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[Jalopnik] The 2018 MINI JCW Clubman Kind of Sucked

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[Jalopnik] The 2018 MINI JCW Clubman Kind of Sucked

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Old 02-25-2019, 10:58 AM
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[Jalopnik] The 2018 MINI JCW Clubman Kind of Sucked



Andrew P. Collins

If your idea of performance driving is occasionally making aggressive passes or zipping from stopped to 40 mph at green lights, the four-door all-wheel drive 2018 Mini John Cooper Works Clubman All4 will suit you just fine. The car looks fun, it’s practical, and whatever Mr. Cooper’s people did with the exhaust gives this variant a real nice presence. But driving it hard makes it feel unsettled in the time it takes to get a tea kettle boiling.

(Full disclosure: I asked BMW’s media staff if I could borrow a JCW Mini to find out what it’s like to drive. They were kind enough to oblige me, a long time ago, and dropped one off at my house for a week with a full tank of gas.)

The offerings from Mini haven’t really been “miniature” since before Mark Wahlberg’s Italian Job remake. But even with that in mind the enthusiast-spec, all-wheel drive, four-door wasn’t exactly what I expected. Or wanted.

Specs That Matter

The Mini Clubman is really more of a small station wagon than a hatchback, with four doors and a decent cargo area. “All4” means it’s all-wheel drive and of course the John Cooper Works is the sporty version—in this application, not quite a full-on hardcore performance spec like M cars from parent company BMW, but hotter than your average Mini S.

This automatic Clubman is a 3,486-pound car powered by a 2.0 four-cylinder turbo, out of which Mini promises 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s a little edge over the two-wheel drive JCW in terms of torque. In terms of weight, it’s slightly more substantial than an old Lexus IS300 Sportcross, which has a heavy iron-block straight six in its nose. The standard 2018 Mini, powered by a 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder, churns out just 134 HP, and the 2.0-liter S model is dialed up to a still-modest 189 HP, for your reference. Those specs carried over for 2019.

And since we’re talking context, a 2002 Mini Cooper S (that’s the early “revival” design) weighed just about 2,500 pounds. The OG Mini was approximately as heavy as your lunch box.

Back to today’s JCW Clubman, a six-speed manual is standard (and slightly lighter) but my test car was fitted to the optional eight-speed automatic that costs $1,750 and a small piece of your soul to order. Mini posits an impressive 147 mph top speed and highway fuel economy figure of 31 mpg, if you’re hanging out closer to the speed limit.

It is made in England, by the way. Final assembly is in Oxford even though the engine’s German and the transmission is Japanese. A Mini owned by a German company, with a German motor and Japanese gearbox! It’s The Car in the High Castle.

The rest of the review and some photos to be found at Jalopnik...
 
  #2  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:24 AM
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I think the reviewer missed the point about what a Clubman is supposed to be....
 
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:12 PM
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Well, duh...the fools test-drove an automatic...

Automobile reviews are subjective...his opinion is worth just what you paid to read it...if that car is what someone really wants, that review shouldn't concern them...
 
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:42 AM
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I agree with the author missing the 'point', the Clubman is not a 'track star' by any means in any trim level. I figured that out in the first turn out of the pits on my local road course for a track day with my S All4. Not that it doesn't have some decent capabilities, just that it ain't setting no track records in stock form. My only goal of getting mine on track was to discover the car's full character and capabilities in a 'safe' environment. I left that day with a big smile on my face and a much better understanding of the car's handling that I had...mission accomplished!

It sounds like they writer expected a pocket rocket or more of a JCW Coupe, which was a bad start to begin with. I wouldn't take too much stock in the review, it is what it is. Que sera sera, as they say!
 
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:32 PM
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That article kind of sucked
 
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by WhatV8 View Post
I agree with the author missing the 'point', the Clubman is not a 'track star' by any means in any trim level. I figured that out in the first turn out of the pits on my local road course for a track day with my S All4. Not that it doesn't have some decent capabilities, just that it ain't setting no track records in stock form. My only goal of getting mine on track was to discover the car's full character and capabilities in a 'safe' environment. I left that day with a big smile on my face and a much better understanding of the car's handling that I had...mission accomplished!

It sounds like they writer expected a pocket rocket or more of a JCW Coupe, which was a bad start to begin with. I wouldn't take too much stock in the review, it is what it is. Que sera sera, as they say!
Then along comes the 300HP JCW Clubman...….

 
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:13 PM
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Yeah I think the guy was expecting a JCW Coupe like mine. I drove my friend's 2015 MCS and there a LOT more body lean and understeer than my car (which has none). But they're way different cars. Heck the Clubman weights almost 1,000 lbs more than mine, like 40% more. But I bet I'd still like it. In fact it might be my last Mini a couple yrs down the road. My days of pounding through the twistys peaked with my 2007 MCS. But I still like just tearing off the line in this car!
 
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Old 03-28-2019, 11:47 AM
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I had a 2nd gen clubman before my current 2018. I loved that car (and still love it as my daughter now drives it). This clubman is not the same car. My experience is that the 2018 is a much better build car. Larger. Heavier. Yet, a much better car and I am very happy with my purchase. The article, which I read in full, does suck. It is flippant and one that argues for argument sake. Very little substance. Lacks an understanding of the intent of the vehicle. Fails to reveal the ability to write a coherent story. Glad I purchased my F54. Sorry I spent time reading that "article."
 
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:24 AM
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I had my 2017 All 4 now for a year and it has been a great car. No Problems what so ever since it was a used Clubby from the Dealer ( A Lady from Iowa moved to AZ and traded the wagon for a F56 Convertible) it got all the belts and whistles on it that I really have no use for (Sticker was 40K) I prefer my cars as simple as possible including man transmission. All4 and heated seats really do not impress me in AZ I would buy another Clubby in a heartbeat over some of the other wagons out there on the market.
 
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