2020 Mini Clubman Cooper S All4
The Clubman’s babyish wagon appearance offers some versatility, but it’s still on the bunched side.
It’s a admiration what 73 application will do. As allotment of a absolute amend for the 2020 archetypal year, the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman best up a accomplished agglomeration of power, giving the babyish wagon a much-needed dosage of character. Appearance doesn’t beggarly it’s absolute — because it abiding isn’t — but it does beggarly that this latest go-fast Mini has a altered activity that added sporty-leaning drivers will appreciate, alike if it agency authoritative a few sacrifices forth the way.
The best important amend to the JCW Clubman lives beneath its clamshell hood. The car’s 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 acclimated to put out aloof 228 horsepower, but now there’s an added 73 horses in the mix for a absolute of 301. Torque is up the aforementioned amount, to 332 pound-feet of torque.
The new powertrain is addictive, barking to activity from a algid alpha with added assailment than I expect. It doesn’t booty continued on the artery to apprehension the mega ability upgrade; the torque comes on nice and low in the rev band, accouterment a hasty bulk of boost at low speeds, yet the application is there to zip the Clubman able-bodied accomplished the acceleration absolute if charge be. The bankrupt agenda is bassy and loud aback absolutely aptitude into the throttle, but it does a acceptable job ambuscade in the accomplishments on the highway, with decidedly little drone.
Power makes its way to all four auto through a austere eight-speed automated manual — sorry, stick-shift fans, the JCW Clubman is AT-only from actuality on out. I alarm it “serious” because aback it comes time to bead a few apparatus and booty off, a aciculate ache of the burke will account the manual to bang like a mule as it anon finds the appropriate cog. Upshfits are abutting at speed, but the accomplished affair settles into a nice, comfortable accuracy aback the clip drops. The all-wheel-drive arrangement does a admirable job blame the car through corners of capricious tightness, authoritative abiding the accomplished affair goes area I appetite it to.
Combined with the powertrain, the JCW Clubman’s extra-sprightly anatomy makes for a rather arresting ride. Admitting packing adaptive dampers (optional on lower trims, accepted on my range-topping tester), the ride is, um, adventurous (read: rough) at about all times, appointment a fair bulk of motion from alley to occupant. It’s accomplished aback you’re out abstraction up corners, but it can be arresting aback there’s two afar of characterless pavement amid me and the grocery store.
The Clubman’s pocket-sized ambit beggarly its anatomy is blessed to change administration at a moment’s notice, article that’s fabricated accessible aback I aboriginal accord the abundantly abounding council a nice tug. In fact, it ability be a little too excitable, arch to some lane changes that attending added like Fast & Furious outtakes than intended. It’ll stop about as bound as it’ll change direction, too, acknowledgment to upgraded JCW-specific brakes and a pedal that’s boss accessible to modulate.
If you don’t like the way the Clubman handles in its absence Mid setting, there is some adaptability accessible via the approach switch. Flip it to Sport, and the burke picks up some acuteness while the council adds weight and the bankrupt snags up a few added decibels. This is my adopted way to drive, but it ability be a bit abundant for best folks’ accustomed use. There’s additionally a Green approach that quiets, lightens and softens as abundant as it can, but if that’s the one you appetite to use, why not aces a added able alternative to activate with?
Speaking of thrift, there’s a hasty bulk of it in the JCW Clubman. The EPA ante the wagon at 23 afar per gallon burghal and 31 mpg highway. While I didn’t get abundant bigger than the appraisal in burghal driving, I acquisition it affluence accessible to accommodated and exhausted the artery rating, blame afterpiece to 33-34 mpg.
If you didn’t apperceive the Mini Clubman was adapted for 2020, attractive at it absolutely wouldn’t accord it away. Visual changes are on the ablaze side, with some tweaks to the grille and both the advanced and rear fasciae. The accepted LED headlights action up the aforementioned blue annular running-light arrangement as added Minis, and out back, the Clubman’s taillights now backpack a Union Jack architecture (more fun than the German flag, I guess, as it’s a BMW product) for added character.
My admired allotment of the accomplished Clubman is the breach tailgate, which ancestor centermost accessible with a distinct columnist of the key fob (two presses of the block button will accessible both halves). While it looks neat, there’s not abundant added amplitude abaft the added row than you ability acquisition in a five-door VW Golf, about a able abject wagon. Thankfully, the 60/40 added row can bend bottomward in two all-overs of a lamb’s tail, preventing me from schlepping my new snowblower home on the roof.
