The Essential Options on the MINI JCW

For over 2,000 miles our long term MINI JCW Clubman test car has proved itself to be the most capable four door MINI we’ve ever tested. But if we were to have ordered things would be slightly different. With that in mind we’ve put together an ordering quite of what we love and what you don’t as it relates to the JCW Clubman. But looking at the list it relates well to any JCW across the MINI range. Lets get to it.

Options we love

  • Rebel Green ($1000). It’s a color that at times looks like a sinister black and at others an elegant dark green. It suits the JCW Clubman’s personality perfectly. At $1000 its insanely expensive but we’d seriously consider splurging.
  • 18″ Black Grip Spoke Wheels (Free). As much as the 19s looks more impressive, the 18s give you a better ride and still have a great sharp feel to them. The design of them does a great job of hiding the fact that they are required to slightly convex due to the size of the front calipers. The black also goes great with the sinister look of our JCW.
  • Dynamic Damper Control ($500). We were wrong when we called this unnecessary a few years ago. In our JCW Clubman it’s essential. And that’s comes from someone who has sport mode engaged 90% of the time. But on rough highways comfort mode has proven to be well worth the $500 for this option.
  • MINI Yours Steering Wheel (Free). We have the JCW wheel but the MINI Yours would have been a no-cost option. And it’s the one you want. It has the same aggressive shape as the JCW but it’s wrapped in BMW’s most luscious leather normally saved for M cars or BMW Individual models.
  • Rear Foglight ($100). For God-sakes people if you live in an area prone to fog this is required. It should be mandated in the US like it is in Europe if it weren’t for drives have no clue what to do with it.
  • Split fold-down rear seats ($250). At only $250 this adds a center rear armrest (a kid essential) and a 40/20/40 rear seat split.
  • Piano Black Interior ($200). It’s probably $185 of straight profit for MINI every time someone checks this box but I love the look and it finishes the most rough plastic in the standard Clubman I a much more premium material.
  • Sirius Radio ($300). You can save $300 if you would prefer to stream from the app but there’s no question this is more convenient – especially it integrates with presets. If you don’t have any need for Sirius (if you’re more of a podcast, NPR or just like your own music) this one is an easy option to pass by.
  • Alarm. Peace of mind and a little beep with you lock and unlock the car.
  • JCW Sport Seats – Cloth/Dynamic (Free). Our JCW doesn’t have these as we got the power seats (more on that later). As much as we love the MINI Sport Seats, the JCW Sport Seats are next level stuff.

Packages and the options that matter in them

Packages – who doesn’t love them. Yeah they’re sort of a no brained for those who want options and don’t mind throwing down some cash. But I do want to call out a few options within the packages that we feel are the key ones (especially since the make-up of them is constantly evolving)

  • Heated seats. Unless you leave a hot climate heated seats are one of those luxuries that quickly becomes a necessity after you’ve experienced them.
  • Folding mirrors. Essential if you live in an urban environment
  • PDC with a rear view camera. Essential for just about any environment but especially helpful if you parallel park daily.
  • Panoramic sunroof. More important for the long-roof Clubman than most, this brightens-up the interior. And unlike the 10 years ago, having a sunroof on a MINI doesn’t mean rattles. Warning – it does add weight the last place you want it.
  • Wide-screen Navigation. The screen in your car isn’t just about navigation. It’s a window into just about everything it does these days. Paying a little extra for a bigger window is well worth it. The bonus these days is that that gets you the excellent revised touch-screen system in the Clubman and Countryman.
  • Harmon/Kardon. If you listen to music get it. If you don’t pass on it. It’s not that it’s an amazing option. It’s that the standard stereo is exceedingly mediocre.
  • Comfort Access. it may sound like a 1st world problem but this is a must.

Options we don’t love

  • Power Seats ($1,250). Basically any other way to spend $1,250 on your MINI would make more sense. They add weight, make you opt for the MINI Sport seats (rather than the JCWs) and aren’t needed unless you have multiple people constantly driving your MINI.
  • Sport Automatic Transmission ($1,750). This is the best MINI auto to date. And we’d still steer clear. The manual just brings this car to life and it’s free.
  • Chrome Line Exterior Trim ($250). This replaces the red trim on the front of the grill which gets rid one of the few unique pieces of trim on the JCW. It also is exorbitantly expensive.

