While the official press Clubman launch isn’t for a few days we’ve got a couple of sneak peaks at what it’s like to drive the car and how it looks up close. First up, a long time source for MotoringFile in Germany has now driven the car and has a few initial thoughts.

Based on our source’s initial experience with the car, the new Clubman is noticeably quieter inside at speed than the coupe or convertible. This will surely go a long way (along with the extra storage) in helping the Clubman becoming the ultimate road-trip MINI. Secondly (and perhaps unsurprisingly) it’s also more comfortable over rough roads due to the longer wheelbase. The extra length seems to allow the chassis to better absorb impacts rather than transmitting them into the cabin. Around back he found the rear doors sounded like something from Star Wars when opening and closing but operated perfectly. Finally he found the view out of the rear-view mirror quite a change after driving a MINI coupe for years. Specifically the bar in the middle of the barn-doors took some getting used to.

One other thing he managed to capture was the layout of the middle seat-belt. For those who missed the news a few months back, some select markets (ie – not the US as one would expect) will be getting a rear seat layout that accommodates three people across. There was some question as to how MINI was going to manage the middle seat belt anchor point. Thanks to the photos below, we now have that answer. I’m guessing we’re not alone in saying, thanks but no thanks.