Used 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works

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2009 MINI Cooper Clubman
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2009 MINI Cooper Clubman

Pros

  • Retro British style with modern BMW engineering, immensely fun to drive, roomier than the regular Cooper, excellent fuel economy, highly customizable.

Cons

  • Form-over-function interior controls, backseat legroom and cargo space still aren't great, suspension may be too stiff for some, noisy on the highway, potentially high price.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman keeps all the goodness of the original Cooper formula and throws in a liberal dash of practicality.

vehicle overview

Imagine a fuel-efficient car that can play cat-and-mouse with full-fledged sports cars on a tight, twisty road. A car that's peppy, space-efficient, uniquely styled and even somewhat practical. You might be tempted to say, "Keep dreaming." If so, you haven't met the 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman.

Ever since its American rebirth seven years ago, the Mini Cooper has been to driving enthusiasts what Lindt truffles are to chocoholics. On a curvy road, few cars are as entertaining and playful as a Mini Cooper, particularly at its relatively attainable price point. The only problem is that the regular Cooper is simply too mini for many people, thanks to its cramped backseat and limited cargo capacity. These demerits are deal breakers for those who need to tote more than their significant other and some take-out from the local Chinese restaurant.

Mini addressed this issue last year with the debut of the Mini Cooper Clubman, a stretched version of its jovial little runabout. In addition to nearly 10 extra inches of overall length, which increases rear legroom by a useful 2.5 inches, the Clubman sports a rear-hinged third door on the passenger side to allow easier access to the rear compartment. There are also a larger cargo area and, instead of the regular Cooper's liftgate, a pair of vertically split rear doors like you'd find on a cargo van. Nonetheless, the Clubman retains all the inherent goodness of the standard Mini, including quick steering, nimble handling, peppy performance and impressive fuel mileage.

For 2009, the big news is the debut of the John Cooper Works model, which appeared for a short period of time in the previous-generation Mini Cooper lineup. Essentially a hopped-up version of the turbocharged Cooper S Clubman, the "JCW" Clubman features a 208-horsepower engine, dual exhaust outlets, 17-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and a few visual tweaks.

No matter what trim level you're looking at, the Clubman still competes with the same batch of compact hatchbacks as the regular Cooper. In fact, its increased cargo and backseat space mean it's even easier to cross-shop against hatchbacks like the Saturn Astra, VW GTI and Volvo C30. Certainly, the 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman isn't perfect. The interior controls are confusing, the backseat may be tight for adults, it can ride harshly and it gets surprisingly expensive when a lot of options are chosen. Yet nothing can match the personality that oozes from all Minis, and even if the Clubman's quirks occasionally work against it, they're part of a car that's like nothing else on the road.

2009 MINI Cooper Clubman configurations

The 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman is a four-seat, two-door hatchback with a passenger-side reverse-opening rear door. In place of the regular Cooper's liftgate is a pair of outward-swinging doors. There are three trim levels available: base Cooper, sportier Cooper S and highest-performing John Cooper Works.

The base Cooper comes standard with 15-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, leatherette upholstery, multicolor mood lighting, a tilt and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer and a six-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Cooper S adds a more powerful engine, 16-inch wheels with run-flat tires, firmer suspension tuning and sport seats. Step up to the John Cooper Works edition and you'll get even more power, dual exhausts, 17-inch wheels, Brembo brakes and a sophisticated limited-slip differential that Mini calls "electronic differential lock control."

Mini is one of the few non-exotic brands that allows its customers extensive customization options. Depending on the trim level, these choices include different wheel designs, body styling tweaks including a roof spoiler, roof rails, a sport-tuned suspension, a limited-slip differential, a dual-pane sunroof, xenon headlights, cruise control and rear parking assist. Interior options include automatic climate control, leather upholstery, multiple color schemes and trim options, heated front seats, a multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth, keyless ignition, a navigation system, HD radio, satellite radio, iPod connectivity and an upgraded 10-speaker sound system.

2009 Highlights

For 2009, the Mini Cooper Clubman offers a few new options, including roof rails and a rear roof spoiler. Also, a John Cooper Works version is now available, the speedometer reads to 160 mph and a handful of wheel designs debut.

Performance & mpg

The base Cooper Clubman is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 that produces 118 hp and 114 pound-feet of torque. The Cooper S raises the bar considerably, packing a turbocharged version of the base Cooper's four-cylinder that generates a robust 172 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque (192 lb-ft at full throttle, thanks to an "overboost" function). The John Cooper Works packs 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque (207 lb-ft with overboost). The regular Cooper and the Cooper S come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic with manual shift control is optional. The JCW can only be had with the six-speed manual.

With the manual transmission, the base Clubman achieves 28 mpg city/37 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. The S and the John Cooper Works versions are rated at 26/34/29 mpg. Opting for the automatic hurts the base and S versions' mileage by 3 combined mpg, according to the EPA.

Safety

The 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman comes standard with antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and stability control.

