2008 MINI Cooper Clubman S
Have no fear--that's why the 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman is here. The Clubman adds 10 inches in total to the body, 32.6 cubic feet of cargo space (with the seats folded down) and 3.2 inches of rear passenger to boot. Okay, so it isn’t exactly a BMW 7-series, but it might help you sway yourself to the idea that you can "MINI" too, just like the kitschy ads suggest.
For 2009, the MINI Clubman is offered in the Standard and S trim, like its smaller sibling and boast good performance from either engine choice. The Cooper S version, equipped with the turbocharged 1.6 liter inline four-cylinder, will propel you 0-60 mph somewhere in the ball park of 6.7 seconds. With the addition length the handling is less quirky than the original MINI and allows the driver to put all 172 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque to road and more importantly through the twisties.
The Clubman does have its faults--not big ones, of course. A lot of people find the interior of the Clubman hard to get around, especially the radio and climate controls. Other complaints have centered around the interior rattles and the fit and finish. With that being said, the retro styling combined with the long list of dealer options, additional room and superb handling allows for a lot of people to see past both the regular MINI and the Clubman’s shortcomings, pun intended. To make that point even stronger, I'll just point out that TheCarConnection.com has rated the MINI Clubman as an 8.2 out of 10 in its full review.
For those of you looking for even more performance from the Clubman then the S package offers, MINI brings a package called the John Cooper Works Clubman to the table. This package increases the power output of the S engine by 36 hp and torque is also up by 14 lb-ft and by 30 lb-ft when the Overboost function is engaged. Downsides? Well as with anything, the more performance the more outlay of cash, so if you want to play with what has been called the M3 of MINIs, you will have to lay out $30,800 instead of the $23,700 MSRP that the Clubman S costs.
In all, the MINI Clubman is a great compromise for the person who needs more room then the standard MINI, but craves the excitement and the heritage.