Can a Mini be a Mum Car? Mini Clubman Review
When I think of Mini's I think Austin Powers and The Italian Job, something small and sporty, I don't think about a car that will fit all your gear while you drive your kids to swimming and soccer practice. And while you might struggle to pack the whole family into one of the smaller two-door models, I found that the Clubman suited my needs almost perfectly.
So what is it about the Mini that's so desirable? I just found it so easy to maneuver, like when you're in stand-still traffic and you realise that you should be in the other lane, it's absolutely no problem to quickly change lanes, even if there isn't much space between your car and the one in front. The Mini accelerates quickly, so you can merge in the new lane easily, without slowing the other traffic down.
The Mini was fun to drive too, I don't know all the correct driving terms so it's hard to explain, but the way it cornered was so different to my SUV, that it actually made me question why I drive a big SUV.
There are ISOFIX points on the front passenger seat, and back passenger, and back driver side (three sets total). It's not really the done thing to install a child restraint in the front passenger seat in NZ, although in Europe it is reasonably common. It isn't illegal to install a child's car seat in the front, though you must switch off the air bags if it's a rear facing seat, which isn't always easy to do. In the Mini you can do it using the key (pictured below). If you do switch off the airbags it's really important to switch them back on again.
As far as car crash statistics go, the front passenger seat is the worst place to be sitting, so if there is space for children in the back seat, it is better for them to be there.
I could fit the Mutsy Igo stroller in the boot of the Mini Clubman on it's side. There is a tray on the floor of the boot, under which people might store bungee cords and jumper leads, I removed the tray so that there was a little more room. Does anyone keep jumper leads in their cars these days? I wouldn't know how to use them!
Green Mode comes as standard on all models, so the motor will switch off when the car is idle, like when you're at traffic lights or waiting at the school gate. Apparently not everyone likes this feature, so there is a switch on the dash so that you can switch it off. Sports mode is also standard on all models, and you can switch that on or off if you want to as well.