Review: 2016 Mini Cooper S Clubman

– Cleveland, Ohio

Mini didn’t sell a lot of Clubmans last year, but I can’t figure out why. Of all the Minis sold in America, the Clubman seems most well-suited to our country’s particular tastes. For one, it’s actually big enough to fit us – four of us, in fact. Secondly, despite being supersized for American appetites, the Clubman is still as charming and quintessentially a Mini as any of its brethren, and if we Yanks like anything, it’s having our pants charmed off and developing an emotional connection with the cars we drive. Make it an S model with an extra shot of performance, and there’s really not much I can say against the Clubman.

Pros

  • Mini markets its vehicles on their go-kart-like handling and, despite being longer than the two- and four-door Hardtops, the Clubman, particularly this S model, bobs and weaves well enough to uphold the family reputation. Particularly if you’re comparing the Clubman to something like a subcompact crossover, it’s no contest when it comes to being fun to drive. Plus, you can still get one with a manual transmission, and it matches revs when downshifting!
  • This is the right-sized Mini in my eyes: not too big but big enough to be practical without much compromise. Unlike the larger Countryman, which is so big it comes standard with its own sense of irony, the Clubman is still a Mini Hardtop both in design and demeanor. It’s just been stretched to fit four adults comfortably and carry some real cargo with the seats folded.
  • There are two th...