nuts & bolts

Nuts & bolts

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The bottom line: Zippy performance and cute looks aren't everything. If BMW is serious about giving us a serious urban wagon, it should pay attention to what Hyundai is doing in this segment. Were I now in the market for an urban wagon, I'd buy the Elantra Touring and get more utility, more power and as much safety for a lot less.

Complaint: Once you live with the Clubman on a daily basis, you realize that it might've made more sense to buy something else.

Ride, acceleration and handling: A longer body with more weight and the same engine equals less enjoyable road performance in the Mini Cooper Clubman compared with the Mini Cooper hatchback. But it still gets good marks in all three.

Body style/layout: The Mini Cooper Clubman is a small, front-engine, front-wheel-drive urban wagon with two full-size side doors, one small rear access door on the passenger side and two swing-out rear doors.

Engine/Transmissions: The Clubman wagon comes with a standard 1.6-liter, 16-valve engine that develops 118-horsepower at 6,000 revolutions per minute and 114 foot-pounds of torque at 4,250 revolutions per minute. The engine is linked to a standard six-speed manual transmission. A turbocharged, 172-horsepower version of the 1.6-liter engine is available. Also available is a six-speed automatic transmission.

Capacities: In the Clubman, there are seats for four people. Cargo capacity with the rear seats up is 9.2 cubic feet. Capacity is 33 cubic feet with the rear seats down. The fuel tank holds 13.2 gallons of required premium gasoline.

Mileage: Combined city-highway mileage of 32 miles per gallon.

Safety: Standard equipment includes ventilated front disc brakes/solid rear discs; electronic braking assistance; electronic stability and traction control; and side and head air bags.

Price: On the 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman, the base price is $20,200. Dealer's invoice price on that model is $18,180. Price as tested was $25,350, including $4,500 in options (primarily onboard navigation and leather seat covering) and a $650 destination charge. Dealer's price as tested is $22,880. Prices are sourced from BMW, and, an affiliate of The Washington Post.

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