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Photos: 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman

Mini makes the 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman a bit more practical with extra cargo area, while preserving the things that made the relaunched Mini stand out in the first place.

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CNET Reviews staff
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Hearkening back to Mini's original Clubman, the new version adds about 9 inches to the overall length of the Mini Cooper and 300 pounds. Beyond the body design, the car is basically the same.
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Our Clubman came with these Union Jack scuttles, which replace the S badges on the sides of the car.
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From the front, there is little to suggest that this is the Clubman version. It also handles almost as well as the standard Cooper.
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The engine is the turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder, producing 172 horsepower, also used in the Cooper S.
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With the extra length, the rear side window gets extended.
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We had the double pane sunroof option, which gives the rear passengers an overhead pane. Mesh internal shades provide some diffusion of the light, as well.
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On the passenger side, there is a rear half door that opens suicide-style. It allows easier access to the rear seat.
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Acceleration doesn't suffer much with the extra weight of the Clubman. Where the regular Cooper S gets to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, the Clubman version does it in 7 seconds.
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The rear doors open to the sides, a unique arrangement. But there is a cross beam running vertically through the rear window, which you notice when you are driving.
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The extra cargo room looks significant and can make the difference in how much luggage you bring on a road trip.
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In the Clubman, the dashboard is unchanged from the standard Cooper.
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The steering on the Mini is very responsive, so you have to keep a firm hand on the wheel.
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We really like this six-speed manual transmission for its precise shifts. A six-speed automatic is also available.
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This Sport button, in front of the shifter, makes for a more responsive throttle and slightly worse mileage.
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The tachometer, mounted in front of the driver, includes a useful display for trip information and a digital readout of the current speed.
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The big analog speedometer is mounted in the center and includes a display for car functions, with audio sources shown here. When the navigation option is present, the display is mounted here.
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Mini offers HD and satellite radio as options.
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Our car had a premium sound system, with 10 speakers, but we didn't find it that much better than the standard system.
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The speedometer display also shows trip information.

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