Review: Mini Clubman JCW Untold Edition

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Motoring

Ah, the Mini. An iconic symbol of British motoring. Synonymous with small and compact hatches that are fun and sporty. Little go-carts if you will. It’s a wonder, though, that they remain as popular as they do when you consider that the world is all about bigger and bolder. I am talking SUVs. I guess, this is exactly what it means to be iconic, you sort of trump any crazes and keep on trucking.

Mini keeps the craze going with the likes of this, the Clubman JCW (or John Cooper Works) All4. And this just so happens to be the Untold Edition.

Go All Out

The Mini’s design is already fun because the Clubman is a longer and somewhat more practical version of the hatch, it makes even more sense to add a bit more flair to it. Hence the gold! It is Sage Green in colour and the badges and edges are finished in Refined Brass. It also boasts the JCW badges, like its standard flagship sibling, on the wheels and the bonnet.

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Golden Inside And Out

It has those refined brass trim elements inside too, and the sports seats are finished in Sage Green leather. We’ve got multifunction buttons on the steering wheel and would this car be complete without paddle shifters? I don’t think so.

It’s a really fun cabin though, if you look at the centre console. Sure, we’ve seen it for some time now, but the graphics and icons on this screen are really cute and I can imagine buyers loving it. Well, the customers who buy Mini that is. Being a fancy pants Mini, it comes with most of the bells and whistles.

Spruce Up

There are a bunch of options you can add, obviously. In fact, this Untold Edition is merely a standard JCW Clubman with all the extras I have mentioned and it will cost you R58,000 over and above the standard price.

But this upgrade of sorts also means you gain features such as the interior light package, the Mini Excitement package and adaptive LED headlights. There is only one glaringly obvious omission and that is of wireless Android Auto. iPhone lovers, never fear.

Now, this Clubman might be a sort of station wagon version of the hatch, but that does not mean it is all that practical still. The rear legroom back here is rather cramped. Well, it would be for anyone taller than me. It’s probably best suited to small ones back here. At least they get their own sunroof. Maybe it’s to create an illusion of more space? 

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As for the boot, well that is at just 360-litres, which is not exactly large. In fact, it’s darn right small. BUT you are able to pop the rear seats down for added space. 

Do you love those iconic double doors? (Do I?)

I keep using the word “fun” but how can I not when it feels like I am driving a toy? But be careful how you drive, fuel consumption is dire. 

Look, there is no denying the entertainment value this car offers in terms of driving. You’re sitting so close to the road you genuinely feel like you are in a go-cart. And for many, this is the appeal. It can corner like it’s on rails thanks to the suspension set-up, but what it also does, is potentially give you back problems. My goodness, the ride is beyond harsh and I think it can be a deal breaker for many. 

And when you consider you will be spending around R860 000, I think this is something one should really think about. With that said, however, if you don’t mind a rather high fuel consumption and you don’t require much space or practicality, and what you are really after is a fun and engaging drive that will make you feel like a kid again, then the Mini Clubman JCW is for you. 

Regardless of your feelings about this Mini, you might reconsider it when you realise we are more than likely nearing the last of these ICE babies. BMW wants to be fully electric by 2030, so get it while it’s hot…literally! 

Juliet McGuire

Juliet McGuire is South Africa’s leading female motoring journalist. She’s been a motoring journalist for the past 14 years and she is here to help you make an informed decision when buying a car.

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