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Mini Cooper S Clubman: Fast, fashionable and fun family estate

By Ghaith Madadha - Jun 20,2022 - Last updated at Jun 20,2022

Photos courtesy of Mini

A quicker and more exciting yet more practical take on the trendy modern Mini brand, the Cooper S Clubman is a car that successfully appeals on different levels. Fashionable in design and up-market among small urban-oriented cars, the Mini Cooper S Clubman builds on the basic Mini premise with the entry-level version of two powerful engine options for the enthusiast drivers. Combining that with a more spacious estate body, it is then the hot Cooper S is then transformed into a fast family car.

Stretched and sporty

A “dad racer” interpretation of the Mini, the Cooper S Clubman is the BMW-owned British brand’s second modern hot estate generation. Taking its name from the historical snub-nosed, recessed headlight 1970s take on the iconic original Mini, rather than the Traveller or Countryman designations traditionally used for Mini wagons, the modern Mini estate first arrived in 2007. When launched, it featured unconventional door arrangement with a single left-hand passenger door and a small rear-hinged supplementary right-hand side door to improve rear seat accessibility.

Introduced in 2015 and updated in 2018, the second generation Clubman adopts more conventional full 4-passenger doors, but boot access remains through twin side-hinged doors rather than a common up-swinging tailgate. Bearing modern Mini hallmarks including circular lights and big grille, the Cooper S Clubman’s detailing is, however, subtly sportier, while its longer wheelbase and roofline present a perhaps more mature take on Mini’s design sensibilities. Thick lower black cladding, meanwhile, lends an assertive style, but can make the wheels look small, from some angles.

Perky performer

Powered by a larger, less stressed 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine rather than the previous generation’s 1.6-litre, the Cooper S may only be slightly more powerful, but it delivers power and torque over a wider, flatter and more accessible range. If not as perky as its predecessor, the third second generation Cooper S Clubman is, nevertheless, eager at top-end, and benefits from a responsive low-end. With little turbo lag, torque develops into a muscular 206lb/ft torrent over a broad 1,350-4,600 plateau.

Providing confidently responsive overtaking and acceleration on inclines, the Cooper S Clubman’s generous torque band underwrites seamless power accumulation. Driving the front wheels through a quick shifting 7-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox in place of the pre-facelift model’s 6-speed automatic, the Cooper S Clubmen is punchy and consistent, with 189BHP produced throughout 5,000-6,000rpm. Capable of 228km/h top speed and able to sprint through 0-100km/h in 7.2-seconds, the Cooper S Clubman’s larger engine is meanwhile more efficient, and returns 5.7l/100km combined fuel consumption.

Eager estate

Agile and manoeuvrable, the Cooper S Clubman may be bigger and heavier than its predecessor, and longer than 3- and 5-door hatchback sister models, but translates the Mini brand’s much vaunted “go-cart” handling about as well as can be for an estate car. That said, it remains a small car with eager cornering. Its stretched dimensions and larger footprint, however, provide better motorway and cornering stability, while it has less of a tendency to feel bouncy over bumps and road imperfections.

Pointy and nimble, the Cooper S Clubman briskly scurries through corners with taut body control and instinctive finesse. With quick and direct steering it turns in crisply and with confident front grip. Meanwhile un-exaggerated tyres allow adequate feel. Riding on all-independent MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, the Clubman’s rear wheel are more settled and travel better over lumps, bumps, imperfections, and through tight, fast-driven corners. A sophisticated ride for its class, the Clubman’s vertical control is buttoned down and reassuring.

Maximising the Mini

Smooth but slightly firm over sudden and jagged imperfections, the Cooper S Clubman’s driving position is, however, alert, well-adjustable and supportive, with good front and side visibility and controls within easy reach. With its minimum 360-litres luggage volume expanding to 1,250-litres when rear seats folded, the Clubman isn’t quite as cavernous as most estates, but is significantly more accommodating than sister hatchback variants. Similarly, front seats are comfortable and well-spaced for even tall drivers, while rear space and access is improved.

Styled with a retro-inspired theme, the Mini’s cabin features an abundance of circular motifs looking back to the original model for inspiration. Materials are, meanwhile, of generally better quality and texture quality than predecessor models, and many alternatives in the same segment. In terms of layout, the Clubman’s speedometer is now better positioned in front of the driver, while a circular unit now housing a sophisticated infotainment system, occupies the centre console space where the speedometer was positioned in preceding models.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 2-litre, transverse, turbocharged 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 82 x 94.6mm

Compression ratio: 11:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection, continuously variable valve timing

Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch automated, front-wheel-drive

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 189 (192) [141] @5.000-6,000rpm

Specific power: 94.6BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 135BHP/tonne (estimate)

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 206.5 (280) @1,350-4,600rpm

Specific torque: 140.1Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 200Nm/tonne (estimate)

0-100km/h: 7.2-seconds

Top speed: 228km/h

Fuel consumption, urban/extra-urban/combined: 6.7-/5-/5.7-litres/100km 

CO2 emissions, combined: 129g/km

Fuel capacity: 48-litres

Height: 1,441mm

Wheelbase: 2,670mm

Tread, F/R: 1,563/1,565mm

Overhang, F/R: 801/795mm

Ground clearance: 141mm

Aerodynamic drag co-efficiency: 0.34

Luggage volume, min/max: 360-/1,250-litres

Unladen weight: 1,400kg (estimate)

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning Circle: 11.3-metres

Suspension, F/R: MacPherson struts/multi-link

Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/discs

Tyres: 225/45R17 

 

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