Although I love the BMW MINI, I have to confess I was a bit sceptical about the Clubman, especially after all that fuss about the 'door on the wrong side' (the second side door on the right-hand side of the car, which opens into the traffic when the car is parked at the side of the road in RHD markets).
But a few hours with this car were enought to dispel any doubts. It goes just as well as the standard version, and coped easily with a long trip north to Newcastle for the Verdict on Saturday and Sunday. I needed a few cans of Red Bull on the return leg but the Clubman itself was as fresh as a daisy when it arrived back at 1.30 this morning.
I think the combination of maroon metallic (well, Nightfire Red as BMW call it) and silver pillar trim on this particular one looks brilliant and the divided rear van-style doors are fantastic.
I also think the Clubman's stretched styling looks better than that of the normal MINI - especially, and somewhat perversely, on the left-hand side where the lines aren't spoiled by the fussy shutline of that second side-door.