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2012 MINI Cooper Clubman Performance

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While performance hasn't been a problem for the Cooper range, the larger Clubman may surprise some. Despite its greater length and larger interior, the wagon delivers the goods when it comes to nimble MINI handling.

In fact, unless you drove the Clubman back-to-back with the hatchback, you might not notice the difference. That's due, in part, to the massive similarities between the two.

The Clubman shares the same engines as the hatchback, with the base model using a 121-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder, the Cooper S Clubman getting a turbocharged version of the engine rated at 181 horsepower, and the John Cooper Works model tuned a bit hotter at 208 horsepower.

Still sporty despite its extra size in comparison to the Cooper hatchback, the 2012 Clubman gives up little for a lot of extra utility.

Both the base and Cooper S models are available with either six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmissions. The  John Cooper Works model is only available with a manual gearbox.

The Clubman is light despite its size, and that translates into nimble handling. A well-tuned suspension aids the capability of the chassis, riding smoothly on good roads, but showing its performance edge on rougher surfaces.

Whichever model of Clubman you choose, however, you'll find the steering, handling, and performance lively--and all the more so as you move up the range.

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