Mini’s U.S. lineup is rife with choice, from the basic two-door and four-door Cooper Hardtops to the Clubman wagonette to the crossover-y Countryman to the Cooper convertibles. Factor in three engines and two transmissions, and Cooper derivatives number in the dozens. Now consider that Mini’s home market of Great Britain gets everything we get, plus four additional powerplants. Should we be jealous? In some cases, no—specifically, the pair of gas- and diesel-powered Mini One models, whose engines are so weak they aren’t worthy of the Cooper name. The two more powerful diesels found in the base D and sportier SD models, though, are somewhat more interesting. We had the opportunity to experience both, in the form of a Cooper D Clubman and a Cooper Hardtop SD 4-Door hatchback (which Mini calls 5-Door in its home market), while in the U.K. for the unveiling of the Mini Vision Next 100 concept.
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The test drives were brief—less than an hour in each—on roads ranging from eight-lane motorways to narrow, serpentine paths originally mapped by the Romans. Each of these diesel Coopers generally look and feel just like their gasoline-powered counterparts, with the same perky handling, chatty steering, and optional drive modes that have more or less the same effect on their dynamics. Feature-wise, they square up with their gas-powered counterparts, too. But at the end of the day, there was only one that we wanted to stick in our carry-on and bring home. And no, it wasn’t the quicker one.
It turns out the plus-size (for a Mini) Cooper Clubman and Mini’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel are a great match. Lively and surprisingly quick, the diesel feels much like the gas-powered three-cylinder turbo Clubman, only with a big helping of additional midrange punch. The diesel’s output tops the base gas-powered Clubman’s 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder in both horsepower and torque, with its 148 horsepower at 4000 rpm besting the gas engine by 12 ponies and its 243 lb-ft of torque at 1750 rpm representing a significant 81 lb-ft jump. The extra output is more than sufficient to handle the diesel model’s nominal added weight (44 to 88 pounds depending on transmission, according to Mini). Throttle response in the meat of the tachometer is immediate and robust, accompanied by a pleasant growl through 4000 rpm. Above that, however, the sound changes to a gravely fracas and response falls off a cliff, so it’s best to keep revs lower.
Mini’s claim that the Cooper D Clubman shaves more than half a second from the gasoline version’s zero-to-62-mph time (8.5 seconds versus 9.1) is entirely believable. Those numbers may be somewhat conservative—we coaxed a U.S.-spec Clubman to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds in a recent test of an automatic-equipped model—so we’d love to properly test a diesel ourselves. Factor in the D Clubman’s considerable 20 to 25 percent improvement in fuel economy on the European test cycle (a hypothetical U.S. model should be rated at better than 40 mpg on the highway cycle) and the £2380 (about $3150) higher price, though steep, seems worthwhile. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Manufacturer
This review is about cooper d clubman.