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Chris M Wanted a V-10

Test sits - i3 and Mini Clubfoot err Clubman

So last weekend I took time out to visit the local BMW emporium and the Mini showroom next door to it.

The BMW seemed more like a coffee shop with cars as ornaments; plenty of people sitting down drinking at tables and almost nobody looking at the cars.  Plenty of time to look at the i3 in isolation.  Shame it's so expensive as it would make an ideal third car in rnge extender form, the version that the salesman I spoke to recommends for 99% or more of potential purchasers, to make sure that they do not get stranded.  It's nicely finished but in cheapish loking recycled materials, the bare carbonfibre structure of the body-in-white side panels etc is visible in places and rear legroom is adequate for most although the rear is definitely just for 2 people not 3.  The front "boot" is taken up almost entirely by a can of tyre repair gunge and charging leads leaving a small but practically shaped rear boot; OK for shopping trips but hopeless for a week away for 2 or 4 people's luggage.

If I have 35 grand to spare when the Ka comes up for change, I'd definitely be booking a test drive (ie no chance, is it really worth 3 Kas at full list price, or 4 to 5 at discounted?).

Then on to the Mini showroom.... the Clubman is much lower than it appears in the photos and also suffers from a very small boot with a high floor, strange as there is no battery pack underneath it nor a spare wheel/tyre.  It's also nicely finished but the materials do not feel sufficiently plush to justify the high price tag for what it is.  But you do drop down into the seats even though there is a good range of height adjustment.  The windscreen/driving position reminded me more than a little of my dad's old Counntryman from the early 1960's - view a bit like looking out through a letterbox and somehow I did not feel fully comfortable or "right" when sitting in the driving seat.  The speedo and central circular control panel did not seem overly large, just a little quirky compared to rival designs.  So I won't be taking a test drive in the spring.
PhilD

Re: Test sits - i3 and Mini Clubfoot err Clubman

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:


Plenty of time to look at the i3 in isolation....is it really worth 3 Kas at full list price, or 4 to 5 at discounted?



That's not how it works! But as you asked, yes. Yes it is.

Is the i3 boot really that small? looks ok on the photos and presumably has a fake floor with more storage underneath? I'm sure I could manage a weekend away, and the seats fold if needed.

I've watched a few videos of the new Mini and the interior seems like a step up in quality from the last one (itself a big improvement on Mk1). I agree with those who see the interior getting better with each iteration while the outside gets worse.
Bob Sacamano

I had a test sit in an i3 and came away quite impressed - the only thing I wasn't sure about was the recycled? dashboard material. Not a deal breaker though.
Michael

Re: Test sits - i3 and Mini Clubfoot err Clubman

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:

If I have 35 grand to spare when the Ka comes up for change, I'd definitely be booking a test drive (ie no chance, is it really worth 3 Kas at full list price, or 4 to 5 at discounted?).


I'm not sure they stack up that well against a Renault Zoe. I do like both, however.
Martin

Bob Sacamano wrote:
I had a test sit in an i3 and came away quite impressed - the only thing I wasn't sure about was the recycled? dashboard material. Not a deal breaker though.


+1 † It's not cheap, but would work really well as a second (family) car imo. †It is a lot more than something like a Zoe, but it is 5 seconds quicker to 60mph. †Both make a lot more sense lightly used, the i3 is £20k at 6 months oldand I've just had a quick look at the Zoe, they're only £7k-£7.5k (+ battery rental?)
Andy C

Bob Sacamano wrote:
I had a test sit in an i3 and came away quite impressed - the only thing I wasn't sure about was the recycled? dashboard material. Not a deal breaker though.


Exactly my thoughts after sitting in one at Silverstone classic
Racing Teatray

I would like the i3 if it was a normal BMW. As it stands, no thanks. Neither the exterior nor interior appealed to me when I poked around one in a showroom.

So make mine an Audi A3 etron-thingy. All the benefits of a normal car and no "look at me, I'm green" baggage.
PhilD

Andy C wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
I had a test sit in an i3 and came away quite impressed - the only thing I wasn't sure about was the recycled? dashboard material. Not a deal breaker though.


Exactly my thoughts after sitting in one at Silverstone classic


this stuff?

Martin

No, that's the wood trim on one equipped with full leather, including dashboard.   It's the grey stuff you can just about make out on the far right of the picture and at the edge of the windscreen.
PhilD

I'm not about to enter a BMW Spec battle with you Martin † † but here is that wood without full leather...



Is the recycled stuff the dodgy carpet on the dash and doors?]

