Shopping for a new MINI Cooper Clubman?
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
Even full throttle acceleration didn't bring out any more than a refined snarl
Now adults - instead of just grocery bags, briefcases, and children - might actually fit behind the front seats
Car and Driver
The 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman exists to provide MINI styling and the added practicality of respectable trunk space. In that regard, it’s mission accomplished, according to the reviews cited by TheCarConnection.com.
Rear passengers will enjoy vastly more interior legroom: the Clubman sports a 9.5-inch addition to its wheelbase, allowing for a 3.2-inch increase in legroom. In the rear, twin cargo doors replace the hatch found on the regular MINI; Cooper S Clubman doors open up to a larger cargo area (32.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down; with the seats raised, the Clubman still carries 9.1 cubic feet of stuff).
The rear of the car is now so spacious that Car and Driver says, "with the seats folded, 33 cubic feet of storage are available, nearly as many as in a Chevy Tahoe." Granted, the Clubman won't accommodate the same number of passengers (not legally, at least), but this is still an impressive statistic.
Quality on the MINI is what you would expect from a car in this price range. Materials are solid throughout, and TheCarConnection.com finds that the two-tone leather interior of the Clubman draws praise from reviewers. The only gripes that reviewers record are summed up by Popular Mechanics' complaint about "the quirky placement and labeling of some secondary controls" and rear seats that Automobile describes as "slightly claustrophobic."
TheCarConnection.com has had extensive experience in the MINI Cooper and Clubman, and while the extra interior room is appreciated in the Clubman, all is not perfect. The interior's fun to look at, but it's less fun to use every day. Glare off the huge center speedometer is distracting, and the controls and switches are, well, mini. Many can't be operated with gloves on, TheCarConnection.com’s Detroit reporter notes. The switchgear also feels flimsy. MINI probably couldn’t add a second half-door to the driver's side of the Clubman--that would make both rear seats easier to get into, but would likely cut into its body strength too much—but it would be more convenient, if also more like the Honda Element.
The 2008 MINI Cooper Clubman’s extra cargo and people space is a welcome improvement over the standard Cooper MINI.