Fail of the century #68: the 2007 Mini Clubman
The 2007 Clubman was a Mini for the loving British parent who didn’t want to wedge their beloved, fragile children into the cramped rear of a regular three-door... but was completely fine with those kids exiting the car directly into a stream of fast- moving traffic.
The issue was that single rear ‘suicide’ door. Rarely has the term been less unfortunately apt. For (unholy, sinful, wicked) left-hand- drive Clubmans, it was located on the right-hand side of the car, the driver’s side retaining a single front door alone. This made perfect sense (OK, if not perfect sense, then at least some sense): when released, your rear-seat enfants would emerge, croissant in hand, safely onto the continental kerbside.
Problem was, when it came to converting the Clubman to (correct, pious, God-fearing) right-hand drive, Mini... didn’t bother flipping the rear door. This meant that second row passengers had to exit on the right, which, in Britain, is traditionally where all the speeding cars are.
Mini blamed it on the position of the Clubman’s fuel tank, which couldn’t be moved. By which, of course, it actually meant ‘could be moved, but would cost more money, so we’re not going to’.
This would have been galling enough in a car from some feckless European or American brand, with their subversive LHD persuasions. From an ostensibly proud British marque? Unforgivable.
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