What are your options that you can’t live without? How about some that you’ve found lacking? Sound off in the comments below

  • Scott Eaves

    Um, it looks like 2 options may have gotten combined in the Sirius Radio entry. “Sirius Radio ($300). You can save $300 if you would prefer to stream from the app but there’s no question this is more convenient – especially it integrates with presets Alarm. Peace of mind and a little beep with you lock and unlock the car.” 2nd half seems to be for a different option – or there is a feature of Sirius that I’m unaware of!

    • It’s actually to adhere to a regulation from Japan. The F54 has enough fender coverage that it doesn’t need it.

      • Yep, the wider offset wheels to clear the JCW brakes put the outer edge of the wheel outside fender coverage and can sometimes throw rocks into oncoming cars when turning.

        I still miss the old “fend? mir?” law that came off the books in the 80s. Were they actually safer? No. Were they cooler? Oh hell yes!!! They were so cool they they were still offered as optional equipment on some cars right up until the early 90s.

        • Scott Eaves

          Thanks Gabe and MCSRallye for the explanation. I mentioned it to my dealer and was told it was for aero purposes. Should have known that MF would have the real answer!

  • I love my 19″ Course Spokes and now that I’ve replaced the Bridgestone Potenza S001 rf’s with Continental Extreme Contact Sport non-rf’s the ride has improved significantly. The 6spd is a DREAM to drive. Hands down it has the best clutch pedal feel and shifting of any MINI out there. My only complaint is it doesn’t like to be shifted into first until I’m stopped. It may be a safety feature that they engineered into it because it’s harder to put it into that gear until you’re basically stopped. The other itone thing I still haven’t tried is parallel parking with the

  • fishbert

    Satellite radio as an “essential” option? Um…

  • I’m running the 19″ Course Spokes and since I’ve changed the Bridgestone rf’s to Continental Extreme Contact non-rf’s the car harshness has improved quite a bit. I’m very happy with the results.

    I absolutely love the 6spd! This is the best clutch and shifter MINI has ever done. The pedal effort is much nicer than the F54. The only complaint, and his may be due to the car having only 3500 miles, is it’s harder to put it into first gear unless you’re barely moving. This may be an engineering design.

    I still haven’t tested parallel parking with the Parking Assistant feature. Btw, this was standard on my car, which I ordered in Oct. Now I see it’s a $500 option.

    • Kevin Bartlett

      I have the same feedback on shifting into 1st. BUT it has gotten better, I’ve got about 900 more miles than you do. It still fights me once in a while but early on it was not happy unless you were at a complete stop to go into 1st.

      I haven’t tried the parallel parking either, not much of it where I go and on a busy street isn’t where I want to try it for the first time.

  • LOL you’d basically option the car the way I did (though I went with the regular suspension since I plan to replace it to cut down on the sizable wheel gap).

    My favorite thing about JCW rebel green is asking people what colour it is when it’s not under direct sunlight. Black roof? Nope! get as much of that gorgeous $1000 paint as you can.

    PS: Now that I have comfort access, I hate using cars that don’t…

  • Kevin Bartlett

    I am in agreement for the most part…..if I ordered my car instead of taking one the dealer had Rebel Green would’ve been my color choice. I’m not a sunroof guy, but the sunroof is a must in a Clubman. If there were some lighter interior choices it might not be but I don’t think there are. It makes it feel even bigger inside, even though MINI’s feel roomier than any other cars of their size this amplifies that feeling. The 18’s ride nicely, I’ll be looking for good aftermarkets (the NM’s on the Motoringfile Clubman S from last year look very nice) so that I have a winter set. I have dynamic dampers and enjoy being able to dial things down on the highway. The touch screen Nav is really nice, easy to use, and with HK it sounds good (not great). I would add the Heads Up (well I got it), it adds more display space which is needed as the LCD in the Speedo is just not big enough.

    • Good call. I love the HUD for the same reasons and seriously thought about including it. Maybe I should have!

      • Roger Sinsheimer

        Unless MINI has done something about it since 2016 the Clubman HUD has one huge negative — you can’t see it if you have polarized sunglasses on.

