The good news here is that, thanks to that longer wheelbase and marginally more supple springing, the Clubman isn’t such an acquired taste to drive as its smaller hatchback cousins.
Less good news is that it isn’t as broad-batted as it needs to be to replace an ordinary C-segment hatchback in the day-to-day routine of a disinterested family driver.
Nevertheless, the car feels like it strikes the right kind of dynamic resolution, firstly because it’s easier-going, more comfortable and less highly strung than every other Mini, and secondly because it’s still fun to drive. And any Mini that wasn’t the latter wouldn’t be worth its salt.
The Clubman’s more progressive handling and slightly gentler, softer ride frequency will also endear it to those who simply couldn’t tolerate the terrier-like manners of other Minis. Although you need to do more with the steering wheel than the Mini faithful may be used to doing in order to commit the Clubman to a tight corner or negotiate a roundabout, you don’t feel like you’re doing much.
More to the point, the Clubman turns in crisply and sweetly, with instant response away from the straight-ahead. But it doesn’t surprise you by shifting its weight and pivoting underneath you before you’ve had time to register that the car has begun changing direction – like shorter, firmer-sprung Minis sometimes can.