The previous Mini Clubman was perhaps a bit too quirky for its own good, particularly with those suicide doors on one side only, which were rather inconveniently placed on the wrong side of the car – at least for this country.
But this new version, based on the Mini five-door, is far more grown up – and way more practical – especially if you intend to use those extra doors – six in total.
For the last six weeks or so, I’ve been using the Mini Clubman as a proper lifestyle vehicle – transporting reasonably-sized surfboards in and around Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
But just how practical is the Clubman? While it might look comparatively long compared to its 3-door Mini siblings, it’s actually slightly shorter than a Volkswagen Golf five-door hatchback.
These rear barn-style doors can be operated via the remote fob like this, or by simply touching the handles. The 60/40 split rear seats fold almost dead flat, so boot space expands from an unreasonably small 360 litres (that’s 20 less than the Golf – just saying) behind the rear seats, to a more decent 1250 litres, allowing for stuff like surfboards and golf clubs.