. in back, which is a big step up from last year’s 32.8 cu ft. MINI also says that the new Clubman’s barn doors can be automatically opened with the swing of your foot, much like many modern SUVs and crossovers.
Although MINI hasn’t yet announced pricing, we think the Clubman will cost only a bit more than the standard 4-door model’s $22,500 base price with shipping.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
If you want MINI styling and MINI driving pleasure in a family-friendly package, the 2016 MINI Clubman is your best bet. While we haven’t driven it, past experiences suggest that it will offer excellent performance — as virtually every MINI tends to. But with its new longer wheelbase and more accessible back seat, the Clubman will also be among the most practical MINI models in the brand’s growing lineup. This is a win-win for drivers who felt they couldn’t previously fit their lifestyle into the MINI brand.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Mazda3 — If you’re after a practical, fun-to-drive hatchback, consider the handsome Mazda3. It offers a lot of equipment, precise handling and potent engines — for a lot less money than the Clubman.
2016 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door — MINI’s own 4-door Cooper will likely be the Clubman’s biggest rival. It’s not as big as the Clubman and there aren’t any barn doors in back, but the new Cooper will offer a similar experience for less money.
2016 Volkswagen Golf — Although the Volkswagen Golf can’t match the MINI’s driving experience, it comes fairly close. Its interior volume is also not as high. The Golf does, however, offer more reasonable base pricing and several powertrain choices, including electric and diesel variants.
Used Audi A3 — Although Audi’s latest A3 isn’t offered as a hatchback, it shares many other traits with the Clubman, including handsome styling, a zippy powertrain and a high-end interior. Prices are higher, though, so you may want to consider buying a used model.
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