The Supersized Mini
We Like: The additional space, lightweight feel, and crisp turn-in.
We Don’t Like: The absent sense of quirky style and driving fun.
Clubman is to Mini what supersizing is to McDonald’s. But is more better?
The Clubman brings additional usable space and a quieter big-boy car feel—but at great cost. It’s a girthy offering that is more than a foot longer and 4.6 inches wider than the last generation. And it’s hardly recognizable from the base Mini hatchback.
“It looks like a big and bloated caricature of a Mini,” Angus MacKenzie said. “Same with the interior: Once an artful homage to Mini minimalism, it’s now cluttered with oddly placed stuff.”
Tom Gale piled on: “Heavy-handed surfacing, wheel and wheel-opening proportions, and overdone graphics and lamp details all contribute to negate any advancement in design.” Added Chris Theodore: “Gone is the lightness, fun, and personality of the iconic original. My hero, Sir Alec Issigonis, must be rolling over in his grave. Shame! Shame! Shame!”
With the supersizing, the Mini essence was lost. “For a car that promises so much fun (including a proclamation of ‘Let’s Motor Hard!’ in Sport mode), it underdelivers big time,” Kim Reynolds said. “On our figure eight, it does turn in crisply, but it basically understeers.”
Alisa Priddle noted that the Mini’s size and weight “contribute to the sensation it takes a long time to get to full speed.”
Although a few judges preferred the lighter Cooper trim and its peppy three-cylinder over the heavier Cooper S, an AC system failure in the triple-digit temperatures damned the base model.
The Clubman is a bigger—but not better—Mini. And it’s certainly not Car of the Year.
2017 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contenders
- Buick LaCrosse
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Chevrolet Volt
- Fiat 124 Spider
- Ford Focus RS
- Honda Accord
- Hyundai Elantra
- Kia Cadenza
- Kia Forte
- Mercedes-Benz C300 Coupe 4Matic
- Mercedes-Benz E300
- Toyota Prius Two Eco
|2016 Mini Clubman Cooper||2016 Mini Clubman Cooper S|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$26,500||$40,800|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback|
|ENGINE||1.5L/134-hp/162-lb-ft turbo DOHC 12-valve I-3||2.0L/189-hp/207-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed manual||8-speed automatic|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,092 lb (58/42%)||3,346 lb (60/40%)|
|WHEELBASE||105.1 in||105.1 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||168.3 x 70.9 x 56.7 in||168.3 x 70.9 x 56.7 in|
|0-60 MPH||8.3 sec||7.0 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||16.5 sec @ 83.8 mph||15.5 sec @ 90.4 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||113 ft||123 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.85 g (avg)||0.85 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||27.1 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)||27.0 sec @ 0.65 g (avg)|
|REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB||Not tested||Not tested|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||25/34/28 mpg||23/33/27 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||135/99 kW-hrs/100 miles||147/102 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.68 lb/mile||0.73 lb/mile|