Not quite as much fun to drive as the three-door model, but strong engines and still very much a Mini
The retro styling effect is starting to feel contrived, especially as it's not that easy to use
Stability control and cabin-length head airbags are reassuring
Mini Clubman owners gave only 'average' marks for reliability in latest survey
More space inside than a standard Mini One, but those extra doors don't make life much easier
Alloys, MP3-compatible stereo and electric windows are standard but you can add options till you pop
The Mini Clubman's wheelbase is just 24cm is a longer than the standard three-door model's, but this is enough to make the Clubman more forgiving over bumps, though it also means it's not quite as sharp into corners. All the same engines are offered as in the three-door Mini line-up, and all of them - from the 1.6 diesel up through the 1.6 petrol to the turbocharged 1.6 in the Cooper S - effortlessly deliver lots of pull and help make the Clubman enjoyable to drive.
Those added inches mean there's enough knee room for two adults to sit comfortably in the back, and while the boot is far from big, it's a lot more practical than a standard Mini's. The big drawback, however, is the extra, rear-hinged door on the right-hand side for rear passengers to exit - in this country this puts them straight into the traffic flow. The two rear doors in place of the tailgate are quirky without offering extra practicality.
There are Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper D and Works trims, each with the same level of specification available on the equivalent three-door car, as well as one or two Clubman exclusives such as the choice between black or silver rear door pillars.
Mini's reliability record isn't brilliant, with owners of rating mechanical reliability as only average in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey. All versions of come with lots of safety kit, though, including stability control and six airbags. The Clubman hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP.
Like all Minis, the Clubman is a tempting ownership proposition; although its pricey to buy it'll still be worth a lot when you decide to sell, and running costs are very reasonable. Just don't expect proper estate practicality.