Regarding the MINI Clubman
MINI has, for quite a few years now, been working on releasing vehicles that although they may not fit the old standards of MINI size, have all the personality that MINI has to offer. We’ll be getting to all those models here shortly, but for now, let’s take a look at the first true divergence from the MINI Cooper, and check out the MINI Clubman.
First released back in 2007, the original Clubman was a 3-door hatchback that seemed like a stretched out MINI, although with a unique flair to the rear door design: A unique barndoor or split door design was made to allow the rear hatch to open to both sides, creating easier access to the rear compared to a standard hatch. This split door design has remained a staple of the Clubman design, which was reiterated on back in 2015, bring it up to modern standards of design and utility, basing the design off the BMW UKL2 Platform.
This new design, of which I drive a 2016 version of, has been the latest operating model of the Clubman and seen a few alterations and changes since initial release. The front is ironically MINI with the large, bulbous headlamps and single vented hood, lines showcasing the Clubman’s origins. However, the redesign from the 2007 original model now utilizes 5 doors, including the split rear hatch, making the vehicle feel more utilitarian and comfortable. Meanwhile, available dual exhausts on the S and Clubman variants make the rear look aggressive, in addition to the custom designed tail lamps found only on the Clubman.
Recently MINI introduced the ALL4 all-wheel drive system they developed to the Clubman platform, meaning the Clubman is now available in front wheel or all-wheel drive. The interior though is where the changes from original MINIs and the 2007-2015 really shine; the previously center mounted speedometer has been moved above the steering wheel, standard to most vehicles, with an all-around capable infotainment system now mounted centrally on the dash. Meanwhile, a leather wrapped shifter makes for comfortable shifting and available individual air con controls ensure driver and passenger comfort.
The Clubman is a fantastic variant to the MINI lineup, and my personal favorite vehicle to drive from MINI; make sure to stop by MINI of Wichita and test drive one for the first time!