As car reviewers, we've always relished our week-long sojourns with MINI Cooper models – fun, diminutive, retro-style cars based on a long-ago British subcompact line and built in the United Kingdom by BMW. But the thought of actually buying one never really occurred to us. The first MINI Coopers were not particularly functional, and their low-slung design made entry and egress a challenge. Then, along came the Clubman.
The biggest of the MINIs, the 4-door Clubman hatchback can seat four adults – five in a pinch, and we do mean pinch – and transport 47.9 cubic feet of cargo when the rear seat is lowered. It rides comfortably and fairly quietly, and it's easier to enter and exit than the conventional 2-door MINI Cooper.