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The Do’s and Don’ts of Buying an Affordable Mini Cooper Clubman

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If you force a Mini Cooper fan to take truth serum, they’ll tell you that logic and reason have no place in their thinking if they do decide to buy a Mini. The point of buying a car like the Clubman is because it’s cute and fun to drive. Despite its many annoying features, at least they’re affordable, right? Well, not exactly.

The most recent Minis nowadays are somewhat astonishingly expensive. A John Cooper Works Countryman can cost more than $46,000 these days. Even the seemingly cheap base-model Cooper Hardtop can go past $30,000.

So what can you do to save some money? It is possible to rein in your expenses, as long as you follow the suggestions we list here:

·         Do get a Mini Clubman and start without options first. That starts you off at a price range of less than $25,000.

·         Don’t get a super loaded Clubman S. That can go for almost $40,000.

·         Do appreciate the standard features you get. Some of them are remarkably upscale already. For example, you already get the push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

·         Don’t get the really pricey options. Usually, this means you’ll have to do without navigation, a panoramic sunroof, and leather seats. These are luxury items which, when you think about it, you don’t really need.

·         Do go for options that may be very useful in your particular case. For example, if you normally have trouble parking, then you will need parking sensors (for $500) and a backup camera (for another $500).

·         Don’t insist cute decorations that don’t really do anything for your car. That includes racing stripes on the hood and a Union Jack flag on the roof.

·         Do keep in mind that the Clubman is already cute enough. Its body is nicely proportioned, and it’s just a treat when you gaze at it.

·         Don’t check the option for power front seats. That will add another $1,250 to your bill.

·         Do keep in mind that the Clubman now offers a longer wheelbase, so now it has more room in the back seat that adults can now sit there comfortably. Also, you get 18 cubic feet of space with the back seat up. With the back seat folded, you get a spacious 49 cubic feet of room for cargo.

·         Don’t get the turbo 4-cylinder engine that comes with the Clubman S. You don’t really need it to move the Mini’s 3105 pounds.

·         Do settle for the base car model engine, even if it is just a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder. This spirited engine will give you 134 HP and 162 lb-ft of torque and these will be enough to move the Clubman with vigor. The torque is strong when you’re low in the rev range, but it peters out when you go past 5,000 rpm. What that means is that you’ll need to change gear often with this 6-speed manual. Luckily for you, it offers short throws and crisp changes.

·         Don’t mind the fans of the manual-transmission Volkswagen Golf 1.8T, who claim that their pick is better than the Mini Clubman. Yes, it’s true that the Golf can go from zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, while the Clubman takes 8 seconds. Yes, it’s true that the Golf only takes 15.4 seconds to complete a quarter-mile, while the Clubman takes longer at 16.4 seconds. It’s even true that the more powerful motor of the Golf matches the 27 mpg fuel economy of the Clubman. They’re also in the same price range.

·         Do remember that the Volkswagen Golf and the Mini Cooper Clubman has different personalities. The Golf is a no-nonsense, inoffensive sort of car, and it is relentlessly pragmatic. It even offers more cargo space, and more room at the back seat than the Clubman. But so what?

·         Don’t forget that it’s not the practical features in the Clubman that first drew you to it. Admit it. What attracted you to it in the first place is its fun-loving nature. It’s irresistibly charming, and endearingly impudent. They’re what the Brits would call “cheeky”. Its features are cute, while the pragmatists will find them gimmicky. A true Mini lover will find it adorable that each door has its own tiny windshield wiper. If that’s a detail that you don’t really care for much, then you’re not the sort of person who needs (or deserves) a Mini Clubman.

·         Do have fun driving it. That shouldn’t be too hard, since it offers responsive steering and a nicely firm suspension. These features give you great control and a tight feel through corners. In contrast, the Golf may seem more solid, but in corners it has more body roll and it doesn’t seem to want to change direction quickly.

·         Don’t forget that Mini does have traditional weaknesses. Its build quality isn’t all that great, ergonomics aren’t perfect, and outward visibility should be better for the view at the back.

All in all, you can just get a Mini Clubman, forego the options, and enjoy what you get. And what you get is an adorable car that no Golf can match in cuteness, Best of all, you don’t have to spend a whole lot of money either!

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