Jumbo shrimp, paid volunteer, dark light—the new 2016 Mini Clubman hatchback adds another oxymoron to the list by becoming the largest Mini ever. The new six-door model is longer and wider than any other Mini ever made, including the Mini Countryman SUV, and moves into a completely new size class to compete with mainstream hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf.
Based on BMW’s front-wheel drive UKL platform shared with the standard Mini Hardtop, the new 2016 Clubman is a whole foot longer than the last Clubman, and gains four full doors to replace its predecessor’s half-size rear doors. This size increase makes for a significantly roomier interior, with increased rear-seat room and up to 47.9 cu ft of cargo space with the rear seats folded—more than you’ll find in a Mazda3 hatchback, not to mention Mini’s own Countryman SUV. Access to this space is through split rear cargo doors, a traditional Clubman touch that dates back to the original Mini Clubman from the 1960s.
The new Clubman displays plenty of other Mini styling cues, as it essentially looks like a bigger version of the standard MINI Cooper hatch. The rear end is the biggest departure, with its wider, horizontal taillights and the aforementioned split-door design. The overall look doesn’t come as much of a surprise, as it hews closely to the Mini Clubman concept shown at last year’s Geneva auto show.
Even though it weighs around 500 lb more than the standard Mini Cooper hatch, the 2016 Mini Clubman is motivated by the same set of three- and four-cylinder engines. The 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder is standard, and makes 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, while the Clubman Cooper S comes with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. Both engines can be mated with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission, and Mini says the Cooper S manual can go from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds.
Inside the car is a familiar dashboard design with all sorts of circular design elements and a large central display screen. BMW’s iDrive infotainment controller manipulates various audio and smartphone integration functions, and the new car will offer previously unavailable options like a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and a backup camera. The new Clubman will offer all the same owner customization possibilities that are so important to Mini buyers, including mirror caps, different roof colors, LED interior lighting elements, and various upholstery options.
The 2016 Mini Clubman will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2016, so stay tuned for more information on the new car including pricing and EPA fuel economy.