Driven: MINI Cooper S ALL4 Clubman Review
I attended a test day specifically to test out the new MINI Cooper S ALL4 Clubman. After spending some time with the ALL4 Clubman here are some thoughts on this practical and sporty car.
What is the MINI Cooper S ALL4 Clubman all About?
To be very honest I never really understood the MINI Clubman until I got to drive one. I always thought of the Clubman as just a quirky MINI with a funny boot, but once I actually got inside I realised that it is not your typical MINI at all. It’s a family car with real space for back seat passengers and a fair sized boot.
From the front of course, you wouldn’t know the car was any different from the MINI Cooper. It is only when you step around to the side that you start to notice the additional rear doors and stretched out boot with those now famous split opening doors. The Clubman isn’t a bad looking car at all and its additional size brings big practicalities inside.
We tested out the Cooper S ALL4 model, the 1.6 litre supercharged engine creates 192 bhp and 280 Nm of torque, with the power going through a 6-speed manual gearbox to all 4 wheels. The car will get from 0-60 mph in 7 seconds and will reach a top speed of 142 mph. MINI say it will do a combined economy figure of 40 mpg, whilst only creating 159 g/km of CO2 – not bad at all!
How Does it Drive?
The Clubman driving characteristics are quite endearing. Sitting in the cabin it is relatively customisable with regards to the driving position. Once you are off and moving the most standout point I noticed about the Clubman was the ride comfort which I believe is derived from a combination of the tyre choice and suspension which help lap up all the dents in the road.
The performance of the Cooper S engine is incredible; it makes the car so much fun. You can really feel the benefit from the 280 Nm of torque; the power will pull the Clubman forward from low down the rev range and it feels like a solid power plant, which of course has bigger benefits when you have a car full of people and a boot full of stuff. Even in damp driving conditions you could easily launch the car from a standing start with minimal slip.
There is a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes available in the Clubman. I only had the opportunity to test the manual out, but it was great. The shifts felt clean and there was a relatively short distance between gears. There was certainly nothing to complain about with the gearbox in the Clubman.
One of the beauties of driving the Clubman is just how lightweight and friendly all the controls are, particularly the steering which is great when it comes to parking and driving in complicated or busy environments. The Clubman also has a good turning circle, which just makes life simpler.
On the motorway, or dual carriageway, the Clubman certainly finds its pace and cruises very nicely, overtaking in the Cooper S was dead easy, the car shoots past like a dream. Whilst driving you will notice that the cabin noise is very low which means making a call on the handsfree system at speed is no problem at all.
What is it Like Inside?
Inside, the MINI John Cooper Clubman edition doesn’t differ too much from the standard models. The obvious difference is the huge amount of additional room we now have. The car has proper back doors on both sides, and the rear passenger space is now actually quite significant – you can comfortably sit 4 adults in the car.
The seats in the model on test were dressed beautifully with cross punch burgundy leather that gave the interior a very premium look and were soft to the touch. The chairs were also super supportive and held you in place nicely whilst you unleashed the Cooper S power on the road.
The dashboard concept of the car is unchanged keeping that huge circular screen with lots of aeroplane-style top switches based underneath. The entire interior is very interesting, it’s super quirky, and a million miles away from the original classic MINI interior, but it now provides a modern and unique motoring experience.
The Cooper S ALL4 is cool to look at, fun to drive and with 4 wheel grip is unstoppable on the damp British roads. My mind was blown by the performance of the 1.6 litre engine and I was left feeling shockingly thrilled from the more mature MINI.
The Clubman Cooper S ALL4 unites many elements that we look for in a car. We want cars that are fun to drive, practical, efficient and can deal with everything the weather throws at it. Well, the Cooper S ALL4 certainly fulfils all of these points and more. What more could you ask for?
MINI Cooper S ALL4 Clubman
- Price: £25,365
- Engine: 1.6 litre Turbocharged Diesel
- Power: 192 hp
- Torque: 280Nm
- Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 7 Seconds
- Top speed: 142mph
- Weight: 1,370kg
- Economy: 40 mpg
- CO2: 159 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley