The 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW is a station wagon with a race-car attitude and a pumped-up 302-hp turbocharged four-cylinder mated to all-wheel drive. This maxi Mini delivers thrilling handling, impressive straight-line performance, and enough exterior embellishments to turn heads in traffic.
The racy 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW can now be ordered with the fancy-looking, curiously named, Untold Edition appearance package. The special edition car wears unique Sage Green exterior paint, bright brass accents, and unique 18-inch wheels.
The Cooper Clubman JCW requires a big investment for such a small car, so we’d take it easy with options. Upgrading to the Signature trim brings 18-inch wheels, an adaptive suspension, a Harman/Kardon audio system, and a panoramic sunroof. You also get in-dash navigation, Apple CarPlay, and a digital gauge display. It’s a nice package for the price.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The JCW upgrade from the mid-range S model is nothing to scoff at: The S has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 189 horsepower, but the 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW is a beefier cut, with 302 horsepower.
The Clubman’s long wheelbase is more adept at handling bumps and pavement imperfections than the smaller Cooper models, making it more comfortable for road trips. That advantage disappears once the Clubman is tuned for performance by JCW.
Its lowered and stiffened suspension turns the ride brittle, which makes it less than pleasant as a daily driver. Steering is heavy and quick, and turn-in is precise, but it’s not quite the go-karting experience we’ve come to expect from Minis.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Even with its performance aspirations, the 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW still achieves decent fuel economy, boasting 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
And while we haven’t tested the Clubman’s turbo-four on our 75-mph highway test route, know that the lower-powered 2019 model outperformed its EPA rating in the real world, delivering a 32-mpg result. For more information about the Clubman JCW’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Although some might be turned off by the unconventional interior setup of the 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW, there’s no denying that this car stands out from the blandtastic styling of the Subaru Outback.
Cabin materials are not up to snuff with the entry-luxury pricing, but this car’s unique layout and offbeat design make up for some of that. Those who appreciate it will likely dig the aircraft-style toggle switches, the checkered-flag accents, and the in-your-face circular infotainment surround.
Those who aren’t so easily amused will feel some frustration with the small hard-to-read gauge cluster, the strangely placed infotainment rotary-knob controller, and the cheapo surfaces. What this car gains in style points, it loses in practicality.
The 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW‘s side-hinged rear doors and fold-flat back seat make it easy for owners to load stuff into the cargo area.
However, there’s not a lot of room for that stuff, as this Mini is, well, mini. The cabin’s cubbies are similarly stingy, with storage space for phones and not much else. However, a giant bin under the cargo floor offers some additional utility.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Like most things with the Clubman, if you want the good infotainment stuff, you’ll have to hand over the cash. With the Touchscreen Navigation package, buyers can equip their cars with Apple CarPlay capability and navigation. The standard system comes equipped with voice controls and Bluetooth connectivity.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
A basic suite of driver-assistance features comes standard, but buyers seeking more high-tech features will need to add the Driver Assistance package.
For more information about the 2023 Mini Cooper Clubman JCW‘s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.