MINI One Clubman Review
Joining The Club

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
9 Oct 2020
 

What makes the Clubman unique is that it is the only hatchback offered with rear side-by-side split doors

MINI has just made their versatile Clubman station wagon... estate hatch, a little more affordable, by extending the entry ‘One’ trim to the range. Originally the One variant was for both the 3 and 5 door hatchbacks. The One Clubman, with its lower price point, seems a sensible move by the premium brand to expand their product lineup.

What makes the Clubman unique is that it is the only hatchback offered with rear side-by-side split doors. And while MINI may deny this, it is essentially their take on what a MINI estate car is.

With the facelift, the most obvious addition to the car, are those snazzy Union Jack-themed tail lamps, and yes, you do get that beer can-inspired exhaust tip!

Inside

The elliptical-themed interior of the entry model car is the same as the rest of the Clubman range. Knobs on the air-conditioning vents turn with consistent tension, which sings of quality. The illuminated light ring in the middle of the dash, which houses the 6.5” infotainment screen is customisable to your liking, and responds to different events. While MINI has facelifted their range of cars, we like that they have opted to provide both USB A and C ports, instead of just making the jump to offering just the latter.

The ‘MINI Yours’ interior style package, which is included in this MINI One, adds illuminated Piano Black surfaces to the dash, and an all-round cockpit bezel. Door bezels are also illuminated to match the dashboard.

Compared to the hatchback range, the Clubman does have more width, meaning additional shoulder room for its occupants. Those in-front also benefit from good side support, and adjustable thigh cushions. Unlike the 5-door hatch, the MINI Clubman’s rear seats are contoured, and with the extra girth of the car, there is actually some decent room for a middle passenger. Legroom at the rear is also heaps better than the 5-door, thanks to the Clubman’s longer wheelbase.

Trunk space is decent, with 360 litres available. We like that MINI has also included a second compartment under the boot board for extra stowage. With the rear seats folded, cargo space can be expanded to 1,250 litres.

The split boot doors do make the Clubman quite special, since there isn’t anything else like this out there. If you were to look at the ‘CLUBMAN’ wording at the rear, it is fun to know that there is some play with the kerning to get the words to fit… and now you can’t unsee that!

The Drive

The base model Clubman is powered by a 1.5 litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine, which is in a lower state of tune than the ones found in the Cooper-badged cars. With 102hp, the MINI One Clubman sits in the Category A COE range.

With all of its 190Nm available at 1,380rpm, the entry model Clubman does a decent job of hauling itself around town traffic, and thanks to a responsive gearbox, there is very little loss of power between gears, and changes are smooth.

On the highway, those who do like a little more go might be a little disappointed with the lack of grunt, evidenced by the leisurely 11.6 seconds the One Clubman takes to hit the century mark. There is also the matter of weight. Compared to the MINI One 5-door hatch, you will be lugging an extra 130kg, thanks to all that extra metal.

In keeping with MINI’s commitment to delivering a Go Kart-like driving experience, the Clubman does handle excellently around the bends. The steering is quick, and you do get that point-and-shoot accuracy usually associated with performance-oriented cars. Sadly, there is much left to be desired when powering out of a tight bend onto a straight.

While those who like more pace will find the lack of grunt quite disappointing. However, we know that there are many who may not be in a rush, and will appreciate the quality of the drive. Insulation is also very good, so is ride comfort, apart from the runflat tyres firming it up just a little. 

Our Thoughts

The MINI Cooper-badged version of the Clubman is an $8,000 premium over the MINI One. For that you do get a little more kit, and more importantly, more grunt and torque. After experiencing the Clubman with lesser power, the Cooper-badged model is worth splashing out the extra cash for. 

But if you are one of those who truly takes things at a leisurely pace, the lesser-powered Clubman could be a more sensible premium car buy.

In Summary

We Like

Build quality. Unique styling. Practicality. Handling.

We Don't

The Clubman body is too heavy to milk any fun out of that 102hp engine.

Verdict

For those who want more space, and would usually take things slower, the MINI One Clubman does a plenty-good job. For those who want a little more zing in their drive, go for the Cooper, or even better, the Cooper S model.

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1499cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 3
Compression Ratio 11:1
Bore x Stroke (82.5 x 94.6)mm
Power 102bhp @ 3900rpm
Torque 190Nm @ 1380rpm
Power to Weight 71.6 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 11.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 185 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed Auto
Drive Type FF
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type 5 Door Hatch
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4266 x 1800 x 1441) mm
Wheelbase 2670 mm
Kerb Weight 1425 kg
Boot Capacity 360 L
Boot Capacity (folded) 1250 L

Brakes