If you set up in business, chances are your thoughts will one day turn to buying a van, says Brett Fraser in The Daily Telegraph. Perhaps you’ll think of the tax advantages, or the marketing benefits of seeing your company name out there roaming the streets. The only trouble is that vans are probably not as glamorous as you’d like your business to seem. Now, along comes Mini, “to the rescue of those on the hunt for a chichi commercial vehicle to complement their chichi business”.
The Mini Clubvan is based on the Clubman estate model, minus the back seat and windows. Like its stablemates, the Mini van is impressive, says Fraser: it’s stylish, fuel economy is good, and it’s hugely enjoyable to drive, with strong performance and a “fun, flingable chassis”.
It’s an amusing way to travel, agrees Mike Duff in Evo. “The van combines the standard Mini’s well-balanced handling with the timeless thrill that comes from thrashing a light commercial vehicle along at unlikely speeds.” Buyers will probably opt for the diesel engine version – it “delivers reasonable performance and mega economy” and is hard to argue against for duty in a van.
It’s not good value for money, says Shane O’Donoghue in AutoExpress – you’re paying premium hatchback prices rather than those of commercial vans – but the diesel model in particular is “incredibly efficient”. Most buyers will pay up simply for the image, and for that they will be getting a good deal: “there’s simply no cooler van on the road”.
Price: £17,055 (for the diesel model, or £14,257 excluding VAT – VAT-registered businesses can reclaim the tax)
Engine: 1,598cc, four-cylinder diesel, turbocharged
Max power: 112bhp @ 4,000rpm
Top speed: 122mph