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2008 MINI Cooper Clubman Base 2dr Coupe

2008 MINI Cooper Clubman
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 2 Door Coupe, Subcompact
28 mpg city / 37 mpg hwy
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Expert Reviews

November 18, 2009 by Jon Alain Guzik

2008 MINI Cooper Clubman 1
2008 MINI Cooper Clubman

DriverSide Overview
Few vehicles have as much charisma as MINI’s reincarnation of the iconic Brit compact, the Mini Cooper. Banking on driving fun and genuine practicality, the cars implement all of the features that made the original such a smashing success. Quirky, yet quite daft, the remarkably low weight vehicle comes equipped with more-than-expected power and stellar BMW quality, which combine into a great and sui generis vehicle in today's marketplace. That said, what about those drivers that need a little more room but still want the tiny nirvana that the Cooper has to offer? MINI has answered that question with their new Clubman model. With a longer wheel base, more interior room, bi-fold rear 'barn' doors and a teeny-tiny 'Clubman' side door that facilitates rear passenger access, it’s the Mini Cooper’s somewhat more responsible, yet still fun-loving sibling. We say somewhat because the Clubman is a perfect way to snub the sedan and SUV crowd lumbering to work every day. With available options like a turbocharged “S” version at $24,100, cool exterior graphic options and a massive sunroof, the MINI Cooper Clubman knows it’s more than a tool to get from A to B.





What's to Like
The Clubman offers a useable back seat that’s easier to get into and out of thanks to the rear door. The bi-fold rear barn doors are an interesting alternative to the standard hatchback design, and the extra cargo and passenger room inside make for a more functional vehicle all the way around. The low price tag and great gas mileage is a welcome gift, too.

What's Not to Like
The Clubman’s looks aren’t for everyone. The extended rear end takes away from the family resemblance somewhat and it strays from the original Cooper’s design ethos. That’s not always a bad thing, mind you, but purists may snub their noses. The added weight of the extra doors and sheet metal makes the car somewhat less tossable than is smaller counterparts as well. Also, with all the options, it can get expensive; like, really expensive.

The Drive:
DriverSide Driving Impressions

In a phrase, the Clubman drives and performs like a baby BMW, and for good reason. The Bavarian automaker is MINI’s parent company, so family quality is evident right down to the well-planted ride. The Clubman is stable and though it has lost some of its driving appeal, the car is still a heck of a lot more fun to drive than most any other car on the road. The naturally aspirated, 118 horsepower four-cylinder under the snub hood provides plenty of pep for zipping in and out of traffic. The more performance-minded may want to opt for the S version. It has 172 ponies – more than enough to crank up the giggle factor.

Engine and Drivetrain
In base trim, the Clubman comes with a 1.6-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that puts out 118 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. S trim offers up a more potent turbocharged version of the same motor with 172 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Both power plants are available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission that puts power to the front wheels. The auto gearbox comes with paddle shifters.

Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Priding itself on personality, the MINI lineup is available with all kinds of nifty tricks to turn your Clubman into something unique. A dual pane panoramic sunroof can be had for $1,500 and there are several packages available to suit your needs. A sport package for $1,500 delivers hood (that’s bonnet over in England) stripes, a stiffer suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels. A $1,500 convenience package offers up everything from an auto-dimming rearview mirror to Bluetooth capability to make your life easier. Other personalized options like a contrasting roof and vehicle graphics are also available.

Key Technology Evaluation
Though the MINI brand has tried hard to sell itself as being just as bare bones as its forefathers, its BMW DNA shines through. The car can be had with remote entry, a climate controlled glove box, rain sensors and a sweet six-speaker sound system. All of those are features you would be hard pressed to find on the previous generation of Coopers.

Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Small means fuel efficient, and that’s something that the Clubman has going for it. In standard trim, the Clubman offers 28 mpg city and a staggering 37 mpg highway. S trim has less to brag about, but still manages a great 26 city and 34 mpg highway.

A Closer Look:  Vehicle Details
Interior

Inside, the Clubman carries through on its fun looks outside. A cool center-up speedometer dominates the dash, bleeding into a new take on a retro look. Top notch materials have somehow managed to find their way into such a well-priced vehicle and despite its size, the interior is comfortable.

Exterior
The MINI Clubman’s looks outside aren’t too different the other MINI’s in the line and even though the design hasn’t changed since the vehicle’s inception, they’re refreshing compared to everything else on the road. The rounded corners and low slung stance beg drivers to have fun and that’s something rare.

