2018 MINI Clubman John Cooper Works ALL4 Review
Edmunds expert review
The original Clubman was a slightly stretched version of the Mini Hardtop with a reverse-opening side passenger door and a distinctive swing-out tailgate arrangement. The latest-generation Clubman takes a more conventional approach to car design, though. Regular rear doors take the place of the reverse-opening one, and it's now significantly larger than the four-door Hardtop. It's 3 inches wider; it rides on a wheelbase that's 4 inches longer; and it's nearly a foot longer end to end. Predictably, these changes have resulted in a lot more weight, and the Clubman feels blunted somewhat as a result.
Yet the Clubman rides better than the Hardtop, and it will carry a lot more. Life is full of compromises, and this car is an example of that. At least the trim levels on offer don't hold anything back: You can option out a Clubman in a variety of ways to suit a variety of dispositions. At the base end, the Cooper sips the least fuel to the tune of 27 mpg in combined city/highway driving. The fastest Clubman is the John Cooper Works. But we reckon the sweet spot in the range is the Cooper S, which balances performance with value.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 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, rear parking sensors, 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, a rearview camera, 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 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 an automated parking system, front and rear parking sensors, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, a head-up display, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration 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, power-adjustable front seats (with 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.
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.
Noise & vibration6.5
Ease of use8.5
Getting in/getting out8.0
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.