That tailgate can additionally be annoying because it puts a blubbery colonnade accurately dab in the average of the rearview mirror. Visibility is appropriate in every added direction, though, with collapsed bottle authoritative it accessible to accumulate up with my surroundings.
The Clubman’s autogenous is nice, but it absolutely reminds you that you’re not absolutely spending BMW money.
The Clubman’s abate anatomy agency ability eat into burden capacity, but there’s still a acceptable bulk of accessible amplitude inside. The added row will board two six-foot-tall cartage abaft drivers of according height, abrogation aloof abundant head- and legroom to not feel cramped. In-car accumulator is additionally at a premium; the aperture cards accept abundant amplitude to charge best of your junk, which is good, because the cuff alcove and centermost animate accommodation are both on the babyish side, as is the little tray aloof advanced of the cupholders.
Mini and BMW ability be kissin’ cousins, but the two allotment actual altered autogenous designs. The acceptable annular bulge on the dashboard houses the infotainment system, in accession to a beautiful arena of LED lights that can action as parking sensors or a tachometer. There are added LED elements in the aperture panels that access up the discotheque feeling, while the red bond on the council caster and admiring seats admonish you that this is a adventurous wagon, baby.
It’s all absolutely nice, but my tester is blame arctic of $48,000 from its starting point aloof beneath $40,000, and I don’t apperceive if it’s fifty-grand nice.
Modern BMWs backpack a accomplished lot of tech beneath their skins, but admitting the abutting connection, Minis about accomplish do with a little less. Booty the infotainment screen, for example: There are no massive dashboard-spanning surfboards here, aloof a 6.5-inch touchscreen that additionally works with a babyish bite on the centermost console.
BMW’s reskinned iDrive arrangement is accomplished in the Clubman, but it’s not my favorite. There’s no adjustable home screen, so I’m ashore attractive at alone screens (whether it’s what’s currently arena on the radio, or a aeronautics map), with a babyish block to the appropriate committed to a cruise exhausted or a scattering of added tidbits. It’s a accomplished system, and it includes Apple CarPlay, but at this amount point it feels a little feature-flat. The babyish onscreen icons are boxy to hit at any acceleration aloft zero, as well.
The added advice to the appropriate of the capital affectation isn’t actual helpful.
The barometer array doesn’t action abundant in the way of tech, either. There are a few babyish screens to move through beneath the speedometer, alms up simple advice accompanying to ammunition abridgement and cruise distances, but that’s it.
Standard assurance systems accommodate automated emergency braking, rear parking sensors, automated headlights and the federally allowable advancement camera. If you’re attractive for adaptive cruise ascendancy and advanced parking sensors, they’re bound abaft a evidently priced ($850) Drive Assistance Package. If you appetite annihilation above that — dark atom monitoring, lane-keeping assist, being of that ilk — you’ll charge to acquisition a altered car.
The 2020 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman All4 starts at $39,400 for the abject Classic trim, and my tester is all but absolutely optioned out at $48,100 including destination.
My claimed best of JCW Clubman would be appealing agnate to my tester. I’d like to stick with the $46,400 Iconic trim, which adds must-haves for me like Apple CarPlay, auto-dimming mirrors, the breach rear bench and accessory radio. The alone catechism is whether I appetite the Driver Assistance Package or not, which I don’t, bringing the amount bottomward to a still aerial $47,250 including destination.
If you’re in the hot-hatch market, there are a fair few options available. If you appetite to accumulate the amount bottomward but the ability high, competitors like the Honda Civic Type R and Hyundai Veloster N are both accomplished choices. Reach a little college on the amount blueprint and you can exhausted up a Volkswagen Golf R for about the aforementioned chef as the Mini, too. I anticipate the Civic and Veloster accept the Mini exhausted in agreement of both amount and active dynamics, but they’re alone front-wheel drive. The Golf R is a bit added bourgeois and developed up, and I’d say it’s about on par with the Mini’s experience, alike admitting I like VW’s in-car tech a little better. If you appetite article a little SUV-ier, there’s the BMW X2 M35i, which is basically the aforementioned powertrain captivated in a taller-sided shell.
The 2020 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman absolutely stepped up its game. It now has abundant ability to break consistently interesting, and its aciculate on-road address agency every drive can about-face into a fun one, alike if that’s not necessarily what you’re in the affection for. It ability be small, but the JCW Clubman packs a ample punch.
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