2017 Mini Clubman

2017 MINI Clubman John Cooper Works ALL4 Review

The 2017 Mini Clubman is a slightly larger, more relaxed alternative to its sportier siblings.
4 star edmunds overall rating
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Mini is known for its pint-size cars that boast superb handling characteristics and trendy cabins. But its cars are also known for being, you know, mini. If you want more space, you used to have to look elsewhere. But the brand has been working on offering bigger vehicles that still have plenty of spirit, and the latest is the 2017 Mini Clubman.

Coming off of last year's redesign, the Clubman is about a foot longer than the four-door Hardtop, which provides more legroom in the rear and greater cargo capacity. Viewed in profile, the Clubman has a wagon-esque look to it, too. Though some of Mini's traditional sporty driving characteristics have been lost in the quest for a more relaxed and passenger-friendly ride quality, the Clubman is still very much a Mini at heart.

Like other Minis, the Clubman is available in three main versions. The base Cooper is the commuter's choice, with a fuel-efficient turbocharged three-cylinder that is much peppier than the base engine in the previous Clubman. Then there's the Cooper S, with a turbo-four that gives you the sporty fun typical of Minis but at a price that won't break the bank. For those who want the ultimate, there's the John Cooper Works Clubman with an amped-up version of the engine in the Cooper S. Add in Mini's lengthy options list, and you've got a fully customizable small wagon that will be a memorable companion for you and your friends.



what's new

Cooper and Cooper S trims can now be ordered with all-wheel drive, which Mini calls All4. There's also a new John Cooper Works variant that offers higher performance than the Cooper S. The optional 8.8-inch central display is now a touchscreen.


we recommend

If you live in a congested city and performance isn't a priority, you'll do just fine with the base Cooper. However, its turbocharged three-cylinder feels slow in merging and passing maneuvers, and it lacks the zip you'll find in a smaller Mini. We recommend stepping up to the Cooper S. Its turbocharged four-cylinder definitely ups the fun factor, it doesn't cost much more than the Cooper and fuel economy estimates are comparable. The John Cooper Works Clubman is enticing, but it's significantly more expensive than the Cooper S.




trim levels & features

The 2017 Mini Clubman is for people who love the driving and handling characteristics of a Mini but need more rear seat room and cargo space than the four-door Hardtop model provides. It's available in three trims that are mostly differentiated by the engine lying underhood. The Cooper and Cooper S are relatively close in price, while the John Cooper Works version is significantly pricier (though its list of additional performance items is impressive). A staggering number of styling, performance and luxury upgrades are available on all models.

Powering the Cooper is a turbocharged three-cylinder engine (134 horsepower, 162 pound-feet of torque) paired to your choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. It's got a ton of standard features, including 16-inch alloy wheels, run-flat tires, automatic headlights and wipers, heated mirrors, remote locking and unlocking, dual-zone automatic climate control, selectable driving modes, height-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and multicolor ambient lighting. Among the standard tech items are Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch central display, smartphone app integration, and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio and a USB port.

Stepping up to the Cooper S adds a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (189 hp, 207 lb-ft) mated to the six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic (steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are optional). It also gets 17-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips, extra styling flourishes, foglights and front sport seats with adjustable thigh support.

At the top of the Clubman range lies the John Cooper Works trim. Motivated by a more potent version of the turbocharged four-cylinder (228 hp, 258 lb-ft), this Clubman comes only with all-wheel drive. Upgrades include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a sport steering wheel, and simulated suede and cloth upholstery.

Though some of the available packages are trim-specific, a few can be ordered on any Clubman variant. These include the Cold Weather (auto-dimming mirrors and heated front seats) and Premium (keyless ignition and entry, a panoramic sunroof, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and, for the John Cooper works trim, adaptive LED headlights) packages. There's also a Technology package, which adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, an 8.8-inch touchscreen and a navigation system. Since some of those features are already included in the JCW version, its Tech package also includes a head-up display, an automated parking system and wireless device charging.

Both Cooper and Cooper S can be ordered with the Sport package, which adds 17-inch wheels (Cooper only), adaptive suspension dampers, LED foglights (Cooper S only) and LED headlights. These two trims can be ordered with a Fully Loaded package, which bundles the Premium, Sport and Technology packages. The JCW Exterior and Interior packages add special design flourishes from Mini's John Cooper Works performance division.

Many of these items can be ordered individually. Other notable options include adaptive cruise control, various wheel designs (17-, 18- and 19-inch), black or white hood stripes, roof rails; a rear foglight; eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar and driver-seat memory functions), a 40/20/40-split rear seat, cloth upholstery, leather and cloth upholstery, full leather upholstery, various interior trim pieces, satellite radio and a space-saver spare tire.



Powering the Cooper is a turbocharged three-cylinder engine (134 horsepower, 162 pound-feet of torque) paired to your choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. It's got a ton of standard features, including 16-inch alloy wheels, run-flat tires, automatic headlights and wipers, heated mirrors, remote locking and unlocking, dual-zone automatic climate control, selectable driving modes, height-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and multicolor ambient lighting. Among the standard tech items are Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch central display, smartphone app integration, and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio and a USB port.

Stepping up to the Cooper S adds a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (189 hp, 207 lb-ft) mated to the six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic (steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are optional). It also gets 17-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips, extra styling flourishes, foglights and front sport seats with adjustable thigh support.

At the top of the Clubman range lies the John Cooper Works trim. Motivated by a more potent version of the turbocharged four-cylinder (228 hp, 258 lb-ft), this Clubman comes only with all-wheel drive. Upgrades include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless entry, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, a sport steering wheel, and simulated suede and cloth upholstery.

