2017 MINI Cooper Clubman Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 MINI Cooper Clubman was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2017 Mini Cooper Clubman gets decent power from its base turbocharged three-cylinder engine, and there are two available turbocharged four-cylinder engines that give the Clubman an energetic feel. Gas mileage isn’t great for the class, and the Clubman requires premium gasoline, which only expands the gap between fuel costs in the Clubman and what you’d pay to refill class rivals.

The Clubman is nimble and has accurate steering, and most people will enjoy driving it. Over most roads, the ride is smooth and quiet.

  • "As sophisticated as the MINI Cooper Clubman is, it still maintains its go-kart tossability." -- Left Lane News (2016)
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The Mini Clubman comes standard with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that puts out 134 horsepower. There are two more powerful engine options, but you have to step up in trim level to get them. The Cooper S Clubman features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 189 horsepower, and the John Cooper Works Clubman features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts out 228 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and six- and eight-speed automatic transmissions are available, depending on which engine you get.

The base Clubman gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. In the Cooper S Clubman, those ratings drop to 22 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. Regardless of which engine you choose, the Clubman gets poor fuel economy for the class. The Clubman also requires premium gasoline, making every trip to the gas station a double whammy.

The Clubman’s base engine produces ample power, and it doesn’t make a lot of noise (though some drivers may consider the lack of an engine note a negative instead of a positive). The available turbocharged four-cylinder engines feel strong and really get the Clubman moving. Both the automatic and manual transmissions are good; they pair well with the engines and deliver smooth shifts.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Mini Clubman comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. The Clubman has a relatively smooth ride over all but the roughest roads. Mini has a reputation for making go-kart-like vehicles, and the Clubman proves agile. The steering is accurate, though some critics wish it offered more feedback. The Clubman is fun to drive and more comfortable over long stretches than its smaller sibling, the Mini Hardtop.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)
  • "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 (2016)

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