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3/4 Front Glamour 2008 MINI Clubman

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Introduction

BMW's Mini division introduced the Mini Cooper in 2002 as a premium subcompact car. The Mini Cooper gets rave reviews for its go kart driving dynamics, but the small size and lack of cargo space are issues for some buyers. Now comes Mini's answer to that dilemma: the Mini Cooper Clubman. The Mini Cooper Clubman is 9.4 inches longer than the regular Mini Cooper and it rides on a 3.1-inch longer wheelbase. That extra room translates into added rear seat and cargo space. While the base Mini Cooper's rear seat is quite restricted, the Mini Cooper Clubman's second seating row is a viable space to put two adults. Be aware, however, that even with the extra size, the Clubman is still a small car, and as such the rear seat isn't exactly cavernous. Basically, it will work for adults provided the occupants up front aren't 6-foot, 5-inch small forwards. The main concern for potential buyers and Mini engineers alike with adding more room is maintaining Mini's fun-to-drive character. We're glad to say that is not a problem. The Clubman is just as fun as the Mini Cooper and is actually a bit more stable in long, sweeping turns. Plus, the added length helps the Clubman iron out bumps better, improving upon a notorious problem for the Mini Cooper, especially the S. Like the standard Mini Cooper, the Clubman has precise steering and confident braking. It changes direction quickly, though not quite as sharply as its little brother, and is easy to maneuver in and out of traffic. Most importantly and like the regular Mini, the Clubman puts a smile on your face every time you get behind the wheel. The view from the front seat is the same as it is in the Mini Cooper. Only the tachometer is located in front of the driver and a larger round speedometer is featured at the top of the center stack, to the driver's right. The radio is a bit odd to use, as the tuning and volume knobs are located about eight inches apart. The window switches are also located on the center stack instead of the doors. The whole layout takes some getting used to. The Mini's high roofline leaves plenty of head room in the driver's seat, so even though the Clubman is a small car, big guys will fit. As mentioned above, the rear seat is hospitable for adults, and it folds down to create a flat load floor. The Clubman's cargo volume is 32.8 cubic feet versus 24.0 cubic feet for the regular Mini. The Clubman costs about $2000 more than the standard Mini. Its combination of a smoother ride, more room, and similar handling make it an easier car to live with on a daily basis and the better choice for drivers that regularly carry passengers and cargo.

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