EDIT: you didn't mean the wood comes with the leather did you.
Roadrunner

PhilD wrote:
I'm not about to enter a BMW Spec battle with you Martin † † but here is that wood without full leather...



Is the recycled stuff the dodgy carpet on the dash and doors?]

EDIT: you didn't mean the wood comes with the leather did you.


I like the i3 a lot and one with the wood interior would be top of my list to replace our MINI if the price were lower. The MINI is only just run in at 43,000 miles, so no need to replace just yet.
Bob Sacamano

The grey recycled stuff I was referring to is shown there between the windscreen and the instruments. It's very similar to that cheap compressed felt carpet you used to get in Ford Fiesta Popular Plus' in the early eighties as an upgrade from vinyl floors.

The brown leather/vinyl and grey cloth is not a combination that I would ever think of but it looks fresh and modern in the i3.
Nice Guy Eddie

I love the wood that flows over the das. I shouldn't like the I3 but theres something about the styling that's very futuristic I can't help buying into.
TreVoR

The i3 is a lot better in the real world than photos suggest.  I dismissed it immediately on photos but having sat in one earlier in the year, I was impressed - it is a nice place to sit.
Martin

Yes, the recycled stuff is the dark grey material behind the wood on the dashboard and the front edge of the doors.

The wood trim looks good on the i3
PhilD

The suicide doors and the way they open up the passenger space is also pretty cool


Roadrunner

PhilD wrote:
The suicide doors and the way they open up the passenger space is also pretty cool




Exactly the same as on our MINI Clubman.
Martin

Not exactly the same. †That's a much wider opening, meaning you pretty much step just across to get into the back seat rather than having to move the front seat forwards and then step back into the car, the sill is lower and the seat belt is well out of the way!

PG

PhilD wrote:
I'm not about to enter a BMW Spec battle with you Martin † † but here is that wood without full leather...



Is the recycled stuff the dodgy carpet on the dash and doors?]

EDIT: you didn't mean the wood comes with the leather did you.


It looks much better with a black interior. That grey steering wheel is an awful colour and looks to be on upside down. I know it isn't but it just looks upside down.
Martin

BMW Geek alert....sorry....you can't have it with a black interior. †The highest trim level (Suite Interior World), which some don't like, but is the option I would have, is the one in the picture Phil posted most recently, which is dark brown leather on the seat and dashboard, with a black steering wheel
TreVoR

Where do they pick the stupid names from?  "Suite Interior World"?!  Really!
Humphrey The Pug

Love the i3, the look, the concept, what it's made of but it is silly money.

I've been rolling around in a ZOE for the last 6m or so and it does everything an i3 does, whilst still being a great looking car; for half the price.

Currently on a PCP Renault are chucking in a £5k deposit contribution; meaning you are financing around £10k; the car lists at £20k + battery rental. Big spec too.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Re: Test sits - i3 and Mini Clubfoot err Clubman

PhilD wrote:
Is the i3 boot really that small? looks ok on the photos and presumably has a fake floor with more storage underneath?.

The batteries and REx engine are under the floor, no hidden compartment there unfortunately. It would probably take 4 hand-luggage sized cases in the boot if the parcel shelf is left in place, that's all there is.
PhilD

Re: Test sits - i3 and Mini Clubfoot err Clubman

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Is the i3 boot really that small? looks ok on the photos and presumably has a fake floor with more storage underneath?.

The batteries and REx engine are under the floor, no hidden compartment there unfortunately. It would probably take 4 hand-luggage sized cases in the boot if the parcel shelf is left in place, that's all there is.


Ah, of course!  

I've had a google and its 260/1100L compared to my Punto's 275/1000, though I don't know if that's including the front one. Either way that's fine for me and family!

A focus is 316/1215L and a Ka is 224/747 (though 3 would be 672/2241)
Humphrey The Pug

A ZOE boot is 338/1225.

By the look of things an i3 boot is the same size; irrespective of being a range extender or not.
Roadrunner

Martin wrote:
Not exactly the same. †That's a much wider opening, meaning you pretty much step just across to get into the back seat rather than having to move the front seat forwards and then step back into the car, the sill is lower and the seat belt is well out of the way!



What I really meant was that the general architechture of the door opening, latch mechanism etc had clearly come out of the same stable.
Martin

Either that or Rolls Royce!
Roadrunner

Martin wrote:
Either that or Rolls Royce!


From my experience the RR doors operate in a very different way!
gonnabuildabuggy

Roadrunner wrote:
Martin wrote:
Not exactly the same. †That's a much wider opening, meaning you pretty much step just across to get into the back seat rather than having to move the front seat forwards and then step back into the car, the sill is lower and the seat belt is well out of the way!



