First Impressions: MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman

December 21, 2019

I still remember the first time I got in the seat of the MINI. It was a friends’ and I thought oh boy this car is not as MINI as the first MINI. I took it for a spin and right there is when I knew why she had bought the car. In the car you would sit low and the drive was very reminiscent of a Go-Cart. It was different and I loved it.

Leaping to 2019, MINI has now launched the John Cooper Works Clubman and The John Cooper Works Countryman. Both cars are revolutionary in that the power output is the most the car manufacture has released to its customers to date.


The new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman has a 225kW 4-cylinder turbo engine with a claimed fuel consumption of 7.7l/100km. The new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman on the other hand has a claimed fuel consumption rate of 7.9l/100km. The new John Cooper Works Clubman does a 0-100 sprint in 4.9sec and the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman does it in 5.1secs which is 1.4 and 1.5 seconds faster than in the respective previous models.


Both JCW cars have specially engineered chassis with additional reinforcement modifications for the body structure, engine connection, and chassis fastenings.

We had the opportunity to drive these vehicles in the curvaceous roads of Mpumalanga and I was impressed with how tightly they both held on the road. Both models use the same new 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission that has a mechanical differential lock on the front axle. Both cars all have the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. It would be hard to suggest one for you because I feel both cars are a little different and cater for different personalities. The new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is one that stood out the most for me. Its small and nimble shape definitely grabs my attention.


The drive is very different from the very first MINI I drove. You don’t get that Go-Cart experience but you still have the very same grin on your face as you swiftly navigate around the curves. MINI remains a fun car to drive whilst giving you all the sports performance you would want in this compact car, I mean that new exhaust system has turned a purr into an amazing rumble. Needless to say the MINI ALL4 all-wheel drive gives the cars increased traction on take-off, agility and driving stability. However, increased performance comes with bigger John Cooper Works sports brake system.


The noticeable new LED rear lights in Union Jack design in the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman is definitely a highlight design feature along with the keyless drive. The 6.5-inch display comes with touch function and a redesigned graphical display, also available is the upgradeable infotainment system and connected navigation with an 8.8 inch display. Also available is concierge service, real time traffic update and the system is Apple CarPlay-ready.


Prices for the new MINI John Cooper Works Clubman will start from R642 000 and for the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman will begin from R708 000.

Cover image shot by Matthew Kanniah

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