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In-depth reviews

MINI Clubman review - Engines, performance and drive

Despite its increase in size, the Clubman retains the classic MINI character, with nice steering and impressive body control

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

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Despite its stretched-out dimensions, the Clubman still steers with the same enthusiasm as the MINI hatch. This eager character is a trait all MINIs possess, from the Convertible to the Countryman crossover.

The steering still has the same sharp feeling as on the MINI hatch, although it does feel a little light for our tastes. However, it responds keenly to fast changes in direction and never feels like it’s being asked to do something out of its remit. While the Clubman still resonates with that classic MINI feel, the engineers have really focused on is refinement and ride quality.

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In the past, MINIs have been about as famous for their poor ride quality as for their engaging character, but the British brand has addressed that with the Clubman. It feels softer than any past MINIs and you can really feel that on the road.

Hit a bump and the Clubman feels composed when dealing with poor road surfaces. It's still firm compared to a Volkswagen Golf, but never uncomfortable.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

The Clubman Cooper has a 134bhp 1.5-litre petrol, offering enough performance for most needs, along with a surprising amount of torque and decent efficiency. With a 0-62mph time of 9.2 seconds, it's more than adept at maintaining MINI's reputation for building nippy cars.

The more expensive 176bhp Cooper S isn't significantly more exciting, and doesn't sound or feel as fast as the hatchback version, although it does get a useful slug of extra torque from its larger 2.0-litre engine.

The Clubman John Cooper Works provides the thrills in the range, using the same 2.0-litre 302bhp four-cylinder turbo engine that drives the BMW M135i. This means a 0-62mph time of only 4.9 seconds, along with a top speed of 155mph - proper hot hatch numbers.

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