2019 MINI Cooper Clubman vs. 2019 Subaru Impreza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Cooper Clubman’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Impreza doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Cooper Clubman and the Impreza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and crash mitigating brakes.

Warranty

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The Cooper Clubman comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Impreza’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Cooper Clubman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Impreza’s (12 vs. 5 years).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Clubman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Impreza.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cooper Clubman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Impreza’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that MINI vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 17th in reliability. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

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The Cooper Clubman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 145) than the Impreza’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (189 vs. 152) and 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 145) than the Impreza’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The JCW Clubman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 76 more horsepower (228 vs. 152) and 113 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 145) than the Impreza’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Cooper Clubman turbo 3 cyl. is faster than the Subaru Impreza (manual transmissions tested):

 

Clubman

Impreza

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.8 MPH

81.4 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Cooper Clubman S is faster than the Subaru Impreza (automatics tested):

 

Clubman

Impreza

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.4 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Clubman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Impreza doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Cooper Clubman Auto’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Impreza doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

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A six-speed manual is standard on the MINI Cooper Clubman, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Impreza.

To help the driver achieve optimum performance and fuel economy, the Cooper Clubman has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift based on power needs and conditions. The Impreza doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The MINI Cooper Clubman manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Impreza doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Cooper Clubman’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Impreza:

 

Clubman

Clubman S

Impreza

Impreza Sport

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

12.1 inches

10.9 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11 inches

11 inches

10.8 inches

10.8 inches

The Cooper Clubman stops much shorter than the Impreza:

 

Clubman

Impreza

 

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Cooper Clubman’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Impreza Sport’s 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Clubman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Impreza’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper Clubman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Impreza doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Cooper Clubman has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper Clubman flat and controlled during cornering. The Impreza base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Cooper Clubman offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Impreza’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Cooper Clubman has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Impreza doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Cooper Clubman S ALL4 handles at .89 G’s, while the Impreza 2.0i Limited 5-door pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cooper Clubman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Impreza 2.0i Limited 5-door (26.5 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Cooper Clubman is 7.3 inches shorter than the Impreza 5-door, making the Cooper Clubman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Cooper Clubman has .4 inches more front headroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the Impreza.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Clubman’s available rear seats recline. The Impreza’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Cooper Clubman’s available cargo door can be opened just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Impreza doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The Cooper Clubman uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Impreza uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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When different drivers share the Cooper Clubman, the optional memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Impreza doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Cooper Clubman offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Impreza doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Cooper Clubman’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Impreza’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Cooper Clubman the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Impreza can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Cooper Clubman’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Impreza’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Clubman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Impreza doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Cooper Clubman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Impreza doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Cooper Clubman has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Impreza has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/Sport/Limited.

To better shield the driver’s vision, the Cooper Clubman has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Impreza doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Cooper Clubman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Impreza Premium/Sport/Limited.

The Cooper Clubman’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Impreza doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Cooper Clubman and the Impreza offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cooper Clubman has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Impreza doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Cooper Clubman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Impreza doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Cooper Clubman is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Impreza doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Clubman is less expensive to operate than the Impreza because it costs $90 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Cooper Clubman than the Impreza, including $21 less for fuel injection and $24 less for front struts.

Recommendations

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Cooper Clubman first among compact cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Impreza isn’t in the top three.

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