The Road Ahead : June July 2016
QUEENSLAND’S LARGEST CLUB 51 JUN/JUL 2016 THE ROAD AHEAD MOTORING CAR COMPARISON ONE GLANCE AT the 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman and Fiat 500 X and it’s evident that any link with their original namesakes is tenuous in the extreme. These are no ‘baby’ cars a la the 1959 Morris Mini or 1957 Fiat 500, but grown-up offspring in every sense – performance, safety, comfort, features and, especially, size. Strictly speaking, the Clubman is a stretched hatch – a small station wagon of sorts – while the 500 X is a compact SUV. But they have plenty in common to justify being tested side-by-side. MINI COOPER CLUBMAN At $34,990, the Cooper is the entry level to the Clubman range. For the same money, you get a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed auto (as per our test car) to go with a 1.5 -litre, turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that is also found in the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Bigger than the previous Clubman, the newcomer also shares the same platform as the Active Tourer. It is 270mm longer and 90mm wider than the current five- door Cooper hatch, which makes it nearly identical in these dimensions to the 500 X. But more than that, the 2016 Clubman is better packaged than its predecessor. A full-sized rear door on either side replaces the single, token offering that opened into traffic, while a pair of spring-loaded ‘barn’ NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT... WELCOME TO THE LATEST TAKE ON TWO OF MOTORING’S ALL-TIME ICONIC NAMEPLATES, THE MINI AND THE FIAT 500.
April May 2016