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2019 MINI Cooper Clubman Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.3

The 2019 Mini Clubman performs better than most other subcompact cars. It gives you three turbocharged engine options and delivers excellent handling. The ride is firm but smooth. Fuel economy, however, is terrible by class standards.

  • "This maximum Mini is still low-slung and feels like it hugs the road, but cornering isn't as sharp as the regular Mini Cooper. The Clubman has slightly softer demeanor. While the steering is quick and possesses a dash of feedback, a spirited drive reveals the car's limitations, with a less precise nature than smaller Minis." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Minis are known for being youthful and fun, but 'youthful' was just a nice way of saying noisy, unrefined, and stiff-riding round town. We were pleased to find the latest ... Mini Clubman is still fun and engaging, but without those downsides. It's quiet, with little wind noise at speed, and even the engine growl at full throttle is nicely subdued." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "For most customers the minutiae of the Clubman's handling will take a backseat … to ride comfort. In this regard, Mini's largest-ever model is also one of its most comfortable, boasting a civilized character over both B-road bumps and city center imperfections. Secondary impacts are particularly well muted, with the Clubman's suspension managing the high-frequency rough stuff without much trouble. On larger impacts, suspension noises are limited, while the actual influence on cabin comfort is best described as minor." -- Autoblog (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The base Clubman comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that puts out 134 horsepower. This engine does fine for day-to-day driving, but it doesn't deliver the energetic feel of the larger engines.

The Cooper S Clubman features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 189 horsepower. The John Cooper Works Clubman features the same engine, but it puts out 228 horsepower. These engines deliver better acceleration than the base three-cylinder, and they make the Clubman feel spry.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard. A six-speed automatic transmission is available with the base engine, and an eight-speed automatic is available in Cooper S and John Cooper Works models.

With its base engine and automatic transmission, the Clubman gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Estimates are marginally worse with the turbo-four engines. With any of these engines, the Clubman is less fuel-efficient than virtually every class rival.

  • "In casual driving, the Clubman's 1.5-liter engine is adequate. But it can feel slow to respond when quick action is required to merge with traffic. Sport mode helps, but it's still outpaced by many competitors, needing 8.6 seconds to get to 60 mph." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "Our turbocharged three-cylinder version delivers ample motivation. Although acceleration times are rather unimpressive -- 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds with the six-speed automatic -- the car seldom feels underpowered when driving. However, sometimes there's a bit of hesitation before the power comes alive when pulling away from an intersection." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Mini's standard manual transmission remains a delight, and the optional automatic is smooth and refined. The standard 3-cylinder Clubman has adequate acceleration, while the Cooper S Clubman with its turbocharged 4-cylinder is downright quick. If you opt for all-wheel drive, we suggest stepping up to an S model. With the standard 3-cylinder powering all four wheels, acceleration is leisurely." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Handling and Braking

The Clubman rates as one of the most athletic, fun-to-drive cars in the class, though it doesn't have the go-kart-like feel of some of its siblings. Still, this Mini handles well and delivers a firm but smooth ride. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "Usually renowned for snappy, playful go-kartlike handling, this Mini seems to be dialed back for a calmer demeanor. The Clubman still responds well to initial steering inputs and exhibits impeccable balance, but the overall feel is more composed and deliberate, not eager and frenetic." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "Handling isn't quite as sharp as the regular Mini Cooper, but the Clubman still hugs the road nicely, turns into corners with verve, and snakes through the avoidance maneuver at our test track with ease." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "Dynamically, the best thing about driving the Clubman is the taut, firm ride quality and the eagerness with which the car bends into corners and springs back for more. Around town, the car does ride stiffly, and lots of road noise gets transmitted into the cabin. But these are small prices to pay for nimble handling. It would be nice if Mini better dialed-in the steering, which frequently feels numb and delivers little in the way of road feel." -- New York Daily News (2017)

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