MINI Clubman estate - Interior & comfort
Typically for the brand, the MINI Clubman offers a distinctive interior with lots of equipment and gadgets
MINI's interiors have always been just as quirky and distinctive as the brand’s exterior styling and the latest Clubman sticks to this theme. That’s not to say it goes completely for form over function, however – it’s still a comfortable and well laid-out environment that should appeal to most buyers.
MINI Clubman dashboard
Existing MINI owners will recognise the large dial on the centre console, which these days displays the sat nav and infotainment systems’ output rather than serving as an oversized speedometer. The screen is either 6.5 or 8.8 inches in size depending on what spec you go for, while all functions are operated via a controller in the centre console. The infotainment system is easy to use and (although there are quite a few of them) navigating through the menus is clear and simple to do.
The speedometer and rev counter are located in the instrument cluster on the steering column, as they are on the latest MINI three and five-door hatchback. The air-conditioning controls are located below the central screen, as are the familiar toggle switches seen on other MINIs, including the engine on/off button. In common with the latest standard MINI, the electric window switches have migrated from the floor to the doors, however.
The entry-level Classic trim level equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels (17-inch for the Cooper S), sat nav, DAB radio and keyless start, as well as air-conditioning, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers, as well as projectors that illuminate the ground with a MINI logo when you open a front door.
The Sport trim will be appreciated by those in search of a racy image, as it comprises special 18-inch John Cooper Works alloy wheels, matching the theme set by a special body kit. Inside, there are figure-hugging sports seats and a dark coloured headlining to create a more focussed mood. You also get handy kit like cruise control and rear parking sensors, along with a drive mode selector.
That contrasts somewhat with the more luxurious Exclusive. It costs exactly the same as the Sport, but eschews its attention-grabbing sports styling in favour of a sleeker alloy wheel design, subtle chrome exterior garnish and a leather interior with less heavily bolstered seats.
MINI's infotainment system gained Apple CarPlay compatibility in March 2018, along with a built-in 4G internet connection. This works with a MINI Connected smartphone app, allowing owners to check on their car, send destinations to the sat nav and even lock its doors remotely.
As you'd expect from a brand that prides itself in catering for a driver's tastes and personality, the options list for the MINI Clubman is long and varied. Individual choices include illuminated decorative strips on the door trim, coloured LED interior lighting, power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats. There are also numerous trim and decor updates to further customise your Clubman.
A 2019 update added three new colours. including an ‘Indian Summer Red’ metallic, new wheel designs and more personalisation options, including contrasting roof colours, and Union Jack-themed wheels and headrests. More optional extras, including various technology packs and Matrix LED headlamps, were also added. Seven new upholstery materials in various colours were made available too.
The Clubman uses a tweaked version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, so it’s fast, slick and capable. Working out exactly how to use all the various functions takes a little while, but once you’ve done this the Clubman has one of the better setups on the market. The sat nav’s voice guidance sounds remarkably human, while inputting destinations is simple and fast. The optional head-up display, meanwhile, can even show navigation directions, helping you keep your eyes firmly on the road.
The (again, optional) self-parking system also works well, but we’d like it to be more intuitive. Unlike some systems, which automatically scan for suitable spaces, you need to turn the Clubman’s self-parking on manually after you’ve selected reverse. Once activated it works well, though, getting into spaces neatly and with minimal manoeuvring.