What I really meant was that the general architechture of the door opening, latch mechanism etc had clearly come out of the same stable.


Forgetting the debate, I really like that Clubman.
Big Blue

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:


Forgetting the debate, I really like that Clubman.


Yep, me too. Big soft spot for the last Clubman. WTF that new munter looks like I don't know if I can find the language bad enough!
Roadrunner

Big Blue wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:


Forgetting the debate, I really like that Clubman.


Yep, me too. Big soft spot for the last Clubman. WTF that new munter looks like I don't know if I can find the language bad enough!


Agreed. The whole design is bang on for me, especially the frameless door. We are in no hurry to replace ours.
PR

Another fan here - I love ours. I'm borrowing a new one on Monday so will be interested to find out what it's like.
Martin

I'm a big fan too.  I started the trend (as I did with the 130i), although I had the petrol engined Cooper S rather than a diesel....!

Still the best colour combo too imo

Martin

The new one looks a lot better on the road than it does in pictures, I'm interested to hear what it's like to drive.  Evo has tested the Cooper S and given it 4 stars this month, so it can't be that bad.
Frank Bullitt

PhilD wrote:
I'm not about to enter a BMW Spec battle with you Martin † † but here is that wood without full leather...



Is the recycled stuff the dodgy carpet on the dash and doors?]

EDIT: you didn't mean the wood comes with the leather did you.


That's the right interior

The i3 is brilliant on every level apart, it seems, from reliability - my colleague who has one has spent almost as much time in a 1 series diesel as the i3 which does, at least, solve the range anxiety issues.

One of my team has a Zoe, her husband is in charge of aftersales at the local Renault/ Nissan/ Dacia/ Citroen place - it costs her shat all to run and the lease price is reduced from what we would pay.
JohnC

Martin wrote:
The new one looks a lot better on the road than it does in pictures, I'm interested to hear what it's like to drive. †Evo has tested the Cooper S and given it 4 stars this month, so it can't be that bad.


I saw one from the back yesterday and I thought it looked OK. Much more grown up. However the strange crease at the bottom of the front wing and the impact on the shape of the now ubiquitous plastic wheel arch trim looks really odd.
gonnabuildabuggy

Martin wrote:
I'm a big fan too. †I started the trend (as I did with the 130i), although I had the petrol engined Cooper S rather than a diesel....!

Still the best colour combo too imo



Is that your Martin? If so let me know when the ex Mrs. M comes to sell it, as we might be interested.

Looked at the new Clubman on Saturday. Nice but the boot felt very small for the size of car.

As it stands our next cars will be:

Mini Cooper D > Mini Cooper S Clubbie/Hatch or Golf GTI/R
Honda FRV > Evoque/Disco Sport/HRV/Rx400h/really no idea
Martin

It is, yes.  If I find out before it goes, then I'll let you know.
gonnabuildabuggy

Martin wrote:
It is, yes. †If I find out before it goes, then I'll let you know.


Thanks, We won't be changing for a number of years, but it could be the right car for us if timing is right.
PG

Roadrunner wrote:
Agreed. The whole design is bang on for me, especially the frameless door. We are in no hurry to replace ours.


It's a real shame that the 5 door and Clubman have ditched the frameless doors.

I really can't make up my mind about the new Clubman. In some photos it looks OK. In others, it looks awful. I suspect that it is hugely colour and spec sensitive.

The one in the Autocar roadtest is in the "looks awful" camp. But I saw photos of a silver one with black roof elsewhere and it looked OK.
PhilD

PG wrote:
Roadrunner wrote:
Agreed. The whole design is bang on for me, especially the frameless door. We are in no hurry to replace ours.


It's a real shame that the 5 door and Clubman have ditched the frameless doors.

I really can't make up my mind about the new Clubman. In some photos it looks OK. In others, it looks awful. I suspect that it is hugely colour and spec sensitive.

The one in the Autocar roadtest is in the "looks awful" camp. But I saw photos of a silver one with black roof elsewhere and it looked OK.


I've not seen a new Clubman yet. There are now 2 new 3-doors and 3 new 5 doors on my street, with 2 of the 5-doors being identical green with white stripes Cooper Ds! I'm warming to the 5 door on decent sized wheels. The new mega nose still doesn't work for me on the 3-door but makes more sense on the bigger car so I'm hoping the Clubman will be better still. Barn doors still cool but conventional rear doors are a backward step.

