REVIEW | Why the Mini Clubman is funky, fun and exhilarating

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2020 Mini Clubman. Image: PressClub / Mini
2020 Mini Clubman. Image: PressClub / Mini

Funky, exhilarating, and fun are not how one would generally describe a family estate car, but the Mini Clubman is, of course, an exception.

The Clubman's good looks, complemented by creatively designed rear doors, turns heads.

And if you want to step it up and have onlookers gasping, you could opt for personalised options which include stripes on the bodywork, exciting roof designs and colourful seats, among other possibilities.

Being so gorgeous also means compromising on some practical aspects like a roomier boot but the creative design does let you open half the door to pack less bulky things for your weekend in the countryside.

Sitting in a low-slung driving position means you've embraced a playful, sporty Mini Clubman element. Of course, the John Cooper Works (JCW) version is the hottest, but any Clubman could count as a hot hatch.

Mini Clubman

2020 Mini Clubman. Image: PressClub / Mini

Hitting the road

The JCW is improved with 225kW and 450Nm while the more basic Cooper contends with 100kW and 220Nm. The Clubman certainly is responsive with impressive performance. Reports indicate that tested on the Autobahn; it reached 200km/h effortlessly. Back home, it was a pleasure cruising along meandering rural roads - one feels the "go-kart-like" driving attitude, securely gripping the gravel with impressive composure. 

In previous iterations of the Clubman, one may have felt the bumpy bits more, but now the ride is pleasingly smooth and the competence on gravel impressive.

The Clubman has funky visual appeal, particularly the JCW with creative stripes, meshed vents and LED headlights. It may be worth mentioning here that the braking system is incredible with 360mm discs up front. All things considered, this new iteration of the Clubman is more refined, more impressive and comes with heightened drop-dead good looks. 

Mini Clubman

2020 Mini Clubman. Image: PressClub / Mini

Funky on the outside and inside 

Minis are not known for their centre consoles, but the new Clubman has a solid centre console. Besides being funky, the Mini Clubman is said to come with a British soul and a German heart – so the unmistakably German quality comes as no surprise. This quality is evident from the cubby to the BMW-like satnav.

The soul and heart of the Clubman also come through as one appreciates the beautiful finishes and unmistakably creative design.

Boot space may not be altogether impressive at 360 litres, but this is a car people may consider despite this limitation – when you fold the seats you can get perhaps three times the space.

Things like the much-desired infotainment system and the 'look at me' speedometer, and rev-counter go some way to make up for limitations.

Mini Clubman

2020 Mini Clubman. Image: PressClub / Mini

Highlights and wow factors include:

• Distinctive front design with newly designed radiator grille. 
• LED headlights with Matrix function for the high beam. 
• New LED fog lamps with driving light ring. 
• LED rear lights as standard, optionally in Union Jack design. 
• New body colours, new option Piano Black exterior. 
• New light-alloy wheels. 
• Sports suspension with vehicle lowered by 10 millimetres. 
• New range of leather trims and interior surfaces.  Here are your options:

MINI Cooper Clubman:
• 100 kW, 0 - 100 km/h in 9.2 seconds, top speed: 205km/h 
• Fuel consumption combined: 5.4 - 5.3-litres/100 km,
• CO2 emissions combined: 122 - 120 g/km.
• Price: R478 136 

MINI Cooper S Clubman:
• 141 kW, 0 - 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, top speed: 228km/h
• Fuel consumption combined: 5.6 - 5.5-litres/100 km
• CO2 emissions combined: 127 - 125 g/km.
• Price: R559 812

MINI John Cooper works:
• 225kW, 0 - 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds, top speed: 250km/h
• Fuel consumption combined: 7.0-litres/100 km
• Price: R689 189

If you are thinking about whether you should buy one, you should ask yourself if you would enjoy a car that's fun to drive, playful, funky, and exhilarating. If so, go ahead and order yours. 

Mini Clubman

2020 Mini Clubman. Image: PressClub / Mini

Disclaimer: Wheels24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of contributors/columnists published on Wheels24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24 or Wheels24. 

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