2008 Mini Cooper Clubman Review
What: A stretched version of the stylized MINI.
When: Available now
Price: Priced at approximately $20,600 in the base trim, a starting price of $24,100 for the S Clubman
New For 2008
An oblong "bulldog" shape and rear barn doors are the key distinguishers between the MINI Cooper Clubman and the original Cooper models. BMW offers the new Clubman model in response to those who like MINI's Euro-influenced style but need more utility. The 2008 Cooper Clubman is approximately 9.6-inches longer, with an additional 3.2-inch wheelbase. There are 2.5 inches of added knee room, and approximately 50 percent more cargo space behind the rear seats.
The Cooper Clubman's standard engine is a four cylinder that makes 118 horsepower. The S trim has a turbocharged four-cylinder with 172 horsepower. Both have a Getrag six-speed manual transmission standard.
What the Auto Press Says
With more room and utility than the original MINI but just the same amount of quirkiness and fun, the 2008 MINI Cooper Clubman gets great reviews for taking the best of the original coupe while improving on the worst aspects of the tiny design. But there are mixed impressions of the interior -- some appreciate the avant-garde design, others say quirky gauges are less than intuitive.
- "Those who feared the Clubman would be less Mini and therefore less fun have nothing to fear. … I've never been all that much of Mini fanboy, but I think I've just become a card carrying member of the Clubman cult." -- Motor Trend
- "The Clubman will put a smile on your face with accurate steering, a sweet gearchange, and great handling." -- The Car Connection
- "The Clubman incorporates the major features of the latest-generation Mini Cooper…including a restyled and more-upright front end, a richer-looking interior, a retuned suspension, and new engines that are both more powerful and more fuel efficient." -- Forbes
- "Everything about the way the car sounds, looks and steers is exactly what you'd expect from this successful reincarnation of the British classic." -- Popular Mechanics
- "The added length contributes to more knee and leg room in back while the small access door on the passenger side makes getting into/out of the back seat much easier." -- Chicago Tribune
- "- To some, it seems like a perfect combination of form and function. But for me, the idea of a big Mini just seems...well...against what makes a Mini a Mini. One thing's for sure: the Clubman just seems to be one of those cars that people either love or hate." -- CNET
- "It takes design risks -- aircraft-style toggle switches, door pulls that seem borrowed from a funhouse ride -- that Toyota wouldn't dare. … Audio controls are so enamored with their own looks that they can't be bothered to work effectively." -- New York Times
- "People don't buy Minis because they make sense, though; they buy them because the cars are a happy mix of functionality, look-at-me quirkiness, and fun." -- Automobile Magazine
The new Cooper Clubman has color adjustable ambient lighting, leatherette upholstery, a start/stop button, three cupholders and 50/50 split fold down rear seats. The 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman offers even more creature comforts, such as a climate controlled glove box. Color choices for both models range from Hot Chocolate to British Racing Green to Mellow Yellow.
Safety features include six air bags, anti-lock brakes, Dynamic Stability Control and Electronic Brake force Distribution. Wipers are automatic, speed-sensitive and heated.