Interior is very nice.
Martin

As I've said before, they look I better on the road than in pictures, it's the best looking model in the current range
PR

I had a Clubman Cooper D courtesy car the other day. It's a very likeable car. It  rides and handles in true Mini fashion but with a polish to it lacking in the previous one. The engine is very refined and it's significantly more flexible than the 1.6 we've got.

It's full of pleasing details, down to the MINI logo projected onto the ground from the door mirror and the red security light integrated into the shark fin aerial, like an aircraft beacon. The rear light graphics are really nice when lit up, too.

Inside it feels leagues ahead of the old car. The dashboard has a fantastic wrap around section, although one howler is that the glossy trim that runs the entire length of this section creates an annoying reflection in the wind screen.

Headlights were LED; good on dipped beam but fairly feeble on main beam.

One feature that it had that I've not experienced before is rev matching on a manual. It works uncannily well. You depress the clutch, slot the lever into a lower gear and the revs rise to the perfect level, giving you a perfect smooth shift. Rather loses the art of heel and toe but very impressive nonetheless.

I liked it and would gladly trade the current Clubman for one when the time comes.
Roadsterstu

TreVoR wrote:
The i3 is a lot better in the real world than photos suggest. †I dismissed it immediately on photos but having sat in one earlier in the year, I was impressed - it is a nice place to sit.


Echoes my thoughts. I think the interior is fantastic.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
As I've said before, they look I better on the road than in pictures, it's the best looking model in the current range


Spent some time following one on Sunday and have to agree 100%. I still mourn the loss of the suicide doors and the contrasting rear pillars for the Traveller/Countryman look but instead we have long and low gangster or chopped look that is very appealing. Didn't get much of a look at the front though...
gooner

PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:
As I've said before, they look I better on the road than in pictures, it's the best looking model in the current range


Spent some time following one on Sunday and have to agree 100%. I still mourn the loss of the suicide doors and the contrasting rear pillars for the Traveller/Countryman look but instead we have long and low gangster or chopped look that is very appealing. Didn't get much of a look at the front though...


I saw the regular 5 door hatch earlier and it just looked wrong, like it had been stretched too much.
PhilD

gooner wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:
As I've said before, they look I better on the road than in pictures, it's the best looking model in the current range


Spent some time following one on Sunday and have to agree 100%. I still mourn the loss of the suicide doors and the contrasting rear pillars for the Traveller/Countryman look but instead we have long and low gangster or chopped look that is very appealing. Didn't get much of a look at the front though...


I saw the regular 5 door hatch earlier and it just looked wrong, like it had been stretched too much.


I wasn't sure how the Clubman could improve enough on the 5 door as that already has quite a vertical rear screen. But it definitely does.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

The 5-door looks bloated and badly styled, whereas somehow the design of the new Clubman looks more cohesive
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Can't get round the rear lights on the new Clubman - they look as though the factory stuck them on the wrong way round. Maybe different at night - like the facelifted Mercedes E Class.
gonnabuildabuggy

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
The 5-door looks bloated and badly styled, whereas somehow the design of the new Clubman looks more cohesive


Agree.

Autocar described it as looking "chopped" (i.e. like 50's Hot Rods), the Chrysler 300C was similar.

I really like the looks, but unfortunately boot space is fairly paltry so I can't see it being a true Golf competitor, more still a lifestyle option.
Martin

I thought the new Clubman had broadly the same size boot as a Golf?

edit:  360/1250 litres vs 380/1270 litres for the Golf.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Same size boot as a set of golf clubs in a golf bag.....
gonnabuildabuggy

Martin wrote:
I thought the new Clubman had broadly the same size boot as a Golf?

edit: †360/1250 litres vs 380/1270 litres for the Golf.


Visually looked a lot smaller. Very high boot floor (perhaps with section underneath? Didn't think to look), and not that wide vs a Golf I'd have said. Perhaps longer though. So more rectangular than square "like a Golf".
Martin

I've not been to look at one, just going off the numbers which I know only tell part of the story in terms of usability. †The old Clubman had a fair size space under the upper boot floor (raised so it was flat when the seats were folded) and space for a space saver below the lower floor as well.
Frank Bullitt

Downloaded the brochure for the Clubman the other day as the configurator for MINI seems to despise Apple products - I got to £25k for a reasonably well specified Cooper and decided to was hideously expensive.

