Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but choice can be seriously confusing. In our configurator challenge, we let the CarAdvice team loose on a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal spec of a certain model.
For this edition of the Configurator Challenge, we’re designing our perfect Mini Clubman.
Let us know what you think in the comments, and which cars you’d like to see next!
Scott Collie, Journalist
It's a Mini, but not as we know it folks. Meet my Clubman, a more refined, family-oriented take on my Cooper S featured in the very first Configurator Challenge.
I realise this isn't really a break from my usual form, but my Clubman is finished Digital Blue with 18-inch alloy wheels. They're gloss black, because every Mini looks better on black wheels, but there are no stripes. This is a family car, not a toy.
With 141kW of power from its four-cylinder turbo engine, put to the front wheels through a six-speed manual, this Cooper S Clubman should still be sprightly when the kids aren't on board.
Beige leather mightn't be the most sensible choice for grubby fingers and muddy shoes, but it should be relatively easy to clean, while my alloy inserts lift the ambience immeasurably.
On the options front, I've opted for the Convenience Package (alarm, auto-dimming power mirrors, electric seats, parking sensors and 40/20/40 rear seats), the Multimedia Pro pack (Harmon/Kardon stereo, Navigation Professional, head-up display), the Climate Package (heated seats, sunroof) and the Control Package (LED headlights and tyre pressure monitoring).
Given this is the practical Mini, a set of roof rails was also a no-brainer.
Kez Casey, Road Tester
My heart says John Cooper Works, but the realist in me decided the wise choice would be the more sensible 141kW Clubman Cooper S. Still a manual though, so still a little fun, and without the added bulk of the JCW’s all-wheel drive system.
For some daft reason Mini doesn’t offer the full suite of bonkers colours from the hatch range on the Clubman, but let’s pretend we’re all grown-ups for a moment with a high class Pure Burgundy exterior and black roof, mirrors, and bonnet decals. A set of ‘Masterpiece’ 18-inch alloys in cool-sounding Spectre Grey complete the look.
Because I find myself strangely addicted to the idea of colour-blocking (so on trend) the interior also scores Pure Burgundy Mini Yours 'Crosspunch' leather seats and Pure Burgundy trim highlights on the dash and doors with black contrast elements and black headlining.
Mini being Mini means the options list is as long as your arm and I’ve managed to tick most of the available boxes including chrome line exterior, comfort access, Climate Package for its panoramic roof and heated seats, Multimedia Pro for Harman Kardon audio, and the Control Package (the great irony being that I seemingly have none) for LED headlights.
Now for the sting. While the Clubman Cooper S kicks off from a reasonable $44,900 before on-road costs, this dream dollars version tips in over $11,500 worth of options… Step away from the configurator!
James Wong, Journalist
You're surprised, aren't you? James? No green?!
I decided to switch it up this week with my Clubman Cooper S – complete with a six-speed manual, no less – opting for the lovely Blazing Red metallic exterior paint, which goes well with the British Racing Green hatch I created last time.
Complementing the bright red exterior are a contrasting white roof, mirrors and bonnet stripes, along with 18-inch star-spoke alloy wheels in silver.
Inside, the Satellite Grey leather interior adds a light and airy feel – I hate black cabins for the most part – and have ticked the box for the 'Fibre Alloy' interior inserts for splash of sportiness.
Modern Minis are well-known for their long options lists, and because of its premium nature, I've gone all out on my Clubman. The Convenience Package, Climate Package, Multimedia Pro pack and Control Package have all been ticked, meaning I've added stuff like auto-dimming mirrors, electric seat adjustment, front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, a panoramic sunroof, head-up display, Navigation Professional, Harman Kardon audio, and upgraded LED headlights with cornering lights.
In addition to the extra-cost packages, I've also added Chrome Line highlights for the exterior and interior (mmmyes), along with an anthracite headliner.
That's nearly $10,000 on top of the Clubman Cooper S's $44,900 starting price – a little exxy if I do say so myself.
Melissa Ong, Community Manager
I have configured my Mini Clubman Cooper S (with manual) to be a little elegant. The reason I chose this is because I feel my fellow colleagues at CarAdvice would expect me to choose the JCW. Get ready to be bedazzled this week!
Starting on the exterior, I have chosen the Melting Silver metallic paint (wha?) with 18-inch black wheels. Accompanying the theme, I have added the black roof, mirrors and bonnet stripes. What's a Cooper without stripes?
On the inside, I have chosen the satellite grey and carbon black leather trim combination with piano black trim inserts.
With the extras, I have added what I feel is the essentials - LED headlights and cornering lights, head-up display, Harman Kardon audio, panoramic sunroof, heated seats and darkened rear glass (privacy glass to you and I).
Having had a series of small cars in my driveway over the past few weeks, the Clubman would be a welcome addition to my driveway. I could probably park three cars side by side. That'll make a good photo!
Adam 'AK' Morris, Presenter
So I'm going to be "Mr Contradiction 2018" with this Mini. Last week I was adamant it was crucial to buck the traditional trend and get a Ferrari in anything but red. Here we are this week, and I'm of the opinion a Mini looks best in traditional Mini garb.
So, Chili Red with the optional white mirror caps and roof, 19-inch John Cooper Works Course Spoke two-tone alloys and Black Sports Stripes, because you go way faster with Sports Stripes.
And which Clubman model with the old-school colours be covering? Has to be the John Cooper Works All4. Yes, I know it's one of the least "traditional" Minis, but if it has to a Clubman, why not go all out?
Inside, I've gone with JCW Dinamica/leather upholstery, Grey Chequered interior trims and Carbon Black colour interior colour scheme, which is offset by the Red highlights perfectly.
I've gone with the Control Package and Climate Package too, because a sunroof in a Mini is just fun. The heated seats will be handy on trips to the snow and, as it's a JCW, it comes with nearly every conceivable optional piece of equipment so no need to spend hours deciphering the options list.
Mandy Turner, Road Tester and Podcast Host
My eyes still can't work out the Clubman – to me it's a Mini limo. Maybe a 'Mimo'? Yeah, nah. Anyway, here's my Clubman Cooper S.
I've gone a little basic with this design, not picking a stack of options, only going with what Mini suggested. I've always thought every Mini needs to be British Racing Green, but it somehow doesn't suit the Clubman, so I've gone with Lapis Blue. Matching it are white mirror caps, roof, and white bonnet stripes.
And the wheels? The basic 18-inch star spoke rims – I know, boring – but how good does it look? It balances out the white features nicely, and that's why I've also gone with the satellite grey leather interior.
Oh, and I chose to have it with the manual, because no matter what Mini it is, to me, you have to have a manual.