The six-speed manual gearbox is crisp, assured and complements the sharp agility of the steering. Even when negotiating winding roads the Mini remains planted, which sets it apart from many an LCV and although the ride is firm, it is comfortable and quiet. This is likely to be a result of the build quality, which appears rock solid. All in all, the Clubvan's driving characteristics are not like a van's.
Likewise, the Clubvan takes specification levels to a new high in the small van segment. Items such as DAB radio and side and head airbags may not be unheard of in the LCV market but they rarely come as standard kit, as they do here. The standard spec level is high, but so too is the price, and while a wealth of options are on offer, these bump up costs further. The model we drove came with extras that included, among others, a Leather Punch interior (£920), and the excellent but fairly essential, Park Distance Control (£245). Excluding VAT, our Clubvan, with all its bells and whistles, comes with a price tag of £18,592, which may seem like an indulgence too far for most operators.
But while the Clubvan was never likely to be cheap, Mini is confident it will make up ground through its whole-life costs. It should command enviable RVs, too, due to its exclusivity and the prestige of the brand.
Mini is unashamedly pitching the Clubvan at exclusive, professional operators for whom the reputation of their business is a prime concern. If it can also tick the necessary boxes for practicality, there is currently nothing else in the commercial vehicle sector to rival its sophistication and brand kudos.
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August's run is a joint run with our friends in Silicon Valley Club, co-hosted by James Schenck (SVM) & Simon Tidesley (NorCal MINI...
BusinessCar Test Drives The MINI Clubvan
Posted by NorCal MINIs