By on July 3, 2018

Mini plans to launch updated versions of its two most commodious models this summer. While many of the refinements are incredibly boring (like a new particulate filter that adheres to new European emission mandates), there are tastier aspects to cherry pick. For example, the Clubman and Countryman gain receive upgraded transmissions in Europe — which hopefully carries over North America, as well.

The change replaces the standard automatic with a seven-speed Steptronic dual-clutch transmission. Tragically, that unit has already made its way into the smaller Cooper hatchback and has proven excruciatingly slow in making its way across the ocean. Still, why you would buy a Mini 2-door and not option it with a contrasting roof and manual transmission is beyond us. The impractical little car’s saving grace is its fun factor and visual appeal, and you should probably lean into both if thinking of buying one. 

The bigger ships in Mini’s fleet sacrifice some of that fun for practicality and a more mainstream appeal, which is why it makes sense for BMW Group to get the DTC into them as soon as possible. Offered exclusively on gasoline models, Mini claims the new gearboxes offer noticeably faster shift times at cleverer intervals — improving both performance and fuel economy.

“In addition to enhanced driving fun, the design principle adapted from motor racing also has all the comfort features of an automatic transmission,” Mini said of the DTC. “It ensures harmonious and acoustically barely perceptible changes in drive position, free of load change reactions in the engine — not just when sprinting but also when decelerating.”

The addition of the new transmission also allows the brand to implement stop/start functionality and an adaptive coast setting that works with the vehicle’s navigation to maximize efficiency. Gear selection can be achieved manually. However, paddle shifters are only available on the more-expensive Cooper S models.

Mini is also offering the Clubman with a new Connectivity Package, which encompasses real-time navigation with traffic updates, Apple CarPlay, wire-free cellphone charging, and a Harman Kardon audio system. This is all managed through a 8.8-inch touchscreen and Mini’s Touch Controller, which allows you two write in letters rather than than selecting them on a keypad.

Officially, this news is for European customers only. But it’s presumed the updates will eventually make the trip to North America — assuming the brand decides to keep selling cars here. If it does, it might want to get the lead out.

[Image: Mini]

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14 Comments on “Mini Refines the Clubman and Countryman for 2019...”

  • avatar
    Hellenic Vanagon

    Yes, a very boring car…

    Please go to my #15 short story:

  • avatar

    They can put whatever transmission they want in this thing – $30,000 for a car with a lousy three-banger is just stupid. Sorry, Mini, no sale.

    • 0 avatar

      Dude, this Clubman needs some serious changes. I totally have no wonder why it is not selling. I was potential buyer for it. But I found many issues with this thing. Starts with the seating surface. Front seat cushions simply too small and uncomfortable. Rear seat backing is too vertical and has no reclining. The ride is harsh. After lengthy time in it, I said to the dealer, “I will think…”. Jumped into my Mazda3 and as I started driving away, I realized how nasty is inside that Clubman on the road. Plus “enthusiast brand” that removed any DIY from it. In fact, this is 100% metrosexual brand now. And I don’t even want to associate with it.

    • 0 avatar

      Recently test-drove the three pot enginge in a convertible (AT6 w/ stop/start) and the hatch (MT) in urban traffic. Underwhelming refinement. Constant shudder. Awful noise, esp. w/ open top. And the AT kept the revs exactly in areas with most rattle & hum. The H/K audio is targeted at beats headphones clientele. A great car for people who never sat in a car before and don’t know better. Steering is already far worse than the previous generation. Interior quality and NVH are otherwise great for such a small car. I think the DCT will finally mess up crawling and reversing. As some (or many) stealerships are also a mess, I don’t see a great future for the brand.

  • avatar

    I used to love the MINI configurator on the old website, it had over a million combinations. Not anymore. Lack of dealers in my area kept me from taking these seriously, 150 miles east or 150 miles west are my options. Nah.

  • avatar

    I’m into Minis of all sorts. I had a 2009 MINI, and my pride and joy is a beautiful little 1968 Mini (no capitals). But, the (capitals) MINI is a tale told too often. It was fresh and exciting when it came out. There have been no noticeable changes other than the addition of bloated and overpriced variants. Those who want one have, by and large, had one over the many years it has been around. The reputation for poor quality didn’t match my experience, but the price of parts, service and insurance certainly did. It’s time to get exciting again. Stop/start doesn’t do that.

  • avatar

    Boring car ? Not if you have driven one with a manual transmission. (a Cooper). And although I haven’t driven an automatic version, I don’t think it would be boring either. To drive, that is. If you are trying to impress your neighbors with your car purchase, you might want something else.
    Stop/start is a no go with me.

  • avatar

    “The impractical little car’s…”
    Seems a bit odd for an enthusiast site to be tagging a car with “impractical”. How practical is a Corvette, 911, Miata, or Mustang?
    That said, I agree re the roof and tranny.

  • avatar

    Matt Posky, is English your first language? From the number of errors in this article’s wording and grammar, I’m guessing it’s not.

  • avatar

    You keep saying “DTC” instead of “DCT”

    DCT = Dual Clutch Transmission
    DTC = Dynamic Traction Control (also a BMW acronym)

  • avatar

    Until they create a rally presence with the Cooper it will remain a Hipster’s bling

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