Our New Long Term Test Car Has Arrived – the 2017 JCW Clubman

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After a longer than expected wait our 2017 JCW Clubman has made it into our hands. This new 228 hp JCW replaces our well used and (dare we say it) rather beloved 2016 Clubman Cooper S after almost 20,000 miles of service. We’ll have much more on that car soon but lets first introduce you to something much more black….or green in some light.

Our 2017 JCW Clubman in many ways is our dream MINI. It’s got all the utility you could ever need with all of the JCW performance that we want. However it’s not exactly how we’d spec it. In some cases we can specify our long term test cars. In other cases (this one) we take something that feels like it’ll be a different experience and perhaps more inline with what some of you might want to see. In other words it’s an automatic. Our first automatic MINI we’ve ever had as either a long term test car or that I’ve personally driven for more than a week. It’ll take a while to figure out what to do with my left foot.

Interesting items on the spec sheet

  • Standard Cooper S seats – a shame since the JCW seats are so great but from my experience these are still good while adding a touch more comfort on long trips
  • Stealth pack – there is no JCW or MINI logo on the back of the car and no All4 logos on the side – fine by us but I’d expect that the stealth pack would eliminate the “Clubman” and keep the MINI and JCW logos.
  • The optional chrome trim bar on the grill also means that this is as undercover as a JCW can get from the factory
  • Rebel Green can look very black in some light. Add black 18″ wheels and an all black interior and we have our first blacked out MINI since this car. We love it.

Initial Impressions

$47,550 and it doesn’t even have heads-up display. There is no question that this is an expensive MINI. And we’re not here to pretend that it will hold all of that value over the course of a year.

I’ve driven a lot of BMWs (and MINIs) around this price point and (so far) $47k doesn’t feel crazy in the context of this. The performance is impressive given the power to weight ratio and the transmission (it pains me to say this as a manual guy) is exceptional in its execution. It’s tuned how BMW M tunes their DCTs and autos with shifts that snap and plenty of delightful exhaust overrun.

Suspension dynamics are drastically improved over the standard suspension of our previous Clubman. The combination of the 18″ wheels, revised suspension and All4 (more on that later) makes this car feel much more balanced in every aspect.

We’ll have much more on our new JCW Clubman in coming days and weeks ahead. Also check out our Instagram feed for more photos.

  • Ryan Cooley

    I’ve been debating a jcw clubman vs a clubman s or countryman so the review will be nice! Every other review says it’s not a mini and it automatically makes me feel the reviews are bias and not factual in what the car does well

    • It’s a sloppy review that ends with that type of conclusion. I’m on my first road trip wth the JCW as we speak but I will tell you it’s decidedly faster and more engaging than the standard Clubman or Countryman Cooper S. The sound alone is worth the upgrade.

      • Ryan Cooley

        I hate reviews on the new minis as they only focus on the size. They say it’s too big blah blah. The thing is on carwow Matt showed the practically on the countryman and it held almost as much cargo as a q5. The q5 might have an extra cubic feet but it didn’t hold that much more. The clubman and countryman are some of the best handling cars and practical cars you can buy imo

      • I have a JCW Clubby on it’s way to Canada and the sound is what tipped me it’s way instead of a JCW Cooper. Very fun, very quick, very nimble, and very refined. This car is the slightly bonkers gentleman of the JCW line…

  • Kevin Bartlett

    I’m glad it finally arrived. Saw your Instagram post about highway cruising. I have to imagine that helps highway efficiency. That’s one of the things that surprised me about mine in 6th spinning at around 3000 at around 80, thankfully the exhaust isn’t droney. Look forward to your impressions, though I’m sure you will love it based on your experience with the S you had previously. I’m loving mine, but also jealous of your Rebel Green, it really is gorgeous.

  • WheelNut

    I just can’t fathom the depreciation. So much pain.

    • Jon A

      Too rich for my blood, as well. However, I’d wait for one to come up on CPO then pull the trigger. Once my oldest son get to be of driving age he’ll inherit my 11 MCCS. Maybe by that time I’ll get another Clubby (JCW most likely). I still need to haul my other kiddos around, otherwise it would be a JCW hardtop!

      • WheelNut

        Yeah buying a 2017 in 2019 or 2020 would definitely be the way to go. I really regret buying brand new, but at least I didn’t spend $10,000 on options that won’t change my resale value in 5 years.

  • Good choice. The Rebel Green does look amazing with the black wheels. I kept the manual, skipped the leather, added the HUD, but otherwise my car is really close to yours (Thunder Gray instead of Rebel Green).

    Couple of photos (not the best photos, but what I have handy):

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30ea27e0537dffab953336d4267a715cd6a2049259a0b9481d54ade023b093fe.jpg

    Summer mode & winter mode (and needing a car wash…):

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb7d44a9fdcbbe69012734a1e4e760bb5426968b369b4426671130204c015072.jpg

  • Johnny Boots

    Really excited for the reviews and updates on this model. I just placed an order for a similarly configured (no auto!) jcw f54 for use as my company car. Bonus, keeping my R53 as a weekender!

  • Ashley Wilson

    I’m definitely looking forward to a review on this. The JCW is a strong contender for my next Mini because my 07 R56 S is getting long in the tooth (and pricey to fix!) The JCW is definitely spendy but more than likely worth it since the regular Cooper S Clubman was a bit underwhelming when it came to the engine compared to the older cars.

    .

  • Im just about to take delivery of my 2017 JCW Clubman from MiniGarage Melbourne next tuesday. I’ve ordered a melting silver/black roof/wheel combo which looks amazing in the photos (but test drove a black/red one). My partner wanted an external colour scheme that was classy and didn’t scream ‘race me’.

    • Sounds perfect to me. Our Melting Silver Clubman Cooper S had black wheels as well and looked fantastic. It also had the side benefit of hiding dirt really well.

      • A side-note:

        1. When shopping for insurance I initially found it hard to get a specific quote for the JCW Clubman because it hadn’t hit Redbook yet, but just a couple of weeks ago I receive quotes from Allianz for !$1800, and then RACV for $1100. Im going with the later simply because its cheaper and i don’t need all the bells and whistles of the Allianz extra. I optioned windscreen replacement and $1000 excess. I’ve not EVER had an accident.

        2. I optioned the 18″ wheels instead of the 19″ on the Clubman + Dynamic Damper Control because i want some comfort this time around. In my 2006 Mini Cooper S (3rd), it was bumpy as hell on inner Sydney’s c-grade goat track roads. 10 years on I return to the brand, but this time with more space, more damping and more sportiness (when i want it – albeit roads are vastly better in Melbourne even with tram-tracks everywhere.)

        3. Cant Decide whether to buy into the servicing plan. There are couple of options which start at $1300 and run up to $3000 for 5 years servicing. Probably worth it, just feels like a bit of a gouge up front.

        I’ll post a picture of it hopefully sometime next week.