The 2012 Mini Clubman earns a below-average Total Car Score in the Sport Coupe & Convertibles segment.
That said, this stretched version of the popular Mini hardtop has earned positive reviews for retaining much of the original’s nimble driving character while offering 50 percent more cargo space. Excellent fuel economy and the addition of a curbside rear door and roomier back seat also up the Clubman’s praticality quotient. On a more frivolous note, there’s an extensive list of options that let you customize the car’s look and performance to fit your own personal style.
The Clubman has some of the same faults as its smaller sibling, including ride quality that may be a little stiff for some tastes. A number of reviewers also noted the interior’s somewhat less than intuitive arrangement of gauges and controls. Finally, all those customization options can quickly drive up the price tag.
While there are no significant changes for 2012, after being on the market for several years it’s safe to expect at least a minor refresh within the next 12 months.
The 2012 Mini Clubman is offered in three trim levels, including the base Cooper, the sportier Cooper S and the high-performance John Cooper Works Cooper Clubman JCW (covered separately).
Beneath the bonnet, all Clubman models have a 1.6-liter engine. In base models, this inline four-cylinder produces just 121 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. Cooper S models get a turbocharged version of this same motor that puts out 181 hp and 177 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with an optional six-speed automatic available on the Cooper and Cooper S.
Standard equipment on the entry-level Cooper includes keyless entry, air-conditioning, “leatherette” upholstery, cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels and a six-speaker CD stereo with satellite/HD radio. The Cooper S gets 16-inch alloy wheels, a firmer suspension, fog lights and front sport seats.
The options list is remarkably long and includes a wide variety of wheel choices, a sport suspension, xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system and a premium Harmon Kardon surround-sound audio system.
The 2012 Mini Cooper Clubman’s EPA fuel economy estimates start at 27 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 combined for base Cooper models. The Cooper S comes in at 27/35/30 with the manual transmission and 26/34/29 with the automatic.
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