Mini Cooper Clubman D

Desirable package adds green features to the mix.

While many car makers have been busy dressing up their eco models with specific brands and badges, one has spread its planet-friendly technology across its entire range: BMW.

Efficient Dynamics has led the way in making quick and effective reductions in emissions on many of the maker’s models, and every new MINI. Even the likes of the M3 benefit – so you can have performance while keeping an eye on CO2 output.

But to feel the full force of Efficient Dynamics, we included the MINI Clubman Cooper D in our round-up. Features include a regenerative braking function – similar to that in our hybrid trio. This uses brake energy to recharge a hi-tech battery via the alternator, which results in less engine drag.

More noticeable to drivers, though, is the stop-start function. It’s standard on all MINIs, and is as simple as it sounds. Come to a halt in traffic, shift into neutral, lift the clutch and the engine cuts out. Touch the clutch again, and it fires back into life. It’s strange at first, but works well.

Efficient Dynamics adds a gearshift indicator on the rev counter and low-viscous gearbox oil, too. As a result, economy and emissions have improved by 12 per cent across the range – and this year alone, BMW claims it will save 33 million gallons of fuel and 370,000 tonnes of CO2.

In our hands, the Clubman averaged 57mpg – the best on test. Yet its styling, driving enjoyment and performance are all first rate. As with the Cooper and Cooper S, it has precise steering, great body control and bags of character. The engine is refined and never has to be pushed hard, while the ride is superb. BMW has got the balance of efficiency and pace spot-on – the Cooper D proves it’s cool to be green.

Details

Price: £15,405Model tested: Cooper Clubman D

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