        Very frustrating for such an expensive option.

        • Kevin Bartlett

          No, polarized glasses are still a problem, and I have a pair that I don’t use anymore because of that. It’s annoying but I like the HUD more than those glasses.

  • darex

    No mention of the fantastic LED headlamps?

    Thanks for FINALLY explaining the difference between JCW & MY steering wheels. I’ve been after the answer to this question for a long time! When even a KIA gives you that high-end leather on the steering wheel, it was a sore-spot for me that (I thought) we couldn’t get. ??

  • Giampaolo Grandi

    I bought a Countryman Cooper S ALL4 in 2011, now it has 216.00km (134.216 miles for the american fellas 🙂

    I had the chance to test drive a Clubman JCW for a week and boy what a car… Refined and way more comfortable (with the DDC) than my Countryman. I was so impressed that i pulled the trigger and ordered one 😀

    • Rebel green, black roof
    • Sunroof (It was too dark inside and with a newborn baby i wanted a little bit more air in the cabin)
    • Black 18″ wheels
    • DDC, so it’s comfortable when travelling with the family and sporty when alone
    • Tinted windows, to protect the baby in the back
    • Automatic transmission, i drive almost 100Km/60miles everyday and the extra gears allow to save some gas at highway speed (My countryman average 11,5kml while the JCW almost 15kml (27 vs 35mpg)

    I kept the standard JCW cloth seats, i don’t like leather seats and the upgraded ones (the red ones) i was not able to justify the cost. I didn’t opt for the Wide-screen Navigation, i think it was overpriced: even if it now have CarPlay.

    The Clubman JCW is a very nice package and now i “just need to wait” till September for mine to arrive…. Just can’t wait! 🙂

  • Nick Dawson

    Well, well, well – Gabe has finally admitted that smaller wheels on a MINI improve its ride. I knew you would eventually come round to my way of thinking 🙂

    • If MINI offered the dynamic suspension option on the 19s I would have preferred them 🙂

  • Patrick Jefferies

    I just took delivery of my JCW Clubman. I LOVE this thing! I got it loaded and surprising got just about what Gabe suggested.

    -Rebel Green with white top -6MT -Tech, cold weather, and premium packages -Sport seats with Cross Punch-Carbon Black leather -PowerSeats because I do have to move my seats -Piano Black Illuminated interior -DDC -Rear Fog Lights -Black wheels -Chrome line (didn’t like the red lip) -Active Driving Assistant -Ceramic Tint -Bonnet Stripes

    • Interesting note on the power seats:

      Power fold mirrors and backup mirror adjustment are tied to the power seat option. If you get the manual Recaro seats then you don’t get either of these options.

  • Johnny Boots

    I’ve been following the updates for this car being that I ordered an F54 JCW myself. Mine should be here in 1-2 weeks. I’m glad to see our specs are pretty similar. Mine was ordered as:

    Thunder Gray/White Roof Black 18″ Wheels (soon to be white team dynamics, why no white wheel optons?) Nav Package Premium Package (wanted the sunroof, too dark inside and HK, no brainer to get the split seats too) Roof Rails ( for my bikes) Heated Seats (no brainer, nice after a long ride too) For seats I went with the Black Pearl, hated to spend the money but wanted a comfortable seat. This is technically my company car which could see some long trips and mileage. Mini Yours Steering Wheel (other than the red stitch the feel is night and day to the JCW). Piano Black Illuminated (I do work in lighting, should have some cool lights!) Lastly, how could I not go with a 6-speed Stick. That was the defining choice in the Clubman for me.

    • Yeah, why so few (or zero) white wheel options in general?

      • Johnny Boots

        I didn’t really notice it at first but when I was placing my order for my first mini that was something I wanted until I saw Pepper White so I went with PW/Black roof. This time I wanted the white wheels but no option for it. So we’ll go aftermarket, get something that looks better and is lighter…Win Win

  • You basically described my car. I didn’t need Sirius and I did get the chrome line exterior even at its stupid price. I hesitated on the Rebel Green, and now regret it seeing how black it looks. I really wanted that kind of effect. I ended up with Thunder Grey and black on the accent colors.