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If MINI wants, I’ll come by Oxford and help them figure out a new naming system because hearing someone say the full name of any new MINI makes me briefly wonder if they’ve had a stroke. It’s also annoying to type, so I’ll definitely lend a hand if they need it (I’ll do it for a trip to Oxford, free fish ‘n chips and some good Stout, MINI). But I digress, because, naming aside, the new MINI Clubman is actually a very good car. But how good is it with the new ALL4 all-wheel drive system? Car and Driver finds out.

The particular model C&D tested was the MINI Cooper S Clubman ALL4, which is BMW/MINI speak means that it has the 2.0 liter turbocharged B48 four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. Their particular tester also had the six-speed manual, as it should. Now, some people find an all-wheel drive MINI to be a bit sacrilegious, but I personally think the idea of a turbocharged, manual, all-wheel drive MINI to be kind of cool. It almost harkens back to MINI’s rally days. At least in my mind, it does. Anyway, what’s it like to drive?

Well, Car and Driver wasn’t impressed with the performance. With 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, the Clubman ALL4 takes a slightly sluggish 7.3 seconds to get from 0-60 mph. A lot of that likely has to do with the extra weight and drivetrain loss attributed to the all-wheel drive system. The front-wheel drive model is likely quicker. However C&D did feel that, with only a tick over 1,000 miles on the odometer, the engine needed more breaking in to function at its best. They also weren’t a fan of the gearbox, a six-speed manual Getrag unit, as it felt a bit notchy when trying to shift quickly and requires a slower, smoother approach.

They also felt that it wasn’t the best handling car, thanks to the fact that under most circumstances, it’s actually just front-wheel drive, only using the rear axle when slippage is detected. This means it’s usually a front-wheel drive car with a weight penalty. One of the aspects of the Clubman that’s been complained about before, from us as well, is the tires. With standard Pirelli Cintuarto P7 all-season tires, the Clubman is seriously under-tired and it costs the car significant handling and traction capabilities. A Continental ExtremeContact DWS or Michelin Pilot Sport A/S would probably help.

aving said all that, C&D does say that the Clubman is a pretty well rounded little car. It has enough space to be practical, is comfortable enough for long journeys and good enough to drive to be decent fun. In our personal opinion, and judging from C&D’s review, don’t opt for the ALL4 all-wheel drive system. It’s rarely engaged, giving the car a performance, handling and efficiency penalty for very little traction benefit and, with decent winter tires, it will be fine with just front-wheel drive in bad weather. Plus, losing the added weight and drivetrain loss of ALL4 will help it be more fun, faster and more efficient while still providing the same amount of comfort and practicality.

here is the car and driver review.

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-mini-cooper-s-clubman-all4-test-review
 

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C&D will never give MINI a good review; however, the All4 is not a lightweight and that shows in their review. Once upon a time, C&D really appreciated iconic cars that defied the norms. Today, they are about as far from that as they could get.
 
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Fully tested and approved and £700 for a mini homologated towbar. Our Dacia dusters limit is 1500 kg braked same as clubby all 4, duster has 110 bhp clubby 192. Mmm dont think lorries on the motorway would be an issue!!!!
 

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Wow! I've been reading car magazines for > 40 years, and I believe that's the 1st two-car comparison test I've ever read where only one car participated. What a joke.

I've never owned a car with an automatic and I'm old so I believe I know a good shifter when I shift one. The system in my Boxster S is amazing, and the best I've ever experienced, but I'd say that the F54's is almost as good. I like it better than the one in my 435. The 435's shifter is classic BMW (this is my 3rd manual BMW): a bit long with the throws and a bit rubbery, but still precise and fun. The Mini's is like that but with somewhat shorter throws and less rubbery feeling. It is a pleasure, even when stepping out of my Porsche and right into the Mini.

I disagree 100% with the AWD being useless. I've had two FWD loaners and I test drove two before ordering mine. I found that the FWD cars exhibited pronounced torque steer and front end spin even when driving moderately. The AWD system eliminates nearly all of that and makes me forget that I'm driving a FWD-platform car. I agree that the P7 tires are a weak point of this car, and I think it's a mistake for BMW to only sell cars (in the US) with RTFs. Normal tires should be an option. Regardless, that's easily corrected. I am certainly not one to praise a car magazine when I agree with them and crucify them when they don't, but that review was absurd on every level.
 

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But if you want it to tow its 1500 kg v 1300.big difference in the caravan world!
OMFG a Mini towing a Caravan. Don't tell my wife. Being nagged daily for a caravan. No, no, no and no. Never. Split screen camper with a 2.7 flat six is as close as it well ever get.
 

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Sadly i resisted a caravan for years; after we got a dog i finally succumber and we bought an 8 year old Avondale 2 birth with end shower; cannot believe how good it is; so much fun, so comfortable-bed is bigger and better than home and the shower equally as good. better than a hotel and we can go anywhere there's a site-we could actually manage without a site as they're self sufficient if needs be-everything runs on gas or electricity or batter! We're toasty warm in the winter with hot air blown central heating and double glazing-really is home from home. Our Duster tows it perfectly-although a bit more power would be good! however mpg does drop from a 38 average to 20 with Dale (the caravan) on! Caravan sites are great-quiet if you go adults only, and there are superb ones for children too. At half term we had a fully serviced site with running water and waste too. Great for me as i cant move far with the new hip ! As long as i get the next hip sorted we're venturing over to Europe at some point next summer!
 

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So sorry seriously off topic but hammering 4wd because it weighs a bit more is pretty silly; if you need it you will put up with the extra weight and fuel consumption. I know i know in the winter winter tyres beat 4wd for traction but as is said above there are advantages in traction etc!
 
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