“Wacky” may be overstating it, but the 2020 Mini Clubman sure is different than your average small car. To date, Mini has built its brand around the idea that “normal isn’t fun.” All you need is deeper pockets than the typical small-car buyer, a little imagination and the attitude that driving should be fun. Even if you don’t opt for a single custom item or aftermarket part, your Mini will stand out. Get a little creative and Mini offers a treasure trove of customizing possibilities.
The Clubman offers one big advantage over the even smaller Cooper: some extra passenger space. It’s for owners who want to share their Mini experience with others. Yep, they are pricey, but they are unique. And, don’t forget that fun-to-drive part.
What’s New for 2020?
Mini deleted the base Cooper grade for 2020. The 6-speed manual transmission listed as standard on most Clubman models has been unavailable for most of the 2020 model year. Therefore, the standard transmission on the front-wheel-drive S versions is the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Every other Clubman gets an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard. The John Cooper Works ALL4 gets a new version of the 4-cylinder with 301 horsepower. Mini also updated the Clubman’s front end with a redesigned grille, a new headlight design and redesigned LED fog lights. New Union Jack-styled taillights are also standard. Active Driving Assistant, a camera-based system with low-speed braking, pedestrian detection and emergency braking assistance at higher speeds, is standard on all Clubman versions. See the 2020 Mini Clubman models for sale near you
What We Like
- Distinctive style inside and out
- Highly customizable
- Premium cabin
- Fun to drive
- Efficient engines
- Relatively practical for a Mini
- Available all-wheel drive
What We Don’t
- Expensive for a car its size
- Compromised rear visibility
- Limited availability of most safety tech
For 2020, the Cooper S Clubman is now the base engine. It boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that’s good for 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. EPA mileage is 26 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in combined driving. The S ALL4 (AWD) uses an 8-speed automatic transmission and delivers 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.
The high-performance John Cooper Works ALL4 gets an enhanced version of that 4-cylinder turbo and an 8-speed automatic transmission powertrain that produces 301 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. EPA mileage is 23 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined. Mini claims that sprinting from a standstill to 60 mph requires 4.9 seconds.
Standard Features & Options
There are three grades of the 2020 Mini Clubman available: Classic, Signature and Iconic. Each can be equipped with either of the two available engines. Mini still considers those engine designations (Cooper S and Cooper Works) as the model identifiers, with the three grades available for each engine. It’s a bit confusing. Often, there are no-cost options involved with each trim, but we simply couldn’t include them all.
Opting for ALL4 on the Cooper S models adds $2,000 to the bottom line. We arranged prices by engine model. The list of standard features is for the entry-level Classic trim, which is the same regardless of the engine. The cost of upgrading to the Signature is the same no matter the engine model.
There is a $1,000 difference in upgrading to the Iconic grade. The extra cost listed is based on the price of the Classic trim. Prices include the $850 factory delivery charge.
Cooper S Classic ($31,750) has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine,17-in alloy wheels, run-flat tires, automatic head lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, SensaTec vinyl seating, air conditioning, roof rails, rear parking sensors, a backup camera, heated outboard mirrors, push-button start, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, Active Driving Assistant, Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio capability and a USB port.
The John Cooper Works Classic ($40,750) has a high-output 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and AWD standard.
The Signature (+$3,000) builds on the Classic trim with remote keyless entry, a panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, automatic climate control, a Mini Connected Media System with a 6.5-in touchscreen, and Active Driving Assistant with adaptive cruise control, speed limit information, automatic high beams and frontal-crash warning.
To the Signature trim, Iconic (+$8,000 for S and +$7,000 for JCW), adds 18-in alloy wheels, power folding outboard mirrors, Comfort Access keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview and outboard mirrors, power front sport seats, LED headlights with cornering lights, a Harman Kardon Premium Sound System, Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, the 8.8-in Touchscreen Navigation Package and leather seating.
Options are still in abundance. Many are available as either stand-alone options or within packages. Some packages standard on the Iconic trim are option packages on the lower grades. Beyond that, there are all sorts of appearance options and other accessories available through the local dealership.
The 2020 Mini Clubman comes standard with front-side airbags, side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and a backup camera. Active Driving Assistant, a camera-based system with low-speed braking, pedestrian detection and emergency braking assistance at higher speeds, is standard on all Clubman versions. Otherwise, the Clubman does not offer some other common modern safety features like lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert or a blind spot monitoring system.
To date, there have been no third-party crash tests of the Clubman.
Behind the Wheel
If you’ve spent any time behind the wheel of a Mini Cooper, you’ll expect the Clubman to offer a lot of driving enjoyment — and it certainly delivers. Its larger size certainly dulls its agility, but its handling and steering are excellent in virtually all forms. The Cooper S Clubman has some serious pop. The John Cooper Works is even better.
More importantly, the Clubman offers some practicality to go along with its performance. In the back, the Clubman touts 2.5 more inches of legroom than in a standard Cooper model, which is no small feat. In the cargo area, there’s an extra 3.5 cu ft., for a grand total of 47.9 cu ft. with the seats folded down. This size makes the Clubman comparable in size to a compact hatchback like the Mazda3.
Of course, the Clubman is not a hatchback. It has a pair of swing-out doors that, while distinctively funky, do diminish rear visibility. They’re also not the only funky thing about the Clubman, which boasts plenty of interior quirks like toggle switches and circular styling details that any Mini fan would immediately recognize. Thankfully, this style doesn’t come with as much of a functional or quality penalty as the last Clubman did — the cabin is more premium and less toylike. The addition of an optional touchscreen increases functionality further, since the console-mounted infotainment controller can be awkward to reach.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Volkswagen GTI and Golf R — Given their size, performance, price tag, premium cabin and available AWD (Golf R), VW’s hot hatches are the best point of comparison for the Clubman. They’re bound to be cheaper but equally equipped.
2020 Audi A3 — If you’re just looking for a premium small car, the Audi A3 could be your best alternative to pricier Clubmans (Clubmen?). Although it effectively only comes as a sedan, the handsome A3 has a beautifully designed cabin, superb tech features and a refined driving experience.
2020 Mini Countryman — Although we could suggest checking out the 4-door Mini Cooper, if you need the sort of space provided by the Clubman, it’s also worth considering the Countryman compact SUV. The price is similar, you’ll sit higher and it has a more versatile cabin.
Used BMW 3 Series Wagon — This is a pretty good luxury car alternative to the Clubman given its superior driving dynamics, premium cabin and added versatility. It’s also produced by the same company — BMW. It’ll cost more new, so considering a used or pre-owned model is recommended.
Order your Clubman. Don’t get stuck paying for stuff you don’t want or a color combination that’s not exactly your cup of Earl Grey. In one to two months, you can have the exact Mini Clubman you like — you should even be able to get a similar price to one that’s just sitting on a dealer lot. If we were ordering, we’d go with the Cooper S Signature and try to stay under $35,000. Though even at that, it becomes a lot of money for what is effectively a compact hatchback — no matter its many virtues (and door count). Find a Mini Clubman for sale