We managed to see a creditable 66.7mpg on our test route...
MINI has a solid reputation built on delivering vehicles that are fun, funky and often feature an element of surprise. The Clubvan is no exception to that rule and becomes the first true premium van on our roads today.
Admittedly, it’s not a massive load-lugging beast, but based almost entirely on the Clubman, it boasts all the MINI driving dynamics you could wish for and makes boring working rituals an enjoyable experience.
The MINI Clubvan brings some trendy design and functionality to what can only be described as a dull and dreary marketplace and it’s going to be the must-have accessory of many a small business.
There is a choice of three body colours which become a blank canvass to help promote business logos and banners. These are Midnight Black, Ice Blue and Pepper White. Buyers can also choose from a diesel or two petrol engines with the former offering a far superior combined fuel efficiency of 72.4mpg compared to 51.4mpg for the petrol variants.
VAT-free prices range from £11,175 to £13,600 and the Clubvan, which is inspired by the Morris MINI Van of the 1960s, is built in Oxford.
Unlike many small vans, Clubvan owners can personalise their vehicle with a variety of optional packs and dealerships throughout the country are offering a specialist sign service too.
A distinctive feature on the Clubman is the door layout with two doors on the driver’s side and a single door on the passenger’s side. This is also true with the Clubvan and although MINI claims it makes access to storage items a little easier; in reality it’s not that practical at all.
Black alloys, roof rails and all the MINI quirkiness you could wish for are all plus points though. And in true MINI fashion, the Clubvan will turn heads; it is a great advertising tool and will probably lead to disputes amongst the workforce who will all be vying to drive it.
Powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine, the MINI Cooper D Clubvan that we tested was certainly no slouch and sprinted from 0 to 62mph in 10.2 seconds and then on to a top speed of 122mph. It delivers 82kW/112bhp.
According to official figures, the diesel model has CO2 emissions of 103g/km and a combined fuel economy of 72.4mpg. We managed to see a creditable 66.7mpg on our test route incorporating small village streets and faster country lanes. An insurance rating of 3E also helps to keep costs down.
The ride, handling and overall driving dynamics are typically MINI with plenty of thrills and possibly spills if drivers forget their on-board cargo. That’s because apart from rather a lot of engine noise, the Clubvan drives beautifully.
The suspension absorbs bumps and dips along the way and the six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and offers all the acceleration you could wish for.
In fact, it would be fair to say that the Clubvan can be utilised to suit any circumstances. If unladen, it can be driven with a heavy foot and rewards you with brilliant handling. Then, when moving fragile goods, it can be as dainty and careful as any commercial vehicle.