That was my hypothesis when I decided to order one of the last Clubman JCWs last fall. Since then I’ve lightly modded it, lowering the car and tweaking the chassis for even more go-kart feel. But after 2,500 miles, does it live up to that original hypothesis?

Your mileage will vary. One person’s ideal daily driver could be another’s worst nightmare. Case in point my absolutely perfect daily would be a manual despite living in a very urban area. That surely sounds like a disaster for some of you. But for me, the idea of a daily driver in MINI form has to find the perfect balance between, quick reflexes, engagement and speed all while being relatively comfortable. Oh and it has to be able to hold kids, dogs and plenty of stuff.

The stock version of the Clubman JCW is a great car. But I wanted something with a more crisp turn-in, better body control and the ability to more easily rotate in corners. So I dropped it slightly, added underbody bracing for more rigidity and increased the size of the rear sway bar. You can read much more about these modifications here.

The result of this is quicker turn-in and rotation in corners giving the Clubman JCW the feel of a much smaller MINI. It’s also introduced feel and feedback that isn’t there in its stock configuration. Crucially none of these modifications have made the Clubman less comfortable than it stock set-up.

Is it the ultimately daily driver? Naturally there are better options out there. But if you’re looking to daily a MINI and have a fairly active lifestyle that demands space and plenty of highway miles, there’s no better choice. At least in my opinion. The Countryman JCW offers a touch more utility but gives up the engagement I was looking for. It’s also a crossover and and I’m a sucker for wagons. Especially green ones.