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2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Styling

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At first glance there's not much to separate the Clubman from the Cooper hatchback aside from the added size, but closer inspection reveals a slightly different front end, side details, and a more vertical rear.

New design elements for 2011 include redesigned tail lights an a new rear bumper, plus a revised interior that takes away some of the chrome in favor of more matte black. Despite the updates, proportions and overall profile remain true to the original Mini wagon variants including the Countryman and Traveller. The Clubman S adds several sportier cues to the exterior, including new brake ducts up front and different wheels.

The 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman has the right heritage and styling cues, but its crazy-quilt controls and cockpit styling look better than they act.

Inside the Clubman, the homage to the original MINI is less evident. A wacky, large, and optimistic 160-mph speedometer is mounted in the center of the dash and does share a link to the past, but it's as much a distraction as an instrument, the large plastic lens casting glare. A multitude of switches, toggles and buttons mire the dash in complexity, while somehow managing a coherent theme that's easy to appreciate, if not love.

New tweaks for 2011, which include a new audio control layout, should help fix some of the issues, slightly improving ergonomics for that system, at least.

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