MINI announced today that the new 2016 Clubman model will start at under $25,000 for the base Cooper model.
With an MSRP of $24,950 that includes an $850 destination fee, the new Clubman Cooper will offer a lot of MINI for the money, as it is longer and wider than the previous version. The Cooper S model will start at $28,500.
Both Clubman variants are powered by turbocharged engines. The Cooper gets the 1.5-liter 3-cylinder that makes 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, while the Cooper S gets the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque.
In a move that should please most driving enthusiasts, both models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. The Cooper is available with a six-speed automatic and the Cooper S gets an eight-speed automatic with optional paddle shifters.
The new Clubman moves away from its roots by having four doors instead of the traditional two, adding utility and convenience to the small wagon. However, rear barn doors hold true to the Clubman’s spiritual ancestor, the Traveler, and give the car a unique feature.
The base Cooper comes well equipped, with standard features like a 6.5-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth audio streaming, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift lever, automatic climate control, keyless ignition, 16-inch alloy wheels and automatic headlights. Along with the more powerful engine, the S adds 17-inch wheels, sport seats and halogen fog lights.
All options are available a-la-carte or in packages. Both Cooper and Cooper S come with a Sport package, the former updating the wheels and seats to S specifications, the latter adding 18-inch wheels, and both adding LED headlights and dynamic damper control for the suspension.
The Premium package adds a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, an updated stereo and keyless entry with hands-free rear door opener.
The Technology package adds an 8.8-inch display with navigation and a rear-view camera.
The new 2016 Clubman goes on sale in January.
Because of its unusual layout, the Clubman doesn’t have too many direct competitors, although the same MSRP could buy a similarly equipped subcompact SUV like the Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3. Compared to that class, the Clubman offers a more driver-oriented experience and a six-speed manual in all trims, but it falls short on available all wheel drive and the SUV’s taller driving position.
MINI likes to tout the Cooper as a “premium” subcompact car. It has a lot of competition in Europe where cars like the Audi A1 compete with the MINI directly. In the U.S., the Fiat 500L is cheaper but doesn’t have the same sporting demeanor as the Clubman. The VW Golf SportWagen is larger and cheaper than the Clubman and offers similar driving dynamics.
Check out this TFLcar video of the Clubman’s stablemate, the 2015 4-door MINI Cooper S Hardtop: