Pros: Laudable fuel economy, particularly with base model; outstanding handling prowess and overall agility; more passenger space than the regular Mini Hardtop
Cons: Middling acceleration in base-model versions; stiff ride, particularly in performance-oriented models; premium-grade gasoline is required; controls favor whimsical style over ergonomic functionality
2014 Mini Cooper Clubman
CG Says: The Clubman appeals as a somewhat roomier, more-practical alternative to the shorter hatchback Mini–particularly as it’s little less fun to drive–and the retro-infused baby-wagon design has a charm all its own. On the other hand, Clubmans cost more than equivalent Hardtops, yet suffer the same drawbacks of a generally rocky ride and confounding controls. Performance and roadability vary with model. We pick the base and S versions as the best choices for value and all-around usability. In our view, the flashy John Cooper Works isn’t sufficiently better than the S to justify its substantial price premium.