Category Archives: driven

The MINI One Surprises

MINI OneOur MINI Clubman Diesel was due for a service. So I got a MINI One as a loaner to keep me moving. Unexpectedly this little sucker was so much fun to drive. The shorter wheelbase of the 3 door hatch is definitely providing more fun around corners than the Clubman. God, it felt good.

The little 1.4 liter fuel engine only offers about 95 horses, but they still felt more engaged than those of our turbo diesel. Admittedly top end speed and acceleration was lacking on the Autobahn, but inner city and country side driving was a pleasure. It was also great to hear some engine roar, something the diesel is lacking entirely.

However, there was another surprise. Something rather unexpected. The fuel consumption was insane. Really. 16 miles to the gallon (or 14.9l/100km)? Sixteen??? Our Diesel gets me over 35 mpg – and I know I’m not driving it super efficiently. But 16 mpg? And I really didn’t push the little One too hard. I drove it like I drive our Clubman Diesel every day.
MINI One Surprising Fuel Consumption

The conclusion?
I’m sure our MINI Clubman Diesel will stay with us for a few more years, but driving the MINI One made me want to switch to the shorter, more tossable original 3 door. And preferably one with some roaring, powerful engine.
Did I hear someone say JCW? I’m all in!


Happy New Year!

Yes it’s been a while since the last post. Our MINI Clubman Diesel is still running well.
“Earl Grey” is now with us for over a year. Time for a brief review. In the past 12 months, he carried us over 7,000 miles, was refueled 22 times, sipping about 189 gallons of Diesel. That makes it an average of 36 mpg (US). The highest average mpg was at 42.8 in the middle of summer, and the lowest at 29.4 during a trip to the Nürburgring.

Finally Our MINI Clubman Diesel received his red ears. This is something that was planned from the very beginning. I actually mocked up a view using the MINI Build Your Own web tool. But I never got it done for many reasons.
And so my wife secretly grabbed our MINI and the spare mirror caps I had purchased from a fellow MINI owner and drove to a local paint shop while I was traveling on business in November. There she picked a beautiful red color and got the mirror caps painted. I then found them under the Christmas tree! A very nice surprise. I hope you agree they look great on Our MINI Clubman Diesel.

For 2011 Our MINI Clubman Diesel has some existing events lined up.
There will be many drives out to a building site that we will call home in late summer. We are building a house for the family and a garage for Our MINI Clubman Diesel.
Then there will also be MINI United in late August happening in the south of France. I hope to make it out there this year and I hope to meet with many of you fellow MINI enthusiasts!

The Cooper Diesel and its Fuel Consumption

After clocking the first 500 miles it’s now time for a quick check on how the Cooper Diesel engine of our Clubman does in terms of fuel economy. When I decided to go for the Diesel the main reasons were its low CO2 emissions, fuel consumption, and the good torque of the turbo.
The on-board computer told me I was driving at an average fuel consumption of 34 mpg. That is not overly impressive.
In the past weeks I drove the Clubman mainly through inner city traffic on my way to and from work. I have to admit I wasn’t never good at driving with a light foot. Especially when zipping through inner city traffic. I often try to beat the next light or to go around that slow car before the next turn.
And then there are a couple of other factors that need consideration when look at that rather poor mpg number.

Continue reading

Clubman on the Ring

Does who know me probably thought after reading the headline that I went to the Nuerburgring straight away with our brand new Clubman.

But no, this is about Max. I don’t know him but he owns a JCW Clubman he fondly calls “Johnny de Clubi”. He posted the following video today of him and Johnny enjoying the Nordschleife this past Sunday. It must have been a truly memorable lap, given the amount of traffic.

But see for yourself.

The Clubman is here!

This is the post you I’ve been waiting for.
We got the keys to our MINI Clubman Diesel last night. And my face hurts from the smile that I can’t wipe off since then.

The MINI is back!! Our new Clubman Diesel certainly isn’t comparable in performance to our previous Cooper S. It’s not screaming like a cat out of hell when you floor it. It’s not giving you that exhaust thumbing that I learned to love so much. It’s not pressing you into the seat when you accelerate it from 100 mph on a German Autobahn. But there are many things I fell in love with on the way back home last night. First and foremost my wife who encouraged me to buy a MINI again instead of settling for public transport or an all rational car.
But before I dive into this, let’s quickly re-cap the pick-up event. Continue reading

Autobahn Tested, Mother Approved

It’ll still take a few days until we can get the hands on the keys to our new Clubman.
Until you dear reader will be presented with more in-depth reviews of our Clubman from various angles, here is one from Kristin at MotherProof. She reviewed a Cooper Clubman earlier this year from a family point of view.


MINI Motoring

Driving a MINI is not like driving most other cars. MINI owners are often enthusiastic about their car and enjoy sharing the motoring experience with fellow MINI owners.
I have many fond memories of motoring with friends around the world.

On the way to MINI UNITED in Misano Italy, we meet Italian MINI owners by chance at Lake Como. Then drove as a group down south and into Bologona for an “aperitivo” and a walk around the old town, before proceeding to Misano later that day.
On the way back from Misano to Milan a convoy of MINIs emerged on the motorway like a flash mob, only it wasn’t planned. It simply happened. And so for the next 250 miles we swarmed north through Italy in a group of MINIs. Continue reading