Our JCW Clubman Hits 23,000 Miles As We Wonder What’s Next

Our 2017 MINI JCW Clubman is now over 23,000 miles (about 20k on our watch) and it has proven to be the best engineered and built MINI we’ve ever had. Let’s pause for a second. Yes but is it fun should be the question you’re thinking. It’s the one that has been on our mind recently. The answers is yes, when you want it to be. Which gives you a clue into just how well designed this car is.

Yes it could use more power given its price tag ($45k). But its capabilities on the road and track far surpass what most of us are comfortable or even capable of. Couple that with real utility (yes in a MINI), class leading tech, design and actual comfort and it’s to see why this is a car that can deliver as a daily driver while delivering real driving enjoyment.

F54 Clubman

Making a stop at the Famous Kirby in Saugatuck Michigan

The only noticeable issue we’ve had in our time with the car is a wheel weight that fell off and has rendered the left-front unbalanced at speeds above 70 mph. Otherwise this is a car that has been rock solid in every way possible.

MPG averages range between 23 to 27 depending on the type of driving we’re doing in any given week. The only real issue we have with efficiency (and this is a stretch) is the size of the gas tank. At 13.2 gallons it’s only providing a little over 300 miles in city driving – about 50 less than most of us would be used to in most cars. This means we’re simply at the pumps too often. The Countryman gets around this with an extended gas tank (optional in some markets, standard in most) that gives you almost three more gallons at every fill-up. Given that the two cars are essentially the same from the belt-line down, it’s doens’t make a ton of sense to us as to why MINI hasn’t brought this upgrade to the Clubman. Lets hope this is rectified in the upcoming LCI.

JCW Clubman

So the big question – would we get another and what’s next? The short answer is yes. We’ve probably sold readers, friends and family a good amount of Clubman over the past year based on our experiences. And yes, that means we’d happily get another. Although a manual JCW would be the only way we’d have it after living with an automatic for a year.

But that’s not what is next. If order tracking is at all accurate, what is next is actually on the way heading west from England as we speak. We don’t want to give too much away but with the last two MotoringFile long term test cars being Clubman, we’re going to switch it up and give you a different perspective on MINI ownership.

  • Kevin Bartlett

    I love the color of your Clubman, but otherwise I love my example more. I’ve got cloth seats (which I love), I’ve got a manual trans (also that I love).

    I can’t build my car today from MINI. If you want the MINI Yours steering wheel (again which I love) you can’t spec the cloth seats, and to get the other bits that I have you have to step up the trim level which means you’re paying for an automatic transmision even if you spec the manual. The current way of doing a build is a real deterrent from me purchasing another MINI in the future. Thankfully I’m quite happy with the one I have. The whats next question is a tough one for me, because MINI feels like its stepping away from what I want. Luckily its not a decision I have to face anytime soon.

    • Completely agree Kevin. Having a Clubman built to your requirements – an intrinsic feature of any MINI – is being rapidly watered down. I often joke that the Clubman has to sell itself, because MINI has failed to connect this car to the much larger market of people who buy Golfs. Making a Clubman as bland as a Golf is not going to correct this issue.

    • Johnny Boots

      Yes! I just built a car this morning for the hell of it. My build was a solid 3-4k over my ’18 JCW Clubman (manual). The way the options are tiered guarantees you either have a base model or fully loaded.

  • Steven Strain

    I really like this car. I probably will have to flip a coin between the sport suspension or the dynamic dampeners. I wish the dealers had more selection in inventory to test the difference.

    • Here’s how is breaks down according to MINI (higher is more aggressive):

      Standard Cooper S suspension: 0

      Sport Suspension: +20

      Dynamic: -10 to +10

      We have loved with both and unless you live where the roads are great, we’d likely recommend the dynamic setup.