When you think MINI Coopers, you think small. The most compact, yet sophisticated cars on the market. And they have a brilliant track record. It is a thing of honour to jump behind the wheel of these powerful little beasts, and cruise down the road. You automatically become cooler. Well we think we do anyway.
Sometimes however, small isn’t a great thing. Like for instance, when you have loads of gear to cart around, need baby seats, need to drive friends around, or just like a little extra elbow room. Or when you’re heading to the Adelaide Hills to stock up on some cases of wine.
Enter the MINI Clubman Cooper S. After being launched in December 2015, we discovered this fab new car at the Adelaide MINI Garage (funny that). It’s basically everything you love about the MINI Cooper, but it has an extra set of doors (making 6 all up -a MINI first) making it much roomier inside, and giving it a big car feeling inside what is still a compact city run-around.
It made the perfect getaway car for us to scoot up to the Hills to take some photos and test out the features of the bigger (& better?) MINI.
First up, let’s talk about the logo projection from the driver’s side door mirror. Totally pointless and yet utterly fabulous. I showed everyone I caught up with. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Basically when you open the door, a magically little light hidden in the driver’s door mirror shines the MINI logo on to the pavement. Awesome.
Other features we particularly liked were the digital radio stations, the ability to change the colour of the dashboard lights (again pointless but it adds to the fun), the rear sunroof & air con vents which was great for our passengers plus the rear sensor opening back doors (simply swipe your foot under the tailgate and it opens for you! Sensational when your hands are full of stuff to put in the boot. The reversing cameras and collision sensors were also handy while we got used to the size of the car. The fact that it has the class, quality and finesse of a BMW while maintaining the personality of MINI is another selling card for us.
Choosing the Adelaide Hills as a testing ground for the MINI Cooper S seemed quite fitting. It was a perfect drive for corners, braking, visibility over the dash (which incidentally has a retractable heads up display which displays speed, navigation, phone calls, radio and more) and checking out how much wine actually fits in the boot. For the record, it’s A LOT.
We decided upon a visit to one of the most picturesque destinations we know – Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard. This gave us plenty of windy roads to test out the MINI Cooper S on, and it passed with flying colours. Easy steering, responsive and great braking. Just what you need for a zippy (yet spacious) little car. And our destination? Always a winner too. Incredible food, brilliant wine, and a view to die for.
All in all it’s not a hard sell. This car basically has everything you need, in a sassy little package. Baby seats fit in easily (which is something I now need to consider) but if you don’t, then great – you’ll have no trouble piling all your mates in the back seat for all the great adventures ahead of you. No more small car limitations.