I’m noticing that the Clubman reviews very well. USA Today’s review of the Clubman Cooper is no exception, but I have seen more favorable reviews.

>Looks terrific. Drives great. Can be decked out inside as scrumptious as luxury cars priced twice the well-equipped test car’s $28,700 sticker.

>What’s more, Consumer Reports magazine gives the Mini Cooper hardtop – mechanically the same – the top scores in reliability, owner satisfaction and total ownership costs.

They do, however, have a few small issues.

>The sport setting minimized, but didn’t eliminate, the test car’s biggest driving disappointment. The engine was unresponsive when blipping the throttle to eliminate jerkiness in downshifts. Without sport engaged, you had to literally floor the throttle a moment to get the engine to rev enough (and back off before the engine overreacted). With sport engaged, the engine revved more willingly but remained less lively than desired during the blipping process.

I believe their test car was an automatic.

The also have problems with the seats, the rear visibility and the seat belt getting in the way of the Club door. And, there was this.

>Tank holds 13.2 gallons. Premium fuel is required for full power, but lower octane is OK, Mini says.

I don’t care what anyone says, the last thing you want to do, no matter what the cost, is run anything except premium fuel in a Cooper. I’ve done it, and it’s not a pretty sight.

[ MINI Cooper Clubman ] Usatoday.com