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MINI Clubman Estate engines, drive and performance

2007 - 2014 (change model)
Performance rating: 4 out of 54.0

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

Despite the extra length and weight the Clubman feels as eager and willing as its hatchback sibling, even in entry-level One trim (introduced in January 2009). This uses a 1.4-litre engine with 95bhp and while a 0-62mph time of 11.6 seconds may not look that impressive, the engine is peppy enough around town and will happily keep up with motorway traffic – it also averages an impressive 52mpg.

There are three Cooper models and the standard version uses a 1.6-litre engine with 120bhp. This gives it a 0-62mph time of 9.8 seconds but it can feel sluggish when pulling in gear and lacks the urgency you’d expect from a Cooper-badged MINI. The top of the range is the Cooper S which uses the same 1.6-litre engine, but fitted with a turbocharger to boost power to 175bhp.

It’s a very different car to the standard Cooper with a real buzzy and racy nature, while acceleration is rapid – reinforced by a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds. Economy is very impressive considering the performance and it will return 45mpg. But the most frugal model is the Cooper D. It may only have 110bhp but it has as much pulling power as the Cooper S and makes a great motorway cruiser.

Best of all it is capable of 69mpg and cheap to tax. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard and features a slick and well-weighted shift while all models are available with a six-speed automatic.

This may be a more practical MINI, but underneath it’s pretty much identical to the standard hatch. That means superb handling, wonderfully direct and responsive steering along with minimal roll in corners. Even the modestly powered One is good fun to drive, especially when nipping in and out of traffic or on tight, twisting roads. The more powerful Cooper S offers the most excitement and manages to transmit its power down well, although the front can feel a little light under hard acceleration.

But it’s always composed and feels glued to the road, even in the wet. In the sportier models the ride is also more forgiving than the hatch, helped by a longer wheelbase, so it doesn’t fidget as much over bumps or potholes.