My mate who has had a MINI of some flavour for the past 12 years has just ordered himself a Clio dCi Dynamique S to replace his '60 plate ONE D; he simply can't stomach the looks of the new one no matter how hard he tries.
simonp

Saw my first Clubfoot on the road yesterday (being driven by a tit) and was amazed to see that the brake lights are on the bumper and not built into those massive clusters that take up about a third of the rear doors!
Martin

Yes, that does look a bit rubbish.
Michael

I think that's because brake lights need to be visible when the doors are open. It's why Audis with the clamshell boots and the Insignia estate have a second set of lights visible when the tailgate is open.
simonp

If you're driving around with the boot open then you need a bigger boot (or a roof rack).
PhilD

Its the law innit.
Martin

Not an issue on the old model as it had sensibly sized rear lights that are visible when the doors are open.




Going back to the earlier point about boot space, lifting up or removing the upper boot floor gives you a fair bit more space.




With a fair bit more space for hiding things away (or a spare wheel...) under the lower floor.

TreVoR

Michael wrote:
I think that's because brake lights need to be visible when the doors are open. It's why Audis with the clamshell boots and the Insignia estate have a second set of lights visible when the tailgate is open.


Brake lights don't but tail and indicators do.  It is why the Discovery moved them to the bumper for the 300Tdi.  I am not quite sure how the Defender escaped the legislation.
PhilD

TreVoR wrote:
Michael wrote:
I think that's because brake lights need to be visible when the doors are open. It's why Audis with the clamshell boots and the Insignia estate have a second set of lights visible when the tailgate is open.


Brake lights don't but tail and indicators do. †It is why the Discovery moved them to the bumper for the 300Tdi. †I am not quite sure how the Defender escaped the legislation.


But the indicators are on the doors?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIoH-F37ijg
TreVoR

They must have changed it again.
Frank Bullitt

It's the night lights that need to be visible with the boot open.
PR

The new Clubman's indicators switch from the barn door to the bumper if the boot is open.
PR

And ours has an additional reflector compared to Martin's:

PhilD

PR wrote:
The new Clubman's indicators switch from the barn door to the bumper if the boot is open.


Neat. Why not do that with the brake lights as well?
PR

PhilD wrote:
PR wrote:
The new Clubman's indicators switch from the barn door to the bumper if the boot is open.


Neat. Why not do that with the brake lights as well?


Dunno. I'm going to need to borrow another one and investigate!

I remember following an Audi Q7 that was showing its brake lights in the secondary bumper lights, which in that case I assumed to be a fail safe in the event of the usual ones not working. Maybe this is the same?
Blarno

I'm the voice of dissent as far as i3 goes. It's a great concept and drives really well, we even tested the self parking system between 2 Monos and it worked faultlessly. But, it's overstyled and cringingly shouty of its eco credentials. How many angles and swages does one car need? It's like 6 different people designed the car but never communicated on any of it. It looks like an early 90s Adidas basketball hi-top trainer.

Also, like the Prius, they seem to be exclusively driven by massive throbbers with an enlarged sense of self importance and serious lack of road manners.
Giant

Blarno wrote:
I'm the voice of dissent as far as i3 goes. It's a great concept and drives really well, we even tested the self parking system between 2 Monos and it worked faultlessly. But, it's overstyled and cringingly shouty of its eco credentials. How many angles and swages does one car need? It's like 6 different people designed the car but never communicated on any of it. It looks like an early 90s Adidas basketball hi-top trainer.

Also, like the Prius, they seem to be exclusively driven by massive throbbers with an enlarged sense of self importance and serious lack of road manners.


Blarno dislikes styling of modern car shock number 5428!  
Blarno

As per.


It's not a cohesive design. The i8 is much better.
PhilD

PR wrote:
PhilD wrote:
PR wrote:
The new Clubman's indicators switch from the barn door to the bumper if the boot is open.


Neat. Why not do that with the brake lights as well?


Dunno. I'm going to need to borrow another one and investigate!

I remember following an Audi Q7 that was showing its brake lights in the secondary bumper lights, which in that case I assumed to be a fail safe in the event of the usual ones not working. Maybe this is the same?


Brake lights are just in the bumper here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P...po&feature=youtu.be&t=51s

I thought the general trend was towards bigger and higher brake lights?
PG

PhilD wrote:
PR wrote:
The new Clubman's indicators switch from the barn door to the bumper if the boot is open.


Neat. Why not do that with the brake lights as well?


And the tail lights must do that as well as tail lights have to be visible with the doors open.

Our Shogun falls fowl of that legislation as well. Nice big lamps at each side of the rear door that do nothing in the UK except the brake lights and reverse lights. With tiny rear lights and indicators in the bumper. Right where they can be damaged by people or you reversing (as I discovered once to my cost) and where they get covered in serious amounts of road grime much really quickly.

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