Mini stretched the length of its Cooper by 9.4 inches to make the Cooper Clubman. The extra length creates more legroom for the Clubman's two rear passengers, and cargo room behind the backseat is larger. There's a pair of split-opening rear doors that swing out to either side, rather than the regular Cooper's conventional hatchback. There's also a rear-hinged access door on the passenger side.
The Clubman comes in two trim levels, the Cooper and turbocharged Cooper S. It competes with sporty hatchbacks ranging from the Mazda3 to the Volvo C30. Mini has added the Cooper Countryman for 2011, a small crossover vehicle with four conventional doors. The Countryman is covered in a separate report in the Cars.com research section.
New for 2011
All models have a little more power, fresh styling touches and new wheels, and standard HD radio and Sirius satellite radio with one year of free service. The base Cooper gains three horsepower to 121 hp, and the turbocharged Cooper S adds nine, to 181 hp.
Differences between the regular Cooper and the Cooper Clubman are most apparent in back, where the Clubman's rear-quarter pillars are painted in contrasting black or silver. It matches the rear bumper and, if desired, the roof. The swing-out doors necessitate a split rear window, and each portion gets its own wiper.
The wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer, which helps the Clubman keep its wheels near the bumpers to improve handling, Mini says. The Clubman has many color combinations, as well as options like checkered side mirrors and a Union Jack roof.
All models have new bumper styling, larger fog lamps and new taillight assemblies. Mini offers five wheel designs on the Clubman, ranging from 15 to 17 inches in diameter, and all are new for 2011. Adaptive xenon headlights are a new option. Exterior features include:
- Available 15-, 16- or 17-inch wheels
- Available auto-leveling front/rear fog lights
- Optional adaptive xenon headlights
- Standard folding power mirrors
- Hood-scoop intake (on S models)
- Optional heated mirrors, washer jets and automatic windshield wipers
- Optional automatic bi-xenon headlamps with integrated washers
- Optional dual-panel panoramic power sunroof
- Dual exhaust pipes (on S models)
The interior looks much like the regular Cooper's, with a large circular speedometer mounted in the center of the dashboard and plenty of toggle switches among the center controls.
Backseat passengers have 32.3 inches of legroom, up from 29.9 inches in the regular Cooper. Cargo room behind the rear seats totals 9.2 cubic feet; with the rear seats folded, maximum cargo room totals 32.8 cubic feet, up from 24 cubic feet in the regular Cooper. That makes for a habitable space but doesn't mean the Clubman has cavernous dimensions. It's nowhere near as roomy as most cars in its class, but it's appreciably roomier than the regular Cooper. Interior features include:
- Available cloth, leatherette or leather upholstery
- Standard power windows and locks, plus keyless entry
- Standard air conditioning with a climate-controlled glove box
- Standard push-button start
- Standard multifunction steering wheel
- Optional automatic climate control
- Optional heated seats
- Optional Mini Connected system that has Bluetooth, voice recognition and joystick control
- Optional Bluetooth and USB/iPod adapter
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
With the manual transmission, Mini says the Cooper S Clubman can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, just 0.2 seconds slower than the regular Cooper S.
The Clubman gets a combined 32 mpg in mixed driving. Unfortunately, just like the regular Cooper, the Clubman takes premium fuel with either engine. Mechanical features include:
- 121-hp, 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with 114 pounds-feet of torque
- 181-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder with 177 pounds-feet of torque (S models)
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic transmission
- Standard performance tires or optional all-season tires
- Standard sport button with accelerator and steering programs
- Optional sport suspension with stiffer front and rear stabilizer bars
Safety features include:
- Standard side-impact airbags
- Standard side curtain airbags
- Standard antilock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution
- Standard electronic stability system