2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review

Fun, zippy, stylish, and now with extra space and more doors — the 2011 MINI Clubman is a brilliant blend of compact with cargo, starting at $27,350 CAD MSRP

You wouldn’t think of a MINI as a family mover. And by no means am I implying that it is. However, as the first MINI to offer all-wheel drive and seat four passengers (comfortably, may I add), the 2011 MINI Clubman is narrowing that gap, coupled with smart features to alleviate the ‘small car’ syndrome. Including, the dual, barndoor-style rear trunk doors, opening automatically at the press of a button—a trivial detail for some, perhaps, but super useful for the family dude, lugging his kid while trying to stow the umbrella stroller in the trunk. Also, the a second, smaller door on the passenger side provides easier (more tolerable) passenger access to the back seats; but above all, for the family dude, easier install for that car seat and much (much) easier baby-in, baby-out tasks. So, not quite a Dodge Caravan, nor should it be, but the 2011 MINI Clubman certainly holds it’s own. Score one for the, yes, family dude.

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review cabin

Below, both passenger doors open + ample space for access + happy baby = happy dad:

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review doors open

From the front, the 2011 MINI Clubman is essentially indistinguishable when compared to its two other siblings, the original Cooper and the Cooper Countryman. Side view? Rear view? Worlds apart. The Clubman, more inline with the styling of a wagon, is 24cm longer than the regular Cooper, with a 8cm longer wheelbase. Cargo space in the rear with rear seats up is 240L, offering decent luggage space. Both seats down, space expands to 930L.

Here’s a shot of my camera gear en route to a shoot. The larger black bag is airline carry-on size:

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review rear cargo

Interior

The cabin feels surprisingly spacious as well. The seats were comfortable and heat up within moments (option). Instrumentation and console layout, with an assortment of dials, knobs, switches, is certainly unorthodox yet works well and actually makes a lot of sense, i.e., the main command dial located deep in the centre of the console near shifter, looks odds sitting there, alone, but within reach. In fact, for anyone new to the MINI, myself included, everything looks a bit odd sitting in the cockpit. But again, straightforward and stylish (except when my wife drove the Clubman home, stopping at a check stop, unable to open the window, desperately searching for the button, while patient police officer watched…”Ma’am, the button is located on the centre console at the bottom.”).

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review sideview2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review rear door

Optional equipment on this 2011 MINI Cooper Clubman include three packages plus some stand alone options:

  • Comfort Package – $1900

    • Glass roof, heated front seats, media connect (Bluetooth and USB integration)
  • Tech Package – $1200

    • Integrated Visual Display, MINI Connected, Communication box
  • Travel Package – $600

    • Black roof rails, luggage compartment net, flat loading floor
  • Stand Alone Options

    • Black roof and mirror caps (no charge), black bonnet stripes ($130), SIRIUS Satellite Radio tuner ($550)

Total price for this 2011 MINI Clubman, before any taxes/fees, is $31,730 CAD MSRP.

Learn more – MINI Cooper Clubman

CONS:

  • Oversized gauges & controls not for everyone
  • Clubman is larger than conventional Mini; may discourage buyers

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review rear

2011 MINI Cooper Clubman Review front view

Shooting motors professionally since film was a thing, Amee's work has been published in various outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. He's a writer, editor at TractionLife.com, AJAC member, and full-time digital marketer at Traction Media working with national brands. Find him traveling, spending time with his kids and family. Or golfing, badly.