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#26

in 2012 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $16,605 - $23,279
Original MSRP: $21,200 - $31,400
MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy

2012 Mini Cooper Clubman Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

While the Clubman’s distinctively-styled dash and large central speedometer add visual appeal, test drivers say they wish the Clubman was more practical. Reviewers frequently cite confusing switchgear, a cramped rear seat and a small cargo hold as their key gripes inside the Mini Clubman. The stereo controls were revised on the 2011 Clubman, but unfortunately, reviewers say they’re still difficult to master. Additionally, some critics say that the Clubman is noisy at highway speeds, and that its navigation system is difficult to use.

Despite these concerns, the Clubman is still a great option for shoppers who want something more functional than the Mini Cooper, but value its fun driving dynamics and stylish design. Additionally, iPhone users will appreciate the optional Mini Connected system, which lets you access email, Twitter and stream Pandora right from the Clubman’s dash.

  • "Wind and road noise are intrusive at highway speeds." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "As in the regular Cooper, the Clubman features the retro-inspired control setup, punctuated with toggle switches and anchored by an oversized speedometer in the center stack. Some will love the unique style of form trumping function, but others may find it annoying and pretentious." -- Edmunds 
  • "Along with added dimensions come quality interior bits and a unique design, including a tachometer behind the steering wheel, center-mounted power window switches and a huge speedometer mounted on the center of the dash." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "The real low points of the Mini are its electronics interface, which isn't particularly intuitive, and the horrible-looking maps." -- CNET 

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Seating

The 2012 Clubman has more interior space than the Mini Cooper, but not much. Adults will still feel cramped in the rear row, so it’s a good idea not to stick them back there during longer trips. However, most agree that the front seats offer plenty of room, and most appreciate the Clubman’s passenger-side access door, which eases back seat entry and exit.

  • "Generous seat travel and a high ceiling accommodate even large occupants. Seats are firm and supportive but mounted too low for easy entry and exit." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "Fortunately, the Clubman's passenger-side access door eases the effort of climbing in and out of the backseat." -- Edmunds 
  • "The extra three inches of wheelbase in the Clubman translate into three extra inches of rear leg room, which make the rear seats very practical for children and acceptable for two adults for short trips." -- Left Lane News 
  • "Unlike the regular Cooper, the … Mini Clubman provides moderately sufficient, if not plentiful, accommodations for up to four adults." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The cargo area of the Clubman is not much larger than in the standard Cooper, but the passenger-side double door makes for easier rear seat access, which some will appreciate." -- CNET 
  • "It's nowhere near as roomy as most cars in its class, but it's appreciably roomier than the regular Cooper." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

In the past, reviewers have had one major gripe with the Mini Clubman’s interior: confusing stereo knobs. Their complaints didn’t fall on deaf ears, as Mini revised the controls on the 2011 model. For the most part, reviewers say the Clubman’s switchgear is a little easier to use. However, they aren’t completely satisfied, commenting that there’s still room for improvement.

One feature that reviewers love is the optional Mini Connected system, which uses your iPhone’s data connection to stream music from the Internet, check email or access social media. Mini Connected is positioned inside the center-mounted speedometer and includes Bluetooth and USB connections. Reviewers generally applaud the healthy dose of technology it brings to the Clubman’s cabin, but a few critics note that Mini Connected will only work with an iPhone.

Some test drivers also comment that the optional navigation system isn’t the most intuitive, a problem that’s magnified by its odd color scheme and maps that are difficult to read.

  • "Climate controls are within easier reach but poorly marked; temperature and fan settings are more difficult to adjust than they need to be. Same goes for the audio controls, which are governed by a confusing layout that can require drilling through cryptic labels and multiple menus in order to make what should otherwise be simple adjustments." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Mini Connected app vaults the car's cabin tech forward, giving it Internet-based music sources and Google search. The premium audio system works in its favor as well." -- CNET
  • "The interior looks much like the regular Cooper's, with a large circular speedometer mounted in the center of the dashboard and plenty of toggle switches among the center controls." -- Cars.com
  • "A new infotainment upgrade called Mini Connected helps make up for the sacrifices in driving fun. Working with Microsoft, Mini engineers developed a hook-up between an iPhone and the Mini's soul that handles a broad range of entertainment and communications functions as you go." -- Automobile Magazine

Cargo

While the Mini Cooper Clubman has a considerably larger trunk than the Mini Cooper Hardtop, its available cargo space is still very small. You only get 9.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 32.8 with them folded. Compared with the Cooper Hardtop, that’s 3.5 more cubic feet with the seats up and 8.8 more with the seats folded. If you need something larger, consider the Volkswagen GTI, which has 15.2 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats in use.

Some reviewers also say that the Clubman lacks sufficient small-item storage in the cabin.

  • "Aside from large map pockets in the doors and a two-tier glovebox, interior storage is meager, and the console cupholders are too small to hold large cups." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The Clubman's cargo area is more than twice as large as the regular Cooper's, although with just 9.2 cubic feet of capacity, it's not exactly cavernous. Flip the rear seats down, however, and the cargo bay expands to a useful 32.8 cubes." -- Edmunds