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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
Check too many options and the Mini's price can raise quickly from economy-entry to near-luxury levels, but all Minis are well equipped for what you pay.
There are a range of new interior trimmings, including a cloth/leather upholstery combination, the addition of the Polar Beige interior color, and several new accent designs.
Car and Driver
Mini is one of the few non-exotic brands that offers extensive customization options.
The Clubman had a reasonable amount of gadgets, from the Bluetooth synchronization to the color-selectable interior mood lighting. Dual glove boxes and plenty of cup holders offered enough storage for anything you might need to carry.
One of the particularly welcome options on the JCW is the heated seat package, which came in handy on a couple of 17-degree mornings.
Building a MINI Clubman to suit your personal taste is easy, as the brand has made customization one of its strong suits. There are so many paint, accessory, trim, and vinyl decal options available MINI touts over 10 million possible combinations.Standard equipment on all Clubmans includes vinyl upholstery, air conditioning, a trip computer, ambient lighting, and an AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary jack. A round key fob replaces a standard key and doubles as the remote power door lock control. The three trims of the MINI Cooper Clubman feature similar base amenities.
Upgrades to the base kit are endless: checked cloth or pinstripe leather upholstery; American or British flag roof decals; painted wheels; white-capped mirrors; chrome and color choices for interior panels; and a wide range of sizes and styles of alloy wheels. Performance add-ons include 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels, as well as the range of John Cooper Works underhood tweaks.
A sunroof, roof rack, and rear roof spoiler are also available, as are Bluetooth, iPod/USB connectivity, and navigation with real-time traffic among others. The Bluetooth option includes a USB port for hooking up with mobile devices like the iPhone or other cell phones and media players, making the 2010 MINI Cooper Clubman one of the more technologically advanced compact cars available. The MINI's chaotic set of controls really can lose an unfamiliar driver when the navigation system needs a new address; its joystick control isn't all that intuitive, and the readout's not as large or comprehensive as that on better systems.
As is the case with the Cooper, be well advised when laying out your Clubman's features. MINI encourages customers to make the Clubman their own, and many buyers take the advice. With all this equipment in a relatively small frame, controls are busy and often less than intuitive, while displays are not as large or easy-to-read as we would like. Stack on the options and the invoice can quickly rise from MINI to maxi--MINI customers have become notorious for turning sub-$20,000 hatchbacks and wagons into highly individualized statements with sticker prices nearing $40,000.
You can tailor a 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman to suit your own taste, but keep a calculator and a tight rein in hand.