Design Features of the Mini Clubman

The Mini Clubman is an estate car variant of the Mini Hatch hatchback car which first went on sale in 2008 - the original version still available as a used Mini - and is produced by BMW under the famous Mini marque.

The Clubman is exactly the same as the two-door hatchback on which it is based from the B-Pillar forward, but has a 3.1 inch longer wheelbase and a 9.4 inch increase in the total length. As a result of the larger size the weight of the vehicle is 140lbs more than the hatchback model and the storage space which comes in at 920-litres with the seats folded down is 260-litres larger than the 680-litres offered by the two-door hatchback.

The Clubman name was originally used for the 1970s design update for the classic Mini car, which gave the vehicle a squared-off front. Traditionally the classic Mini estate models were given the names ‘Traveller’ or ‘Countryman’ so the use of this name for an estate model is a departure from the brand’s traditional format. The reason for this is probably because BMW wanted to use a classic name that would be recognisable to the brand’s fans and still resonated in the public imagination, but unfortunately they did not purchase the rights to use the Traveller and Countryman names when the originally bought the company.

One unique design feature of the Mini Clubman is the bi-parting rear doors which offer access to the increased cargo space at the back of the vehicle. These are known as Split doors, or Barn doors. All Clubman models also feature a pair of bi-parting side doors, which are marketed under the name ‘Clubdoor’. Interestingly these doors are always placed on the right hand side of the car’s body, regardless of the market the car is being sold in and hence whether the car is right and drive or left hand drive. This makes for a curious difference between left and right hand drive vehicles: because the driver’s seat does not move forward as far as the passenger seat (because of the steering wheel) there is more entry space on left hand drive vehicle. In the UK this means that there is less space for passengers entering and exiting the car, and because the bi-parting ‘Clubdoor’ is fitted on the road side passengers must exit onto the road.

The same variants are available for the Mini Clubman as are available for the Hatch, namely One, Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper D and JCW (which stands for John Cooper Works).

The 89bhp One Diesel engine which buyers may be familiar with from the Hatch is not available for this car, but apart from that the range of four-cylinder engines and both the manual and automatic transmission systems are carried over from the hatchback car into the Clubman estate. The rear suspension set up is also largely the same, albeit with a few tweaks.

To ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers the car is fitted with driver assistance systems such as brake assist driving, electronic brakeforce distribution and stability control, as well as a set of 6 airbags.