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If you're not a fan of the MINI Countryman, there's a good chance that you're going to hate the all-new Clubman. However, the British carmaker is being smart by launch a model that competes in the global arena, not just in a tiny niche.

The all-new Clubman is the latest vehicle underpinned by the UKL1 platform, the same one used by the Hardtop, as well as the BMW X1 and 2 Series Active Tourer. There is no way of ignoring the fact that it is the biggest car MINI has ever made.

With no less than six doors and a footprint the size of a VW Golf's, it's going to be useful for those who need more space than a 5-door Cooper, but cannot sacrifice space.

Let's talk specs

The new Clubman is 4,253 (168.3 in) long, 1,800mm (70.9 in) wide and 1,441mm (56.7 in) tall, with a 2,670mm (105.1 in) wheelbase. That makes it 270mm longer (10.6 in.) and 73mm (2.9 in.) wider than the previous model. Almost a foot separates it from the 3-door Hardtop.

Besides 5 passengers, the MINI can store 360 liters of goods, 80 more than before. That number rises to 1,250 liters when the 60:40 or optional bench is folded flat.

Several versions will be available. In America, most customers will go for the Cooper S, equipped with the same 189 hp 2-liter turbo. The 1.5-liter with 134 hp is also available and comes with either a 6-speed manual or an automatic.

Europeans will get those plus a few diesels. These include 150 and 190 PS versions of the 2-liter and a smaller 1.5 rated at 116 PS.

The review

We've now grown accustomed to the look of the new hardtop models, forgetting just how big the improvement was compared to the older models. But the gaps is even larger for the Clubman. Plastic trim and weird design give way to chrome detailing that will shame some Mercedes-Benzes. Rear passengers will enjoy better legroom and outward visibility as well, the Auto Express editor says.

This test car is equipped with a number of new technologies, such as a system that opens the rear doors automatically when you wave your foot under the bumper. The suspension is tuned for comfort and while some of the eagerness of a MINI has been retained, the Clubman is not a kart that the entire family can enjoy.
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