It's all about the doors

Mini Clubman (2015)
Mini Clubman (2015)

MINI is once again adding an estate car Clubman to its line-up, keeping the last car's distinctive barn door tailgate, writes William Scholes.

And where the old car had to make do with only one side door for rear passengers - mounted on the driver's side, which rather limited egress and ingress options, especially for children - the new model has adopted the revolutionary approach of having back doors on both sides. Whatever next...?

The Clubman is probably the least mini new Mini yet, though it is a handsome looking wagon. It also looks expensive, which is just as well as it is resolutely premium-priced.

It launches with Cooper, Cooper D and Cooper S derivatives and the usual plethora of options aimed with surgical precision at personalising your car and separating you from your cash.

The wheelbase is 10cm longer than the Mini five-door, so real people should be able to fit, and the boot has a volume of 360 litres, which is about what you will find in something like a Volkswagen Golf hatchback. Drop the seats and 1,250 litres is at your disposal.

Production starts at the Mini factory in Oxford later this year, but you can order your Clubman now. Entry fees to the Clubman club start at £19,995 for a Cooper, with a Cooper D £22,265 and Cooper S £22,755. Ticking the box beside some options will soon see those prices rise inresistibly towards £30k...