The interior layout, fit and finish
A funky, neatly designed interior is one of the many reasons that lots of people find Minis so appealing, and the cabin of the Clubman is suitably stylish. There are lots of cool details, and it’s all built and finished to a very high standard. Only the Audi A3 goes one better for a premium feel.
The Clubman’s driver's seat is quite short under the thigh and needs a little more side support in corners – an issue not remedied even in the sportiest versions with sports seats. It's a shame that the backrest angle is adjusted using an awkward lever rather than a simple wheel, and that you have to pay extra for adjustable lumbar support on the Classic and Sport trims.
Despite everything, though, the seat is still generally comfortable on long motorway trips, and its actual position is very good in relation to the pedals and steering wheel. Also, the steering wheel has a vast range of movement and, because the instruments are fixed to the column, you can always see them no matter where you position the steering wheel.
Fortunately, the infotainment system is dead simple to use while driving; its rotary controller is placed near the gearlever and there are numerous shortcut buttons. Apple CarPlay is standard but Android Auto isn't offered at all, and it only comes with a 6.5in screen as standard. You can upgrade this to an 8.8in screen (part of the optional Navigation Plus Pack) that also adds the flexibility of touchscreen control, as well as bringing more features to help it compete with the A-Class's excellent system. These include access to a concierge service, online subscriptions and the ability to link the car to Amazon Alexa, as we mentioned in the intro.
Visibility out, in all directions, isn’t bad. It’s only the split in the rear doors that frustrates mildly, because it creates a central blindspot directly behind the car. If you think that will be an issue, go for the Sport trim, because it comes with rear parking sensors as standard. Front sensors and a rear-view camera are included with the (pricey) Comfort Plus Pack. Meanwhile, all models benefit from LED headlights to go with the snazzy Union Flag tail-lights.
Competitive in lots of areas but not outstanding
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