2016 MINI Cooper Clubman Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman was new.


Performance: 8.8

The 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman's base three-cylinder engine delivers good power and satisfying acceleration, reviewers agree. Auto writers are also pleased with the available turbocharged engine, which provides even more strength. Test drivers say that both the manual and automatic transmissions are refined and deliver smooth shifts. Automotive journalists like the Mini Clubman's comfortable ride and composed handling. A few wish its steering provided more feedback. Most cars in the class earn better fuel economy estimates than the Clubman.

  • "As sophisticated as the MINI Cooper Clubman is, it still maintains its go-kart tossability." -- Left Lane News
  • "Driver appeal has always been at the heart of the Mini brand. The standard hatchback has been defined by its nimble feel, and the Clubman has the same spirit. The low-slung driving position and chunky wheel will be instantly familiar, and so will the agile dynamics." -- Edmunds
  • "What the 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman lacks in outright speed is made up for with long-legged motoring that is just right for traveling cross-country. Thanks to its long 105.1-inch wheelbase and wide track, the Clubman is perfectly at home on the Interstate." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Mini Clubman comes with a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that makes 134 horsepower. The Cooper S Clubman has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 189 horsepower. Both models come with a six-speed manual transmission and use premium gasoline. A six-speed automatic is available on the base model, and an eight-speed automatic is optional on the Cooper S Clubman. With the available automatic transmission, the base Clubman earns 25/34 mpg city/highway, which is below average for a subcompact car.

Reviewers say the Clubman’s base engine is refined and produces plenty of power. While some appreciate the Mini Clubman's quiet powertrain, some critics would like a heartier exhaust sound. The available turbocharged engine impresses reviewers with brisk power delivery. Auto writers like both the automatic and manual transmissions, noting that they shift smoothly and are well-matched with each engine.

  • "Its 1.5-liter TwinPower turbo three-cylinder engine with automatic transmission impressed us with all the power we could have hoped for, and seemed as strong as many previous-generation four-cylinder engines. The six-speed automatic transmission offered sure-footed gearing throughout the range, and we were never given the impression that the Clubman was struggling during our time behind the wheel." -- Left Lane News
  • "Both engines are sufficiently agile, but we really like the smaller 1.5-liter Cooper, which has a unique and sporty soundtrack that fits the quirky character of the Clubman." -- New York Daily News
  • "Our Cooper Clubman's manual had good clutch action and easy-to-find gates in the quiet, smooth shifter. It was well-matched to the 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo that creates 134 hp and 162 lb-ft. If you've scoffed at three-cylinder engines before, this one may change your mind. It's well-refined, and unlike some small engine/manual combos, this one doesn't scream at you at speed." -- Motor Trend
  • "Meanwhile the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the Cooper S Clubman pulls strongly right across the whole face of the tachometer even though the power peak arrives at 5,000 rpm. It puts out respectable power numbers and makes a great sound." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "One area of disappointment is the exhaust note. It's not particularly throaty with either engine, and nary a snort or burble could be coaxed, even in Sport mode." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say that the 2016 Mini Clubman's longer wheelbase creates a more pleasant ride than experienced with previous models. A few wish its steering offered more feedback. The brakes have good stopping power, and test drivers agree that the Clubman is one of the more agile and fun-to-drive cars in the class.

  • "Both cars displayed MINI's trademark go-kart style that encouraged and rewarded enthusiasm behind the wheel. Thanks to enhanced sound dampening, we found the Clubman extremely quiet on the best roads, while coarser surfaces tended to transmit the tires' displeasure with the streets at hand." -- AutoTrader
  • "The 14.2:1 electric power steering is familiar but could be a little more communicative, and we wouldn't exactly complain if effort increased a little earlier in the process of turning the wheel. While easy to modulate, the brake pedal doesn't really engage you in any meaningful manner. That said, repeated panic stops from 80 mph revealed competent ABS calibration, which aided in hauling the car down with little drama." -- Car and Driver
  • "It feels like a premium product, and the bonus of its extended wheelbase is a ride comfort that's better than anything we've experienced in a Mini before. This is a comfortable long-distance machine." -- Edmunds
  • "Even with the bigger engine, the Clubman is sufficiently agile, it feels safe and solid, but fails to evoke the go-kart-like feeling that customers expect from the brand." -- New York Daily News
  • "Part of the Mini legend is its sharp, takes-no-prisoners steering. But as with the suspension, the Clubman's tiller is relaxed compared to its smaller counterparts. Turn-in is still extremely quick relative to mainstream offerings and the power assist is strong, but it doesn't feel overboosted or twitchy." -- Autoblog

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