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2008 MINI Cooper S ClubmanMy laptop is humming along happily at 240 volts, so as promised, here it is: my test drive of the 2008 MINI Cooper S Clubman. How was my week with the long-wheelbase MINI? If I had to sum it up in a single word, that word would be... inconclusive. Get the full story. -- Aaron Gold

Photo © Aaron Gold

April 29, 2008 at 11:28 am
(1) Kyle says:

Some time I think you miss the boat Aaron. Why would you compare a Scion to a Mini Cooper? – - or a Honda Fit or a Nissan Versa? No one who wants a Mini wants a Honda or a Nissan or a Scion. Also, for the record few people that want a Scion want a Nissan Versa or a Honda Fit. Okay, I’ll admit you are warmer with the GTI and the Audi. It is about attitude – being cool and the presumption is that there is quality here in the Mini that you don’t and won’t find in the other cars. The doors? – - Cool! The painjob? – - Cool! Nissan Versa? NOT COOL! If your car is a reflection of what you want to be – what you are – or what you want others to think you are then I can fathom that there are some babyboomers, young citi dwellers with money to spend but no room to park, and college co-eds that want the mini-cooper to say it for them. Plus these cars are fun! I don’t own one (and don’t want to own one) but I get it. Right down to the marketing and the looks you get in hip urban areas (that I doubt you’d get as much in other parts of the U.S.) Well I dare say it would be cooler to say so and so just but a mini cooper than so and so bought a Nissan Versa. Again sorry – in fact wah wah wahhhhhhh. Don’t try to compare the Mini to those pedestrian vehicles you’ll create a riot among those who don’t care to be pedestrian and people like me who respect their attempt to not try and be so.

April 29, 2008 at 6:14 pm
(2) Aaron Gold - Cars Guide says:

Hey Kyle — You raise a good point, and I’ll tell you why I compared the Clubman to cars like the xB and the Versa. I think a lot of people are expecting the Clubman to be a family-friendly small car. It’s not. I wanted to address the needs of readers shopping for a good small family car, and the fact is that the xB (which is still cool, but less fun to drive) and the Versa (which is completely un-cool, but a brilliant car nonetheless) are much better at it than the MINI. Most people would like to drive a cool car, but for some, practicality has to come first — and for those people, the Clubman isn’t the best choice.

If the reason you’re shopping for a MINI is the fun-to-drive factor, then you’re better off with a regular Cooper — it’s the same thing but smaller and lighter, and lighter is always a good thing. If you need to seat four adults, then the Clubman solves that problem nicely — of course, now you have to compare it to other four-seat hot hatchbacks. I talked about a few of those in the article, and I did mention that while there are plenty of good competitors, none of them can really beat the MINI’s cool factor.

– Aaron

May 1, 2008 at 12:55 am
(3) Jacob says:

Aaron, you hit on my exact complaint(s) with the Clubman. Besides the awful, awful rear end, I simply have trouble understanding why someone would buy it over the traditional MINI, if they want a MINI, or over a different hot hatch. The Clubman is hardly more practical, most likely slower, and certainly less appealing looks-wise. For a hot hatch, I’d take the Mazdaspeed 3 any day.

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