MINI Clubman Cooper Unique: long-term check evaluate

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Mileage: three,158
Economic system: 39.4mpg

My new fleet automotive is right here, and the most recent MINI Clubman has so many options that I really feel like I’m going again to highschool studying about all of them. After a short while with out working a automotive, I’m glad to be again in a single, and I’m much more glad that it’s this specific automotive. Trying on the specs on paper, our Clubman must be excellent for my life in south-west London. 

Being a MINI, it’s sufficiently small that I shouldn’t have any bother becoming into tight automotive parks or down streets with automobiles which might be parked all over. However as a result of it’s the bigger Clubman mannequin, the MINI must also have sufficient room for household journeys – and despite the fact that I’ve solely had the automotive a short time, my husband Dave has already examined out its potential to hold his golf golf equipment (it handed).

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Our Clubman is a petroleum Cooper mannequin, which implies it has a 1.5-litre engine, and it’s fitted with an computerized gearbox. This must also be nice for me, as a result of London visitors is usually a ache in a handbook automotive. To this point, the field has been easy and simple to make use of, which I’m glad about, and the engine is actually quiet.

These are all pretty regular issues for a household automotive like this, however there are a handful of key variations with the Clubman that I’ll want to come back to phrases with over the subsequent six months with the mannequin.

The doorways are the obvious and fast distinction to just about every other automotive on the street. As an alternative of a tailgate that lifts upwards, the Clubman has two ‘barn doorways’ that open outwards.

To open each doorways it’s essential to pull them one after the other, or you should use a button on the important thing. They flip open on hydraulic struts, and I’ve already observed how briskly they transfer – I’ll undoubtedly have to verify I don’t open them if I’m parked up near a wall or one other automotive, as a result of they may very well be broken very simply. 

This odd set-up means there’s an enormous blind spot in the primary mirror, as a result of the seal in the course of the door blocks your view out to the rear. I wish to have a transparent view of what’s behind me, particularly in London visitors the place there are many bicycles and bikes reducing out and in, so I observed this downside immediately.

It’s exhausting to say at this stage if the advantages of the again doorways might be price it, however that’s simply what this long-term check might be for: over the approaching weeks and months we’ll learn the way precisely helpful they’re.

One other factor I’ll must spend time getting used to is the infotainment system within the Clubman. Our automotive is fitted with MINI’s Navigation Plus Pack, which prices £1,300 and provides plenty of options. I’ve not gone additional than the radio display screen simply but, however wanting on the specs there are a great deal of features for me to play with sooner or later.

The display screen is an Eight.Eight-inch show, so it appears nice, and it has sat-nav with visitors information included. Different options embody integration with Amazon’s Alexa, climate information and wi-fi cellphone charging. I’m unsure I’ll really use these options, however one I’m eager to attempt is Apple CarPlay. I’ve used this on another vehicles and located the phone-based system to be very easy to make use of and handy, so I’m eager to see how effectively it really works in my new automotive.

Another choice that provides a lot of options is the Consolation Plus Pack, which prices £1,600 and provides heated seats, an armrest, parking sensors, a reversing digicam and auto-dimming mirrors. My automotive additionally has a head-up show, which prices £500; it’s costly however I can see why you would possibly order this feature, as a result of it’s actually helpful not having to look down from the street forward to see my velocity.

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There’s quite a bit to play with, then, and many to be taught, too, however I’m actually wanting ahead to discovering out extra about our new MINI Clubman as I spend extra time behind the wheel. I simply hope these odd rear doorways don’t get in the way in which an excessive amount of.

*Insurance coverage quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three factors.