Man at His Best

Why The New MINI Cooper Clubman Is An All-round Stunner

The expanded space makes it a comfortable drive.

BY Zul Andra | Sep 28, 2017 | Automotive

Boys mature to men and if age grants us the awareness to become wiser, we might be a MINI Clubman if we had wheels.

Mr Bean had his, a 1976 British Leyland Mini 1000, and it was under the British Leyland company—they changed their name to the Rover Group and was subsequently acquired by BMW—that the first MINI Clubman was born in 1969. And boy, did the Clubman grow.

The earlier iterations carried the same size as the signature MINIs but the car spotted a squarer frontal look. The MINI Clubman of today is another thing altogether.

With four doors and the characteristic split doors at the rear, five spacious seats and a sizeable interior, the Clubman is designed for the leader of a hoard. With plenty of freedom to move for everyone—as for the driver, more space is afforded with the traditional handbrake removed in favour of a central console—the latest version also has a versatile luggage compartment that can carry anything from 360 litres to double of that with the rear backrest folded down.

Did anyone say, “road trip”?

The Clubman packs some power too. The MINI Cooper Clubman and MINI Cooper S Clubman are both powered by the latest generation three and four cylinders engines respectively. The MINI Cooper S Clubman can reach a peak output of 192hp and maximum torque of 280Nm from 1,250rpm. Acceleration from 0 to 100km/h takes just 7.1 seconds with a top speed of 228km/h. As for the MINI Cooper Clubman, it takes 9.1 seconds to the same with a top speed of 205km/h—retaining its sports driving performance.

Does this mean that the Clubman feels less like a MINI and more like a standard hot hatch? We’ll leave that for anyone to decide. But at the end of the day, it maintains itself as a fun drive. Even if it’s a larger MINI.

The MINI Cooper S Clubman and MINI Cooper Clubman are both retailing at the MINI Habitat showroom and are priced at SGD166,300 and SGD139,300 respectively.

This article was first published in the print edition of Esquire Singapore, September 2017.