Revealed to the world in June, the new Clubman brings a more conventional design to the game than its predecessor, although the famous barn-door rear once again sets Mini’s wagon apart from the pack.
When it goes on sale in Australia late next month, the Clubman will be offered in two petrol-powered specifications: the 100kW Cooper from $34,900 (plus on-road costs) and the 141kW Cooper S from $42,900.
Both models are equipped with an automatic transmission as standard, with a manual offered as a no-cost option.
The Clubman’s opening price sees it positioned just below the the small-car segment’s standout premium players, including the Audi A3 , the Mercedes-Benz A-Class (both priced from $35,990), and the BMW 1 Series ($36,990).
Likewise, the more powerful Cooper S Clubman finds itself butting up against the Volkswagen Golf GTI, priced from $43,490 in equivalent automatic specification. (Unlike the Clubman’s option, the manual GTI is cheaper again at $40,990.)
It should be noted, however, that while the new Clubman is priced close to those small cars, the Mini range is classed in Australia as ‘light’ - one step below small.
Of course, like its new hatch siblings, the Clubman has grown in every direction. At 4.25 metres, the new Clubman is 27 centimetres longer than its predecessor, while its 2.67m wheelbase is 10cm longer than before. Likewise, it’s 9cm wider at 1.80m and 2cm taller at 1.44m.
There’s 360 litres of storage with the rear seats upright, expanding to 1250 litres when laid flat.
Driving the Cooper Clubman is the BMW group’s 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine, delivering 100kW at 4400-6000rpm and 220Nm of torque between 1250-4300rpm.
Mini claims a 0-100km/h time of 9.1 seconds for the Cooper model, with fuel consumption listed at 5.4L/100km on the combined cycle.
In the Cooper S Clubman, power is provided by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, bringing a meaner 141kW at 5000-6000rpm and 280Nm between 1250-4600rpm.
As the sole performance model in the range (until the John Cooper Works variant arrives), the Cooper S lists a sharper 7.1-second run to 100km/h (manual 7.2sec), with fuel use listed at 5.8-6.3L/100km.
Standard features with the Cooper Clubman include 16-inch alloy wheels, a six-speed automatic shifter (six-speed manual optional), cloth trim, a 6.5-inch display with the Mini Visual Boost multimedia system, and Bluetooth audio streaming and phone calls.
There’s also a reversing camera with on-screen guidance lines, Park Distance Control sensors at the front and rear, forward collision warning, automatic air-conditioning with second-row ventilation, interior LED lighting package, fog lights front and rear, and an additional storage compartment package.
Stepping up to the Cooper S model adds 17-inch alloys, dual exhaust pipes, cloth/leather combination trim, eight-speed sports auto (manual optional), Mini Performance control for reduced understeering and increased traction in corners, and a John Cooper Works leather steering wheel.
The Cooper S also gets satellite navigation, and Comfort Access with contactless tailgate control.
With the new Clubman, Mini promises the “highest level of ride comfort and brand-based go-kart feeling ever seen in a Mini”.
CarAdvice has driven the new model overseas - see that review here - and you can catch our Australian-market review when the new model launches late next month.
Note: Australian photos still to come.
2016 Mini Clubman pricing (before on-road costs):
Cooper Clubman - $34,900
Mini Cooper S Clubman - $42,900