MINI Cooper Clubman Performance
All of the 2014 Mini Clubman’s available engines have sufficient power for tooling around town, test drivers say, but the base model takes some time to get up to speed on the highway. Clubmans equipped with turbocharged engines have plenty of oomph and are faster off the line, they note. Both the automatic and manual transmissions are refined, auto writers note, and the six-speed manual has a precise shifter. Reviewers say the Mini Clubman inherits the athletic handling of its smaller sibling and is a joy to drive, especially around curves, where it feels planted. They praise its crisp steering and say it has a controlled ride.
- "The MINI Cooper Clubman is certainly bigger than the regular MINI. But make no mistake, it's not that much longer. Thus, other than being a little slower off the line than comparable MINI Cooper hardtop models, the Clubman behaves almost identically to its smaller siblings." -- AutoTrader
- "One CG editor called Clubman a ‘sports car in the classic sense of the term. Its dynamic responsiveness and like-its-on-rails handling are immensely pleasing. Plenty of other cars are faster, but good luck chasing down this one on the twisties.’" -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Although longer than the regular Mini, the 2013 Mini Cooper Clubman still entertains with its road manners. Driver inputs generate immediate results and there's plenty of feedback through the seats, steering wheel and pedals, while the electric-assist power steering makes maneuvering at slow speeds effortless. Hitting the Sport button -- standard on every Clubman -- firms up the steering effort and quickens throttle response.” -- Edmunds (2013)
- “Comparisons made of the Mini Cooper and go karts have become cliche, but not all that far from accurate. The Mini Cooper and Cooper Clubman boast precision steering, smooth and capable brakes and a very minimum of body roll in the corners." -- Kelley Blue Book (2011)
Acceleration and Power
The 2014 Mini Clubman comes with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 121 horsepower. Cooper S and John Cooper Works models come with turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines that produce 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. All models have a standard six-speed manual transmission and use premium gasoline. A six-speed automatic is optional. With an automatic transmission, the base Clubman gets an EPA-estimated 27/35 mpg city/highway, which is decent for the class. With the automatic transmission, the John Cooper Works model averages 26/35 mpg.
Reviewers say the Clubman’s base engine has plenty of power around town, but it can be slow to pass at highway speeds. Additionally, one critic notes that the base Clubman is notably slower off the line when equipped with the automatic transmission. They’re more enthusiastic about the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models, which they say offer quicker acceleration. Test drivers like both transmissions, but they prefer the six-speed manual for its refinement and brisk power delivery.
- "In addition to the Clubman's quick handling, engine power is surprisingly zippy, even for the base 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The power is just right, and the engine feels responsive whether you choose the six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed automatic. The Cooper S and John Cooper Works models will please drivers seeking speedier thrills, with the turbo providing a generous helping of acceleration with barely a hint of lag. Regardless of which Clubman you choose, all offer an invigorating drive." -- Edmunds (2013)
- "Even with the base engine, Mini Coopers are a blast to drive. We endorse Mini's excellent 6-speed manual transmission in all of the brand's models, but especially in the base form, as that engine with the automatic transmission makes the vehicle noticeably slower." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
- "They're quick enough around town, but struggle a bit for highway passing. The turbocharged versions are much zippier." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Both the Cooper S Clubman and John Cooper Works versions get the same six-speed manual transmission, which shifts with European smoothness and lets you chirp the front tires off the line." -- CNET (2011)
Handling and Braking
The automotive press says that although the Mini Clubman is larger than the traditional Mini Cooper Hardtop, its handling is similarly athletic. Driving the Clubman is simply a blast, they say, especially on winding roads. The steering is precise and requires little effort, they report, making the Clubman very easy to park. Test drivers note that the Clubman feels a bit more stable at highway speeds than the Mini Cooper Hardtop.
- "We've yet to drive a Mini that did not make us grin. An automotive David to the surrounding Goliaths, Minis don't necessarily have tire-shredding power, but oh can they carve a corner. They are attracted to twisty roads like metal to a magnet." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "In other words, it is all sorts of fun and delivers the same quick steering and throttle responses when you hit the Sport button, which we recommend doing every time you start the car." -- AutoTrader
- "Though a bit less ‘tossable’ than the smaller, lighter Hardtops, the Clubmans corner with much the same poise and scarcely more body lean. Directional stability is front-drive secure, though gusty crosswinds can cause mild wander.” -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "Compared to its length-challenged Mini counterpart, the Clubman's longer wheelbase adds a noticeable amount of stability, especially on choppier pavement, but still retains a playful front-end feel." -- Road and Track (2012)
- "The responsive steering is not too touchy for a comfortable cruise down the freeway, and proved easy to turn in parking lots." -- CNET (2011)
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