MINI COOPER CLUBMAN REVIEW
Welcome to “In the passenger seat with AON Photography” car review.
So the first car to ever be reviewed by us is a MINI Cooper Clubman. Talk about starting things on a high!
I was not alone at all, In the passenger seat we had the ever so stylish Miss Poshglam. Feel free to visit https://missposhglam.co.za/2016/08/29/finding-mini-paris-with-the-mini-clubman-melrose-arch-auto/ to read on her experience with the MINI. We decided to take the MINI on a Mini road-trip (see what I did there) and after thinking of the many places we could visit we decided to drive to Haartbeesport known to cool people as just Harties. I am glad we chose that destination because the route promises curves, bends and a few bumps here and there. This of course meant that we got to feel how the car handles outside of the normal city-driving environment, technically out of its and our own comfort zone.
The model that was delivered to us was the base model with a 1,5 l turbocharged 3-cylinder engine. It comes with the Step-Tronic Auto Transmission. If you want more bang be prepared to have more buck for the 2.0 l Cooper S. If you’re old school and prefer a manual gearbox is available for both models. I have to say though that upon setting my eyes on the MINI I immediately fell in love with the black 17-inch mag -wheels. They suit the car so well staying true to MINI’s sportiness. The Tyres are not low profile either and this ensures a smooth ride and little cabin noise.
It’s being said that this is the longest MINI ever; this is easy to see as you look at the rear doors and the boot, it all just looks longer. The rear barn like doors are fun to play with, I know this sounds weird but I just like how the one door opens and the other follows you know like a barn door, All this excitement with just a touch of the key! Anyway the boot is space is enough to fit two cooler bags, a bag of charcoal, a bit of groceries and a couple of camp chairs! In other words it’s enough space to go on a road trip with friends.
Once we had packed all our goodies in the car we got to drive it, well almost, I am always interested in the ICE of the car, that is for: In Car Entertainment. The sound is really good, we played our favourite songs and made a few discoveries, when you get a chance turn the volume up and just see what happens to the lighting around the dash on the Center-display you will see magic! It’s just pure fun even for us adults.
After playing around we decided to be a bit serious and put the Clubman to the test. One thing for sure the long curves and bumpy surfaces were sure not to make it easy for a small/medium-sized car right? Wrong! The MINI Clubman handled those curves like they were slight turns, there’s sufficient feedback from the steering wheel that allows you avoid any sudden jerks while turning, it’s easier to keep to a line while turning. One would think that now that the car is longer it loses part of its handling capabilities but no, it hugged those curves so well it’s as if the Clubman was assuring me that I am in total control and had little to worry about.
I am a little concerned about the fuel economy though, our average fuel consumption was more than the factory 5,4 L/100 km. We averaged around 7,5 l/100 km and this was in normal city driving. Perhaps the car still has to ‘break in? Or could we have been a bit too hard on the accelerator? Whatever it is one thing for sure is that the 3-cylinder engine is quite responsive; I lowered the windows to hear the ‘hissing sound’ as the turbo kicked in at low revs of about 2000 or so. The exhaust has a lovely note too, Just press on the pedal and listen your ears will not be disappointed.
Switch the Tip-Tronic gearbox to sport mode and you’ll really feel the Clubman come alive, even with two adults in the back the MINI’s 230 N.M of torque pulls along so well. (Don’t forget the goodies in the boot too)
So the Clubman may be 10 cm longer, with more doors and an improved engine but this however doesn’t take away the fact that it still handles like a go-kart. Think of the Clubman as a car that can cater to what you feel like. It can be your everyday car to the office and handle like a go-kart.t It also can be a car that seats four of your favourite people with enough boot space to pack all the stuff you need for a road trip and still handle like go-kart.
It’s just all round fun no matter how you look at it.