MINI Clubman: Taking the Long View

This time from Topgear.com. It’s hard to tell if they really hate the Clubman, or maybe don’t mind it so much.

No, I’m talking about inventions. The Mini Clubman shows why it’s a poor idea to uninvent the hatchback. Instead of a top-hinged tailgate, you get two doors that open like they used to on the original Mini Traveller. Or, if you’re less than about 40 years old, like they do on a white van.

Because the law says you have to be able to see the rear lights from behind even when a car’s boot is open, the Clubman has its lights fixed to the car, poking through an aperture in each door. Which seems a cute idea in theory. In practice it isn’t.

They go on to point out something that nobody else has, really. Rear visability. And by nobody I mean every reviewer on earth.

Drive it and a vertical black bar, thick enough to swallow a motorbike, barges through the middle of the rear-view mirror. And when there are two people in the back, as the Clubman’s extended wheelbase allows, you can’t even peer around the side of it.

Of course they go on, and on, about the Club door being on the wrong side for the UK and others.

Then we get to the ‘maybe-they-like-it’ parts.

It is a good-looking car. Genuinely unusual and intriguing, especially as it’s different from side to side – on the left the rear side glass is uninterrupted. But even without the Clubdoor or the rear van doors this would be a handsome thing, very different from your usual hatch.

Great review. Not as scathing as Mr. Clarkson’s, but they definitely don’t pull any punches.

[ Taking the long view ] Topgear.com