The 2020 MINI Clubman packs a lot of car into a little space. While completely redesigned three years ago, the MINI retains the emotional appeal that has made the brand so beloved. If performance is what you are after, the MINI Clubman John Cooper Works model is priority here. Mounted with a turbocharged 2-liter engine making 301 horsepower and 331 lb-ft, compared to just 228 horseppower and 258 lb-ft of torque on last year's John Cooper Works model. The Base Front-wheel drive Clubman Cooper S model comes standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and the ALL4 Cooper S and JCW model are upgraded to a new eight-speed auto transmission
This Clubman is built on a platform like the MINIs 4-door Cooper, which means it comes with four full-size doors. The Clubman also carries on the tradition of rear center-split "barn doors." These doors open to reveal 12.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold the rear seats down and it becomes 44.1 cubic feet.
The usual MINI look and feel carries through the interior. The large center pod doesn't have a speedometer as seen in previous years models, but it does carry the vehicle's entertainment and navigation systems. Rounded corners, metal trim and toggle switches complete the MINI experience.
Standard equipment includes 17" alloy wheels with run-flat performance tires, a rear lip spoiler, LED headlights and fog lights, heated mirrors and rain-sensing wipers. Standard inside is a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a proximity key with push button start, a 6.5" screen as well as all the usual power accessories.
Standard safety equipment includes stability and traction control, tire pressure monitors, front seat mounted, 1st and 2nd row curtain airbags and driver and passenger knee airbags.
Wheels and tires on the Cooper S model are 17" alloy wheels while the JCW is complete with larger 18" rims, front sport buckets with 8-way manual adjustment and piano black interior trim. Heated and power adjustable mirrors are also standard across all models.
Options allow a lot of customization in typical MINI fashion. No fewer than three alloy wheel choices are available, as are three different colored roof and mirror caps and both white and black bonnet stripes. A Premium package adds auto-dimming interior rearview and exterior mirrors, 8-way power adjustable front seats, a 40/20/40 split rear seat, cargo net, SiriusXM Satellite radio and chrome trim on the front and rear bumpers along with a chrome grille. A Touchscreen Navigation package includes MINI TeleServices, Apple CarPlay and integrated navigation with real-time traffic information, wireless smart-phone charging and an additional USB port. An alarm system is also available.
A Driver Assistance Package adds park distance control with automated sensors, active cruise control and a heads-up display.
It's a wonder what 73 horsepower will do. As part of a comprehensive update for the 2020 model year, the Mini John Cooper Works Clubman picked up a whole bunch of power, giving the small wagon a much-needed dose of character. Character doesn't mean it's perfect -- because it sure isn't -- but it does mean that this latest go-fast Mini has a unique feeling that more sporty-leaning drivers will appreciate, even if it means making a few sacrifices along the way.
The most important update to the JCW Clubman lives under its clamshell hood. The car's 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 used to put out just 228 horsepower, but now there's an extra 73 horses in the mix for a total of 301. Torque is up the same amount, to 332 pound-feet of torque.
The new powertrain is addictive, barking to life from a cold start with more aggression than I expect. It doesn't take long on the street to notice the mega power upgrade; the torque comes on nice and low in the rev band, providing a surprising amount of shove at low speeds, yet the horsepower is there to zip the Clubman well past the speed limit if need be. The exhaust note is bassy and loud when really leaning into the throttle, but it does a good job hiding in the background on the highway, with surprisingly little drone.
The Good ~ A blast to drive ~ Wagon rear end adds versatility ~ Fun interior appointments
The Bad ~ Expensive as heck ~ Small car, small cargo capacity ~ Not the smoothest transmission
The Bottom Line The 2020 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman is a blast for the sport-minded buyer with cash to burn.
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