The John Cooper Works cars might just be the most fun you can have while returning fuel economy of 33 mpg on the highway (and 25 mpg in the city). That said, I agree with pretty much everything that's been said by my colleagues: the JCW Clubman is expensive, offers poor reward visibility, has a body style that's of limited value, torque steers like a banshee, and has probably more motor than most people need or want.
That said, this is a very capable car with excellent steering and handling and solid acceleration (if you're judicious in your use of the throttle). In the end, though, it's hard to take the JCW Clubman too seriously because of its too-cute Mini styling. I'd say that I would rather save the money and buy a Cooper S or spend the money on a Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Ford Mustang GT, or Volkswagen GTI. However, I doubt there's much cross shopping for JCW buyers, as this Mini has few natural competitors.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor