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2021 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman Pure Edition (car review)

THE Clubman is not simply a five door version of the MINI hatch. In its John Cooper Works (JCW) form, it offers go-kart like handling with tenacious cornering grip, as well as the ability to make you smile, even on a trip to the shops.

It features a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to an eight-speed transmission, that bit’s the same as the hatch. What isn’t, is the fact it gets a power increase of 55kW, pushing it up to a very useful 225kW. That’s hot hatch territory.

The torque figure also increases from 320Nm to 450Nm in the JCW Clubman, with ALL4 all-wheel drive also making its way into the five-door, making it easier to deploy all that power to the road.

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Those numbers help the car achieve a 0-100km/h time of just 4.9 seconds; impressive indeed. Like its Cooper S sibling, it features three different trim levels as well, allowing customers a more focused choice.

In our case, we’re testing the Pure Edition, what you might describe as the fun pack. We say this because it’s the variant that’s most driver-focused, sacrificing some of the more luxurious technology for a more authentic experience.

Standard features include Bi-LED headlights, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control and wireless Apple CarPlay. The barn-style rear doors can be opened with the remote key, which is not only cool, but super handy.

Safety equipment is adequate, with six airbags, autonomous emergency braking and speed limiting technology, but lane keeping and blind spot monitoring are both missing. The Pure Edition also sports adaptive suspension.

This means a simple flick of the drive mode switch can alter the stiffness of the dampers to suit the driving conditions. The sport seats in this package are supremely comfortable too, giving just the right amount of support for the enthusiastic driver.

They’re trimmed in a lovely combination of Dinamica and leather. But it’s on the road, the twisty kind, that the John Cooper Works Clubman comes into its onw. The combination of a more powerful engine, all-wheel drive and the 8-speed auto make for a fun experience.

When you consider that the JCW Clubman Pure Edition essentially offers the best driving experience MINI can in this body shape, and with five doors, it’s hard to go past this offering. It should, quite frankly, be at the top of your shopping list.

If you want to consider a rival, there probably aren’t many options that offer all-wheel drive, perhaps with the exception of the Volkswagen Golf R, at least in a similar price bracket.

The Pure Edition hits the tarmac from $60,750 plus on-roads and is available in Chilli Red, Pepper White, Thunder Grey, Starlight Blue and Midnight Black.

Our test vehicle was supplied by MINI Australia. To find out more about the 2021 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman Pure Edition, contact your local MINI dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
9
Exterior styling
7
Interior look and feel
8
Technology and connectivity
7
Family friendliness
7
Value for money
7

SUMMARY

Pros - extra power over hatch; all-wheel drive; practical; drives better than it looks.
Cons - styling will divide opinions; no blind spot monitor; wireless charger not large phone friendly; Apple CarPlay only fills half of screen.

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2021 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman Pure Edition (car review)<strong>Pros -</strong> extra power over hatch; all-wheel drive; practical; drives better than it looks.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> styling will divide opinions; no blind spot monitor; wireless charger not large phone friendly; Apple CarPlay only fills half of screen.