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Vancouver Auto Chat 2016 VAC Community Head Moderator: Raid3n

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Old 06-15-2016, 10:12 PM   #1
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Revscene Quick Take: 2016 Mini Cooper S Clubman

Sometimes we just can't get demo vehicles fast enough but luckily we have great members on here that will allow us to test their personal vehicles so welcome to RS quick take.





The Mini that’s not so “mini” the new clubman is much bigger then the original but who is it for, or is it just another filler in the segment, lets find out. This clubman comes courtesy from one of our long time members ?NR and Mini Richmond. If you went to the 2016 Vancouver AutoShow you might recognize this car. It's the exact same vehicle that was on display, sporting its “Pure Burgundy Metalic” paint and “Indigo Blue Chester” leather interior it’s a pretty eye catching especially with those barn doors and Silver Roof.








With a base price of $25,000 it’s actually pretty reasonable for the base Cooper Clubman, the interior has enough space to fit 4 adults comfortably and overall it’s packaged very well with plentiful headroom and legroom. Let’s start off with some specs, this model is the Cooper S with some packages and options it comes to $44,545. At this price point you would expect some nice touches and you do, there's leather seating surfaces, quality soft touch plastics, a big 8” infotainment screen, automatic tailgate and a 2 Litre turbo 4. This powertrain is adequate, this isn't a car that will push you back in the seat and have all your passengers scream at you while you accelerate from light to light. With a 189 hp and 207 ft/lb of torque it’s down on power with rivals like the VW GTI and sadly it’s not light neither. The clubman with all it’s options weight in at a porky 3352 lb so theres a lot more to drag around comparing to the standard Mini Cooper S at 2864 lb. But no one buys the mini for outright speed, it’s all about the go-kart handling characteristics and I’m glad to say the weight and length of the vehicle did not impact the handling all that much there is more roll comparing to the standard Cooper S. And it’s actually a bit more stable and the ride is also more comfortable thanks to the wheelbase. Turn in is quick and direct, controlling that is the leather wrapped steering wheel it's chunky and plush with a quick 2.5 lock to lock ratio so there's less hand over hand action. As you're hammering through the corners, the shifter has nice short throws and its solid with a true connected feel. The engine likes to live in the lower rev range, as it looses breath at higher revs. In sport mode it activates automated rev match system, on down shift it'll automatically blip the throttle for those who does not know how to heel toe. Like a lot of engines out there these days, the Mini has a small turbo that provides tons of torque on the low end, between 1500 and 4000 rpm the engine feels more powerful then it actually is, it pulls the Mini along nicely and provides all the passing power you'll need with out shifting. Which of course aids fuel economy, the manual version returns 9.2 L/100km while the brand new 8-speed auto can get you 8.5.












Slipping in the drivers seat of the Mini is a pleasant place to be, the seats are comfortable and supportive, the sunroof lets in huge amounts of light into the cabin. The dash is brand new, and it doesn't have a weird speedo in the middle of the vehicle now. Now you'll get the tach and speedometer between the steering wheel, just to the right side is the fuel gauge, its not an analog gauge but a series of LEDs, slightly odd but it does save room from another gauge to clutter up the cluster. Around the shifter is a toggle switch that controls the vehicle modes, from sport to green its all controlled by this ring around the shifter, it almost feels like they ran out of room to put another button on the dash. Further down is the Mini Touch Controller which is lifted right out of your neighbours BMW, it works well you can use the top surface as a touch pad for navigation input when your voice isn't working. It's a very intuitive system and its similar to an Android smart phone with a dedicated back button. The infotainment system is very similar if not the same as BMW's it works well and provides all the information you'll need while driving. Including an instant power and torque meter letting you know exactly how much torque you'll using as you drive. Something that's pretty popular these days is a heads up display, just above the dash in front of the drivers seat there's a small piece of tinted glass that folds up to show your speed and navigation information. Visibility is generally pretty good, front and side windows are big enough with out causing much hassle the only exception is the rear, the split tailgate is unique but does generate a big blind spot in the middle, furthermore the rear headrest are large even when folded down. To overcome this there is rear view camera which aids parking, and for those who still can't park there is a automated parking feature. It's the same system as the you'll find in BMW, so.... you'll properly find yourself parking between lines or on a curb.






Overall the Mini reminds me of a bigger version of a GTI with similar power it drives pretty well, it's perfect for those people who wants a slightly larger Mini Cooper S while maintaining that Go-Kart handling that we've grown to love. This Cooper has grown up, with seating for five, but it's really made to handle four. It's able to take you and your friends, arrive in comfort and even have some fun on the way there. It's the perfect vehicle for someone who's looking for more than just a to b car, it's for those who will enjoy the journey as much as the destination.










Words and Photos by: Jimmy Mak
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:38 PM   #2
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never knew they offered these new ones with the diamond pattern leather interior...
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Old 06-16-2016, 05:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofu1413 View Post
never knew they offered these new ones with the diamond pattern leather interior...
The stitching was actually quite nicely done, and the piping on the seats also matched the exterior.
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