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After a lot of anticipation the Clubman has turned up and proven to be a bit pointless. It doesn’t drive quite as well as a normal Mini and really isn’t sufficiently more practical to make that compromise worth it.
The new Mini rides better than the old one, so it's far less jittery in the cabin at speed or over broken surfaces. There's also a mite more space in the rear in the Clubman, so that's a bonus if you're wedged in there.
The Clubman still shifts convincingly despite its extra bulk, but our advice would be to abandon any designs on hot hatching and get the diesel. That way you've got economy and space from a Mini. Unheard of.
The Clubman is cool right now because it's still unusual and a blessed relief because it's not just another Mini. This is unlikely to last however, so make hay while the sun shines.
Like the standard new Mini, the Clubman seems to be far better made than the first generation car ever was. Touch points are more solid and materials used in the cabin are far more pleasing to the eye.
It's still an agile little thing, but just not quite as good as the regulation Mini, which would irk us all the time unless we made daily use of the extra space.
This should be the Clubman's trump card, but it's not really. There is more space in the boot of course, but you'd expect there to be more when you look at the thing. And access to the rear is rubbish through just one tiny rear door.
Go for the diesel and enjoy vastly better fuel economy and tax rates if it's your company car. As for resale value, you can rest pretty easy. Everyone wants a Mini.