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2010 Mini Cooper Clubman Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Mini Cooper Clubman was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.3

Reviewers say almost unanimously that the Mini Clubman is fun to drive.  Acceleration is great with all of the engines, and handling is razor sharp.  However, reviewers do note that the ride is very firm, and not be very comfortable for everyone, especially over rough roads.

  • "It retains the phenomenally fun driving experience associated with its smaller brethren. Responses to driver inputs are cat-quick, and the Cooper Clubman delivers lots of feedback through the steering wheel, driver seat and pedals." -- Edmunds
  • "I'm surprised to find that whipping around with the additional length and 177 extra pounds is not a problem. The Clubman is a long and heavy kitty, but she's still a cat. This much is clear as we bound from corner to corner; slow in, only to claw out fast under full throttle -- so quick, I question whether the regular Mini would be better out here." -- Motor Trend
  • "With its distinguished rally-racing history, the Mini is born for twisty roads, where it feels alive, edgy and high in testosterone. Especially in tighter quarters, the Mini can bob, feint and counterpunch its way to an upset over weightier, stronger competition." -- New York Times
  • "The biggest concern with building a bigger Mini is the loss of the gokart-like fun-to-drive feel of the base model. Fret not because the Clubman is just as fun to drive as the regular Mini Cooper." -- New Car Test Drive

Acceleration and Power

The base Clubman and the Clubman S produce 118 and 172 horsepower, respectively. The John Cooper Works variant steps it up even more, making 208 horsepower. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the base 2010 MINI Clubman with an automatic transmission at 25/34 mpg city/highway. The manual transmission model gets an estimated 28/37 mpg city/highway. The S trim doesn't fare as well, with the automatic getting an estimated 23/32 mpg city/highway and the manual getting an estimated 26/34 mpg city/highway.

Auto critics generally like all three engines, but the more power there is, the happier they are, leading them to recommend the S and the John Cooper Works trims.  However, for most drivers, the base engine should be plenty powerful.

  • "The base engine in the test car delivered more than enough spunk." -- Kansas City Star
  • "In terms of power, the base Cooper's engine is surprisingly zesty.... generally, the base engine provides more than enough power for most buyers. That said, the turbocharged Cooper S and John Cooper Works versions are superb, providing a satisfying swell of low-end power whenever the driver dips into the accelerator.… No matter which Clubman you choose, prepare to have fun." -- Edmunds
  • "Response increases with throttle application - press gently on the accelerator, and it's quite civil, and reasonably quick. Foot to the floor it's a nasty little hooligan in the best possible way, with a definite tug on the steering wheel and a strong desire to head forward very quickly." -- The Auto Channel
  • "The Clubman S is undeniably more fun to drive, as that extra horsepower makes highway passing much easier, and winding backroads just that much more interesting." -- Orlando Sentinel

Handling and Braking

Reviewers love the Mini Clubman's handling.  The longer wheel base allows for the wheels to be closer to the car's corners, making the Clubman even zippier around turns than the Mini Cooper, according to some reviewers.  The brakes are strong and steady, and the steering is direct and well-weighted.  The ride is a bit on the firm side; however, reviewers say the Clubman's handling acumen make the firm ride worth it.

  • "Longer wheelbase lessens the nervousness of the regular-length Minis but maintains the tossability" -- Car and Driver
  • "While the Clubman's rack-and-pinion steering is electrically assisted, it avoids the synthetic feel of many other electric systems. The steering is also bullet-quick, but on rough pavement the Mini can feel twitchy compared with, say, a Volkswagen GTI." -- New York Times
  • "Handling is as crisp and precise as ever, steering is almost telepathic: All the things Mini owners love about their cars, they'll love about the Clubman." -- Orlando Sentinel
  • "In no way sloppy or floppy, the Clubman simply does a better job soaking up bumps than the shorter hardtop does now, or ever did, while retaining the agile steering and tight handling that have been part of the Mini Cooper's appeal." -- USA TODAY
  • "But, as with any size Mini, Clubman's sports-tuned suspension makes it so agile and nimble, and steering response is so quick and accurate, that the machine feels more potent than it is." -- Chicago Tribune
  • "If driving comfort is your thing, this is not your ride. The Clubman S suffers from torque steer, wheel hop, stiff crashing suspensions." -- The Truth About Cars

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