FUNKY families and mature folk with a contemporary edge are the target for Mini with its all new 2016 Clubman.
The pseudo wagon with rear barn doors now falls into the premium small car brigade - but prices have dropped with the entry level Cooper now starting from $34,900, which is $2350 less expensive than its predecessor.
Longer (270mm) and wider (90mm) than the 5-Door derivative launched last year, this new Mini doesn’t live up to its name. In fact, it is far from being a micro-machine and now sits among some tough competition in the plush compact segment, including the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and even the BMW 1 Series brethren.
The Cooper is the entry level offering with a three-cylinder engine, while the sportier Cooper S with a four-cylinder powertrain starts from $42,900.
Both retain the quintessential Mini hallmarks on the road, although are not as hard-edged as the three-door or five-door derivatives. Which is probably more the liking of those shopping in this aisle.
Spearheading a brand reinvigoration for Mini, the Clubman is one of five core models which will come under the marque’s umbrella. Exactly what five core models will form the foundation is yet to be announced, but the two-seater roadster and coupe are on the chopping block.
The range will be consolidated as the brand looks to expand its niche appeal.
Mini believes the Clubman can take a slice of the premium small car pie, which has grown more than 314% in the past four years.
Key to this new model is stronger standard features list.
Among the givens are 16-inch alloys, 16.5cm screen, reversing camera and rear parking sensors, bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, dual zone air-con with rear air vents, forward collision warning, six airbags, along with fog lights front and back.
The Cooper S gains larger 17-inch alloys, leather sports steering wheel, sat nav, performance package to reduce understeer and improved traction, three driving modes, cloth/leather trimmed sport seats and bigger colour screen.
There are still a plethora of options, although Mini has packaged many of the most alluring extras which collectively can save between 20-30% over the standalone retail price.
Model: Mini Clubman.
Details: Six-door front-wheel drive compact wagon.
Engines: 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 100kW @ 4400rpm and peak torque of 220Nm @ 1250rpm; 2.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder petrol 141kW @ 5000rpm and 280Nm @ 1250rpm.
Transmissions: Six-speed or eight-speed automatic.
Consumption: 5.4 litres/100km (combined average); 5.9L/100km.
CO2: 125g/km; 138g/km.
Performance 0-100kmh: 9.1 seconds; 7.1 seconds.
Bottom line plus on-roads: Cooper $34,900, Cooper S $42,900.