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2020 Mini Cooper Clubman Review

Jesse McGraw

The family car can be lackluster and boring, but the 2020 Mini Cooper Clubman is ready to bring the fun back with performance tuning, a roomy interior, and unique designs that can only be found in a Mini.

I Don’t Want a Grocery Getter

Life comes at you fast. One moment you’re picking up your date in a Mazda Miata and then BOOM married, kid on the way, looking to trade in that same Miata for something that fits a family, groceries, and maybe a new dog. Looking around today’s car lots for a family car, you’ll find minivans, SUVs, and Crossovers that lack performance and don’t exude a lot of character. Coming out of the fun car of your youth and into the boring “it’ll do” type of car is something nobody wants. So, why not keep the sporty performance while gaining the safety and space for a growing family? Here’s our review of a new favorite family car, the 2020 Mini Cooper Clubman.

Under the Bonnet

When talking about UK brands, you might as well use their terms and call the hood the bonnet (albeit Mini is owned by BMW now). Anyways, lifting the bonnet of the Mini Cooper Clubman you’re met with a TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder direct-injection engine with BMW’s double VANOS putting out 189hp. That may not seem like a lot, but with the dual clutch automatic transmission it gives the Clubman very smooth shifts and some nice acceleration, especially if you get the AWD All4 package.

2020 Mini Cooper Clubman TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder direct-injection engine - miniusa.com
2020 Mini Cooper Clubman TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter 4-cylinder direct-injection engine - miniusa.com

Speaking of JCW, if you need more performance, the John Cooper Works edition is for you. The Mini Clubman JCW offers high-performance brakes and the 4-cylinder engine with a larger turbocharger, new injectors and pistons, better cooling and an added Valvetronic direct-injection from BMW, which electronically adjusts the valve lift reducing fuel consumption while also offering better response. This addition, with some JCW tuning, lets you experience a Mini Cooper Clubman with 301hp and reaches 0-60 in 4.6s!

The Mini Clubman also delivers when it comes to handling. Thanks to its finely tuned 4-wheel independent suspension and its wheels positioned closely to the corners of the car, you’ll be taking turns easily and enjoying your ride the whole time. The Clubman has a longer wheelbase than the smaller Mini Cooper but handles just as nimbly. All this performance will get you as close to a sports car as you can, while still maintaining a spacious cabin and safety features. Knowing that the Clubman’s built with an ultra-rigid body, dynamic stability control system, and eight airbags helps keep anyone at ease about its safety.

2020 Mini Cooper Clubman - miniusa.com
2020 Mini Cooper Clubman - miniusa.com

Updating a Historic Design

While the Mini Clubman’s style still derives from the original Mini concept that debuted in 1959, it has some stark design changes compared to the current Mini Cooper. First off, the most unique part of the Clubman has to be its rear barn doors. The barn door hatch design is a nod to the original Austin Mini Countryman but has been given an eye-catching facelift. The Mini Clubman’s rear end features sleek elongated chrome door handles, Clubman badging spanning both doors, contouring edges aligning perfectly with the bodywork, nicely done horizontal linework, and special Union Jack taillights that are once again acknowledging the Mini’s roots.

2020 Mini Cooper Clubman rear barn doors - topgear.com
2020 Mini Cooper Clubman rear barn doors - topgear.com

The barn doors can be opened remotely with the key fob, but just be careful of your surroundings. The rear doors are pneumatically actuated and open rather fast. So, if you don’t leave enough room behind you, you’ll encounter some scuffs or scratches, and nobody wants that. The only other fault with the cool barn doors is the dual wipers… they just don’t reach quite far enough with how wide the rear windows are. While that can be a bummer, other great updates include the piano black accents, a brand-new grille design, LED ring headlights, and sleeker sidemirrors. All-in-all, the Clubman takes Mini’s iconic design and really plays with it, making the car something new and refreshing.

2020 Mini Cooper Clubman rear barn doors - topgear.com
2020 Mini Cooper Clubman rear barn doors - topgear.com

An Interior You Can Appreciate

Why get a normal Mini Cooper when you can experience the same luxury with more space? The Clubman’s 6-door design allows passengers to enter and exit easily. Contrast this with the Mini Cooper’s 3 door design, which makes ingress and egress annoyingly awkward. Plus, the Clubman’s larger body design give the rear passenger seats ample leg room, tall head room, and, overall, more space with 17.5 ft³ of rear cargo room and 47.9 ft³ with the seats down. Three can be seated comfortably in the beautifully upholstered leather seats, but the center seat also has the classic pull down armrest with cupholders we all love to see. And the added panoramic sunroof makes any outing a bit more enjoyable with the wind through your hair.

As for the front passengers, six-way adjustable heated sports seats with large side bolsters help keep the driver comfortably in place while making quick turns. The piano black accents found around the exterior follow inside travelling along the walls and instruments of the vehicle. Ambient lighting found in the foot wells and along the door panels add a bit of extra fun. And the disproportioned instrument cluster and large circular infotainment system may come off odd at first but add a quirky element that one learns to appreciate.

Time to Get This Mini

So, the Clubman is sporty, quick, unique, spacious, and has a great interior. It easily makes my top 10 cars I personally want. Some may look at the car and think it is odd at first glance, but the Clubman’s design and performance is something that grows on you. Anyone that has had the pleasure of experiencing this vehicle day-to-day learns to love it and wants to keep driving it as long as they can. Even if you can’t have the sports car any longer, the Clubman proves a great, family-friendly alternative. And if the other half still isn’t completely sold, you can show off the little car seat attachment prongs in the rear seat to help seal the deal.

2020 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW All4 - miniusa.com

2020 Mini Clubman – miniusa.com  |  Shop 2020 Mini Clubmans on Carsforsale.com

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Jesse McGraw
Jesse McGraw

Jesse's life-long car obsession began when he started collecting Hot Wheels as a child. He’s constantly keeping up with the latest car news and diving deep into automotive history. His automotive journey began with a rusty ‘99 Dodge Dakota held together by zip ties, only recently replaced by an impeccable 2014 Kia Soul. You can find him modifying and racing cars in video games when he’s not playing paintball or writing about cars.

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