Being both a bit lighter and slightly shorter-geared in its uppermost ratios than a typical diesel C-segment hatchback (and wanting for little on outright power or torque), the Clubman is a competitor here in the simplest of terms.
Making a proper family hatchback, however, is about more than peppy speed. The way your all-purpose five-door delivers its speed is at least as important as how much of it is given up.
And it’s here, in the specifics of how it responds to your inputs, that Mini shows its inexperience in fulfilling such a brief.
Although it’s smooth enough and quiet during cruising, there’s a gruff edge to the 2.0-litre diesel’s vocal signature under load that you’d be unlikely to find in a fully fledged compact premium hatch.