Used Mini Clubman
Named after the square-nosed 1970s version of the original Mini, BMW's MINI Clubman launched in 2007 is the estate version of the range. It takes its styling cues like the double rear doors from the original Mini Traveller but there are some clever new touches. The extra side door to allow easier rear access for example.
There were initially three engines, a 1.6 petrol in naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms and a 1.6-litre turbo diesel. All initially launched in Cooper trim. A John Cooper Works version with better performance came out in summer 2008 and a basic MINI ONE version with a 1.4-litre petrol engine in March 2009.
From 2010 ONE models were upgraded to the 1.6 engine and Cooper S versions got a 6-speed gearbox and the option of a 6-speed auto with steering wheel shift paddles. From August 2010 diesel models switched to a new 1.6-litre engine with stop/start technology.
A 2.0-litre Cooper SD from March 2011 produced much stronger performance.
Bang for your buck
The Mini Clubman for sale was launched in Cooper only trim with JCW and ONE models being added to the range later. The standard 1.6 petrol delivers 0-62 in 9.8 seconds and a 125 mph top speed, the turbo Cooper S boosting this to 7.6 and 139. Interestingly the turbo also improves fuel consumption giving 51.4 mpg on the combined cycle as opposed to 44.8. The tuned JCW versions manage the 0-62 sprint in 6.5 with a top speed of 148 and upgraded brakes and suspension to cope but can still deliver 40 mpg.
The early diesel Clubman does 0-62 in 10.4 seconds with a 120 mph top speed and combined mpg of 68.9. Later models with the newer engine trim the 0-62 time to 10.2 and can eke 72.4 miles out of a gallon.
As with other MINIs there's a wide range of options including a Sport pack to enhance driving responses and add some exterior style. The Clubman has also had a couple of special editions named after areas of London, the Hampton in 2011 and the Bond Street from January 2013.
What you'll pay
MINIs generally hold their value pretty well. An early 57 plate used Mini Clubman Cooper should sell for around £7,000 with £800 or so more for a Cooper S. A 58 plate Cooper D with high mileage should be around £8,500 and you'll pay around the same money for an average mileage 59 plate Clubman ONE 1.4. A later 61 plate ONE 1.6 will be around £12,000 and a ONE D about £13,900.
What to check
The engines are well tried in other MINIs and aren't prone to many problems. Fuel injector seals on 1.6 diesels can fail and cause damage to the cylinder head. There were recalls in 2012 for oil filter and timing chain tensioner problems. There have been reports of rust inside doors on early cars.
MINI parts can be expensive. Expect to pay around £200 for a clutch, £450 for a power steering pump and £80 for a front brake disc. Service parts are more reasonable, an air filter is around £20 an oil filter £12. Note that parts for John Cooper Works models tend to be more expensive.
How it drives
The approved used Mini Clubman for sale offers more comfort than the MINI hatch, it rides and copes with potholes well at the expense of rather less go-kart-like handling. You sit low in the car but the driving position is excellent with plenty of adjustment for the steering wheel and seat. The diesels are the nicest to drive with plenty of torque that makes them feel fast in any gear. Try to avoid 17-inch wheels as they rob the steering of feel and sensitivity.
Inside there's more rear legroom than in the hatch thanks to a longer wheelbase and you can squeeze three people in for short journeys. The extra rear-hinged side door makes access to the back easy but it's a little irritating that it's on the driver's side so opens onto the road if parked on the street in the UK. The Clubman's boot, accessed by two side-hinged doors, has a 260 litre capacity, this is 100 litres more than the MINI hatch but not that generous compared to other cars in the class.
The used Mini Clubman is basically a MINI with some extra space. It still offers an enjoyable drive but with more room for rear passengers and a slightly bigger boot. It's not entirely practical as a family car but is a fine lifestyle choice and holds its value well.