In our quest to due a proper send-off for the MINI Clubman before it goes out of production, we’re testing three examples of the F54 across the globe. Last week we were in the Austrian Alps and Bavaria driving a Clubman S through the biggest December snowstorm in recent memory. This week we’re in the beautiful hills of South Carolina with a Clubman JCW. It’s all in a quest to find out if it’s still as good as we remember and still the best car MINI currently sells.

Due to sales and a world that can’t get enough of small crossovers, the wagon-like Clubman is being killed by MINI after an 15 year run. Beloved for its mix of utility and performance, the Clubman has become a cult favorite for the brand. And it’s been a favorite of ours. Having run two longterm test Clubman over the past few years we’ve fallen in love with the blend of utility and performance.

mini clubman

As a wagon (even if MINI won’t call it that) it has can deliver almost all of the utility a crossover offers with none of the performance trade-offs. Having driven a Clubman on everything from the Dragon to the track to snow covers mountain roads we can confidently say there is nothing that comes close to the broad capabilities of the Clubman – especially in JCW form. Saying it will be missed is a massive understatement.

So journey with us to the hills of South Carolina where we have an Island Blue MINI Clubman JCW at our disposal. And stay tuned for part 3 in this series later this winter.

The Brief (Modern) History of the Clubman

The original R55 Clubman was a bit divisive. With the third door on the wrong side for right-hand drive markets, it was looked at as the “other” MINI even by the brand’s own marketing. While we loved the concept, it never really jelled for us as it felt too close to the R56 and didn’t find the sweet spot that the F54 ultimately did in terms of utility and performance.

The F54 Clubman on the other hand has been our favorite MINI model since its introduction in 2015. We’ve run three of them over the years – a manual Cooper S All4, the 228 hp JCW and most recently a 306 hp JCW. While all were great cars, the 306 hp JCW Clubman was and is a watershed product for the brand.

MINI Clubman JCW Review Photo Gallery