Market Segment and Pricing
The MINI Cooper Clubman is priced at $20,600 and the S version comes in at $24,100. The low price tag puts the car on the same level as compacts like the VW New Beetle at $17,475, the Honda Civic Si at $21,110 and the VW GTI MkV at $22,800, though none of those vehicles offer the kind of hauling capacity that the Clubman does. That said, there are a lot of options and those can add up really quickly.

What We Think
Few brands have capitalized on the retro craze as well as BMW’s MINI brand. The company has succeeded thanks to a true-to-its-roots game plan and the Clubman is the first foray into new territory. We think the vehicle manages to combine everything we love about the Cooper while incorporating new ideas that solve the smaller model’s practicality issues. Perfect for anyone suffering through the quandary of how to move decent amounts of cargo in the city, the Clubman is here to help.



Other Resources

Getting the Works: John Cooper Works versions of MINI Cooper and Clubman coming to Geneva show – MINI set to launch John Cooper Works versions of both the Cooper and Clubman S at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Source: www.motortrend.com

2008 John Cooper Works MINI Cooper Clubman, Pictures To Go With Long Name [New York Auto Show] – 2008 John Cooper Works Mini Cooper Clubman. That's sort of like saying Porsche Cayenne GTS. Performance monikers slapped on vehicles with inherant performance shortcomings. Yes, we know, the 2008 JCW Mini Cooper Clubman already got the unveil at Gene Source: feeds.gawker.com

Test drive: 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman – My laptop is humming along happily at 240 volts, so as promised, here it is: my test drive of the 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman. How was my week with... Source: cars.about.com

2008 MINI Cooper Clubman – You'd think a test drive of the Clubman would be pretty simple -- after all, the Cooper Clubman is simply an extended-length version of the MINI Cooper. Like the regular Cooper, the Clubman is available in regular and S models, the S with a more powe Source: cars.about.com

Review: 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman – (Credit: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks) The new Mini continues its automotive archeology by bringing back the Clubman version. The 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman shares the same powertrain and cabin gadget options with the Mini Cooper S, yet the Clubman Source: crave.cnet.com

AC Schnitzer Nurses Their Aachen Clubman S – There's a game that we play every time AC Schnitzer releases a product or kit, and that's to see how many times we can count their logo on the car. The winner thus far was a 5-series BMW that featured no fewer than 25 AC Schnitzer logos... on the ext Source: www.motivemag.com

DRIVERS LOG: 2008 Mini Cooper Clubman: – EDITOR DUTCH MANDEL: This Clubman does not wind me up the way the original new Mini got me lusting for the marque. There's too much cuteness stuffed into the extra overall length. Source: www.autoweek.com

2008 Mini Cooper Clubman S: – OUR TAKE: Whoa! The turbo boost and stiffer suspension are quick reminders of what the S version is supposed to be all about: major performance in a small, front-drive package. Source: www.autoweek.com

VIDEO: MINI Clubman vs. Go Kart – Filed under: Videos, MINIThe MINI Clubman is everything the MINI Cooper is and more -- nine inches more. It has a passenger-side suicide door and that wide-mouth split rear gate, but everything else from its retro looks to the 172-hp turbocharged fou Source: feeds.autoblog.com

Mini Clubman S vs. Go-Kart – Mini is always saying their cars have "Go-Kart like Handling"... well, we just had to find out for real. We pitted this new Mini Clubman up against a go-kart in the indoor track at Dromo One. Check this out!! Download iPod / PSP Video Source: feeds.feedburner.com

MINI Cooper Forums – Mini Cooper Forums is a Mini Cooper discussion forum & one stop resource for all Mini Cooper related discussions Source: www.minicooperforums.com

Car Of The Week: 2008 Mini Clubman S – I grew up surrounded by the original British Leyland (RIP) version of this car in the home counties of England. They weren’t exactly the cool kid car to have, but here in Los Angeles you can’t swing a cat without hitting a Mini by BMW driven by Source: www.autofiends.com

2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman – 2008 Mini Cooper S ClubmanDoes a brand that celebrates its smallness compromise itself by bringing out a larger model?The Clubman poses an intriguing question for Mini. Does a brand that celebrates its smallness compromise itself by bringing out a la Source: www.automobilemag.com

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