Though some of the available packages are trim-specific, a few can be ordered on any Clubman variant. These include the Cold Weather (auto-dimming mirrors and heated front seats) and Premium (keyless ignition and entry, a panoramic sunroof, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and, for the John Cooper works trim, adaptive LED headlights) packages. There's also a Technology package, which adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, an 8.8-inch touchscreen and a navigation system. Since some of those features are already included in the JCW version, its Tech package also includes a head-up display, an automated parking system and wireless device charging.

Both Cooper and Cooper S can be ordered with the Sport package, which adds 17-inch wheels (Cooper only), adaptive suspension dampers, LED foglights (Cooper S only) and LED headlights. These two trims can be ordered with a Fully Loaded package, which bundles the Premium, Sport and Technology packages. The JCW Exterior and Interior packages add special design flourishes from Mini's John Cooper Works performance division.

Many of these items can be ordered individually. Other notable options include adaptive cruise control, various wheel designs (17-, 18- and 19-inch), black or white hood stripes, roof rails; a rear foglight; eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar and driver-seat memory functions), a 40/20/40-split rear seat, cloth upholstery, leather and cloth upholstery, full leather upholstery, various interior trim pieces, satellite radio and a space-saver spare tire.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2016 Mini Clubman Cooper Hatchback (turbo 1.5L inline-3 | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Clubman has received some revisions, including touchscreen functionality for the upgraded central display. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Clubman.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.0 / 5.0
Braking5.0 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling3.0 / 5.0
Drivability3.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.5 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.5 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.5 / 5.0

Ease of use4.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out4.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility5.0 / 5.0
Quality5.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
Today's Clubman is heavier than the previous model, but it didn't get enough of a power bump to offset the extra weight. Because of this, the base model isn't particularly spry. The larger 2.0-liter engine found in the Clubman S and JCW would certainly provide better performance.

acceleration

edmunds rating
In casual driving, the Clubman's 1.5-liter engine is adequate. But it can feel slow to respond when quick action is required to merge with traffic. Sport mode helps, but it's still outpaced by many competitors, needing 8.6 seconds to get to 60 mph. The 2.0-liter engine should do better.

braking

edmunds rating
The Clubman is a stopping superstar. The brakes are smooth to operate in everyday driving and feel stable and confident under panic-stop conditions. In performance testing, the Clubman needed only 107 feet to stop from 60 mph, a commendable result considering it was shod in all-season tires.

steering

edmunds rating
Steering is a tricky aspect to tune and a big contributor to confidence behind the wheel. The Clubman's steering system is precise and maintains a good balance between assist and road feedback. The meaty steering wheel feels substantial in your hands.

handling

edmunds rating
Usually renowned for snappy, playful go-kartlike handling, this Mini seems to be dialed back for a calmer demeanor. The Clubman still responds well to initial steering inputs and exhibits impeccable balance, but the overall feel is more composed and deliberate, not eager and frenetic.

drivability

edmunds rating
The six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly, and it makes the Clubman easy to wheel around town. Our test sample's transmission exhibited some vibration when rolling to a slow stop, but we're not convinced this is typical behavior.

comfort

edmunds rating
There is much comfort to be found inside the Clubman, with no shortage of plush padded surfaces and more room than before for passengers to stretch out. Downsides include a slightly stiff ride and fair amounts of wind and road noise that find their way in.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The seat cushions are firm but offer plenty of padding, as do the armrests. Even the simulated leather upholstery feels pretty nice. There's good lateral support and a decent amount of lumbar support, even without the upgraded power seats.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The Clubman skews toward the stiff side of the ride quality spectrum, possibly due to the rigid sidewalls of its run-flat tires. But with a longer wheelbase than other Minis, the Clubman has a less busy ride than the smaller Cooper Hardtop and Convertible models.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
There is a fair amount of wind noise from the mirrors, and consistent road noise from the tires, although neither is overly obtrusive. Certain particularly rough roads can transmit a rumbling noise into the Clubman's cabin.

interior

edmunds rating
Mini used to champion style over function, sometimes to a fault, but has since evolved its design approach with the Clubman to successfully incorporate both. The company's commitment to heritage is evident in the distinctive 50/50-split cargo-area doors, which swing outward like a cargo van's.

ease of use

edmunds rating
The central entertainment and climate controls are well organized, intuitive to navigate and easy to use. The only issue we had was with the front seat belts running across the manual recline lever when buckled, which is somewhat inconvenient.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
Front-seat entry is excellent, with wide door openings and ample dash clearance for knees. It's fairly difficult to get into the rear, however, with a wide doorsill and little foot clearance because of the seat's proximity to the central pillar. This could pose problems for tall or elderly folks.

roominess

edmunds rating
Four passengers are optimal, but five will fit without much sacrifice. Despite the dual sunroofs, headroom is generous across the board, and the front seatbacks are soft, so rear passengers have a nice space buffer if seated behind a tall driver.

visibility

edmunds rating
With the exception of the split rear window — more a quirk than a hindrance — visibility is excellent. Folding rear headrests are clever and the numerous large windows provide great 360-degree visibility. A rearview camera and parking sonar are optional.

quality

edmunds rating
Soft-touch interior surfaces, doors that seal solidly when closed and rubberized climate control knobs that rotate with soft detents are all of palpable quality. Mini's personality remains, but it's matured and befits a luxury compact.

utility

edmunds rating
Storage is generous, with two cupholders in the front, four in the rear and door pockets large enough to hold a 1-liter sport bottle. The cargo area measures 17.5 cubic feet, rear seats fold flat and underfloor cargo storage is brilliantly designed. The rear swing-out cargo doors allow for easy cargo access.

technology

The Clubman's central display is accessed primarily through a control knob in the center console, though touchscreen functionality is new for this year. The operating system (a derivative of BMW's iDrive) is easy to use and features crisp, vibrant graphics.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.