Driving

The 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman may be longer than the regular Mini, but it retains the phenomenally fun driving experience associated with its smaller brethren. Responses to driver inputs are cat-quick, and the Cooper Clubman delivers lots of feedback through the steering wheel, driver seat and pedals. The electric power steering makes turning at slow speeds less of an arm workout, while hitting the Sport button -- standard on all Clubmans -- weights up the steering to match the last-generation Cooper's stiff, go-kart feel. One downside is a somewhat stiff ride quality, particularly on the John Cooper Works model and the Cooper S with the optional sport-tuned suspension.

In terms of power, the base Cooper's engine is surprisingly zesty. Drivers will have to row gears fairly frequently (or toggle the paddle shifters with the automatic), but generally, the base engine provides more than enough power for most buyers. That said, the turbocharged Cooper S and John Cooper Works versions are superb, providing a satisfying swell of low-end power whenever the driver dips into the accelerator. With so much power routed to the front wheels, though, torque steer can yank the tires to-and-fro when you really gun it. No matter which Clubman you choose, prepare to have fun.

Interior

The Mini Clubman's biggest advantage over the standard Cooper is rear-seat legroom -- as in, it actually has some. If you've ever ridden in the backseat of a regular Mini, you know what we mean. The Clubman's passenger-side access door also makes climbing in and out of the backseat a much easier proposition. It's still pretty cozy back there, however, particularly for larger-than-average adults. Swing open the twin rear doors and you'll find a cargo area more than 50 percent larger than the regular Cooper's, although with only 9.2 cubic feet of capacity behind the rear seatback, it's not exactly cavernous. Flip the rear seats down, however, and the cargo bay expands to a useful 32.8 cubes.

Just like the regular Cooper, the Clubman features a snazzy, retro-inspired control setup that unfortunately works poorly in practice. The audio controls are bunched confusingly below the huge center speedometer, and both manual and automatic climate controls are poorly designed.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Get rid of it before 82,000
Mini me no more,05/24/2016
I custom order my 2009 Mini Clubman, Chili red, all the upgrades including 18" wheels and run flats and waited three (3) months for it to be built, shipped and delivered to me 10.1.2008. It was a great ride since I had owned a MG Midget years earlier, so I knew how these little cars feel. But, in 2015 all the problems started with engine light coming on over and over again with these dates and findings, 1) June 2015 - Jan. 2016 a chasing oil leak four times ($ 300 a pop), 2) April 2015 timing chain failure (covered by Mini), Feb. 2016 crack in oil line ( ($750), March 2016 (twice in the shop) another oil leak ($675 each time). April 2016 when I checked the oil and found there was none in the reservoir. The idiot that had worked on my car at the dealer had forgotten to place oil back in after the second March 2016 repair (the service manager said he had been fired due to other complaints) I found this out when I left he vehicle for four (4) days stay at the dealer (I always had it serviced at the Dealer to keep the records accessible) and April 2016 I was told another oil leak and vacuum hose issue ($1,100). May 2016 -A week later, the engine light was back on, this time carbon build-up ($2,700). I spent total of $7,100 on this vehicle from June 2015 to May 2016. Needless to say, I sold (not traded it in) it in a private sale to a guy that collects cars and wanted a 2009 Mini. He did not care about the issues, he just wanted the car and paid the price I asked. It was shipped from Charleston, SC to San Diego, CA on his dime. I purchased a 2016 Outback. Why? I just could not bring myself to trust the Mini mechanics after the oil misstep.
Best car I've owned
nko1a,02/10/2012
This is a great little car. It's really quick, stops on a dime, and corners like it's on rails all while getting over 30mpg! It's a absolute blast to drive. I love that it's factory tuned to backfire... There's nothing like hearing a pop and having flames shoot out of the tailpipe while shifting! This car has a great exhaust note and lots of low end grunt for a low displacement engine. Not only is it fast, fun, and efficient, but it's also quite practical. It's a small car, don't get me wrong, but It's surprisingly spacious inside. With the back seats down it has great storage space. With the back seats up I can fit 2 adults semi-comfortably back there.
maintanence nighrmare
unhappyminiown,10/17/2012
The car is great to drive nad provides a lot of interior space. The sales process was easy but the car was not thoroughly reviewed regarding the complicated alert system for maintanence. The dealership uses the car system to tell the owner that maintance is needed. There is no 5000 mile oil change schedule. The problem is that a yellow light comes on for one second at start and the owner has to go through a complicated push button hold 2 seconds, scroll to another screen, hold again ....... The engines probably love this feature but it is complicated. A big yellow light tells you that the temperature is 32 but you never get a similar warning for important things such as oil level low.
Love My Clubman
Carolyn,11/26/2010
I love my Clubman. If price is not an issue, this is a great, fun car. I get so many comments...someone asked me if it was a MINI Limo. I have taken many road trips of up to 800 miles at a time. The seats could be a little softer, but they are not bad. They hold you in place. I get better gas mileage than posted...29 in town and up to 38 highway...depending on how heavy my foot gets. It's definitely an attention getter car. My battery had to be replace in less than 2 years...but fortunately still under warranty. Options are expensive as are the run flat tires. I am looking forward to buying the Countryman in a couple of years. Love the barn doors.
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Features & Specs

MPG
26 city / 34 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed manual
Gas
208 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works features & specs
More about the 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman
Used 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works Overview

The Used 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman John Cooper Works is offered in the following styles: John Cooper Works 3dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 MINI Cooper Clubman?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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