Test Drive: The 2015 MINI Clubman

mini clubman 2015

It may be a MINI by name but the new Clubman model that was recently unveiled by the car brand is anything but small.  It is in fact the largest vehicle ever to bear the MINI badge.  Aside from the increase in size the latest models from MINI have also been given a makeover in the style department. Of course the brand has always been known for its quirky and cutting edge design and features but now they had added a far greater emphasis on luxury and style.

The much-loved features of the original Clubman have been retained, those split opening rear doors for example, however they now boost the addition of optional the comfort access opening system (already seen in some BMW models).  A simple kick in the vicinity of a sensor in the rear bumper will spring the doors opening – making it easy when your arms are full or shopping bags or sports kit.

There is a common misconception that MINI’s are particularly cramped inside which I guess harks back to the bygone days of the original models.  The modern-day day interior cabins are quite the opposite in fact, with adequate head and feet space for 5 occupants.

For me the great thing about MINI though is the unparalleled attention to detail, those simple things that you quickly wonder how you ever did without them.  The flashing LED on the roof antenna fin for example will flash red when the car is locked giving you both peace of mind with a quick look bag and also assisting you to locate your car in a large busy car park after dark.

Every MINI Clubman also comes with their highly acclaimed navigational system as standard and the inclusion of the MINI Excitement Package, which features a projection of the brand logo on to the ground beneath the driver’s side door mirror when the car is opened and closed. Yup it is basically a batlight for your car which will ensure you don’t step on anything nasty when entering the car in the evening (we have all been there).

Lastly as  you know I am always a huge ambassador for buying British and supporting the country’s manufacturing industry so I was especially pleased to hear  that the all new MINI Clubman will be produced at the firms Oxford plant.

Priced from £19,995 OTR for the MINI Cooper Clubman

How was it to drive?

To drive the car felt easy.  It was a pretty comfortable ride and handled the bends and road surfaces well.  I took the car for a spin around on the almost unoccupied road network surrounding Stockholm which made it a little too easy to hit speed.

As a bit of a design nut myself I fell in love with the cars many little touches of flair.  We drove the top end model so had plenty to play on the inside.  There is a real sense of theatre about the drive from the changing colour mood lighting in the footwells to the fierce visual effects when ‘sport mode’ is activated.

I probably see the Clubman as more of a family ride than a car for a say single guy.  It is spacious and roomy and seems to be aimed slightly more at the market.  The premium finish and abundance of tech and features do however mean there is something to grab the attention of pretty much all drivers out there.

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