You'll Like The 2011 MINI Clubman If...
Perhaps you're partial to the Mini Cooper's styling and its promise of precise handling, yet the lack of interior room is a deal-breaker. For buyers like you, Mini offers the more spacious 2011 Cooper Clubman.
You May Not Like The 2011 MINI Clubman If...
Impressive handling often comes with some sacrifice and, in the case of the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman, it's a soft and comfortable ride that fails to make the cut. If you travel extensively on roads in disrepair, you might not appreciate the harsh ride.
Like its stablemates, the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman offers subtle exterior styling changes, slight bumps in power from its two available engines and the addition of HD and satellite radio to the list of standard features. The Clubman also gets a new special-edition Hampton Package.
Added rear-seat legroom and cargo space are direct results of the Clubman's relatively long length. Unlike the regular Cooper, the 2011 Mini Clubman provides moderately sufficient, if not plentiful, accommodations for up to four adults. Better yet, the rear seat can be folded down to offer up to 32.8 cubic feet or expanded trunk space. Along with added dimensions come quality interior bits and a unique design, including a tachometer behind the steering wheel, center-mounted power window switches and a huge speedometer mounted on the center of the dash.
When viewed from the front, the 2011 Clubman looks like every other Mini Cooper, which means you won't mistake one of these compact cars for anything else on the road. To recognize the primary difference between the Cooper and Cooper Clubman, you'll need to take in the side view, where the latter's extra length is obvious and, if you're on the passenger side, the rear access door is visible. Fitted to the Clubman's tail end are split "barn" doors that pay homage to the original Mini Traveler that first roamed the roads roughly 50 years ago.
Comparisons made of the Mini Cooper and go karts have become cliché, but not all that far from accurate. The Mini Cooper and Cooper Clubman boast precision steering, smooth and capable brakes and a very minimum of body roll in the corners. The ride is stiff, especially when equipped with the Sport Package, yet that's the price one pays to enjoy such a capable grin-inducer. To get the most out of the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman experience, select the S model for the lineup's best possible performance, courtesy of a strong turbocharged engine with only a negligible amount of lag and exceptional response.
The 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at about $22,000 and can climb above of $40,000. All Mini Cooper models usually sell within a few hundred dollars of MSRP, but be sure to check New Car Blue Book values for an up-to-date look at what buyers are actually paying in your area. Resale value is expected to be above average, ranking much higher than the Chevrolet HHR and Audi A3 and slightly higher than the Scion xB and Kia Soul.
Mini equips the base 2011 Cooper Clubman with the usual array of creature comforts, including power windows and door locks, leatherette upholstery, a push-button ignition, a rear wiper and a sound system that incorporates steering wheel-mounted controls, HD audio, Sirius Satellite Radio and an auxiliary input jack. Safety features include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, stability control, corner brake control, electronic brake force distribution and dual front-side and side-curtain airbags.
This year marks the debut of the 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman's available Hampton Package, made distinct by its choice of paint colors, sport seats, special badges, HID headlights, extra chrome trim and Damson Red interior and exterior accents. Buyers can also choose from a Premium Package that features a dual-pane sunroof and harman/kardon sound system, and stand-alone options that include Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, dynamic traction control and several wheel designs.
No matter how the Clubman is equipped, its driver is guaranteed plenty of enjoyment. But for those who want to dial things up, a tap of the Sport button delivers improved steering and throttle response and the available automatic transmission maintains peak RPM longer by delaying upshifts.
Access doors, or Club Doors in Mini lingo, have long been used in trucks and even some cars. The purpose is simple: To facilitate entry to and exit from the rear seat. Anyone relegated to the Clubman's second row will appreciate MINI's decision to include this feature.
Under the Hood
Every 2011 Mini Cooper Clubman is fitted with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, though they're not all created equal. In the base model, output is 121 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The Clubman S has a turbocharged version of this engine, with 181 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque that's available from 1600 to 5000 rpm.
1.6-liter in-line 4
121 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
114 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/35 (manual), 27/36 (automatic)
1.6-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
181 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 (manual), 26/34 (automatic)
While it's true that an increasingly number of car owners are downsizing, there are times when smaller can be too small. The Mini Cooper is one example, offering buyers cute styling, fun driving dynamics and desired efficiency, but very little room. That's where the Mini Cooper Clubman comes into play, with more than nine inches of extra length, which brings with it much-needed rear leg room. A good bit of added cargo space found its way into the equation, too. If you want a Mini Cooper with greater dimensions, and you're not interested in the larger four-door Countryman, the 2011 Clubman is waiting for a test drive. Shoppers can choose between base and turbocharged S models.