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Both the Cooper Clubman and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front parking sensors.
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 Forester’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 Forester’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 Forester.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 23rd in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
The Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (189 vs. 182) and 30 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The JCW Clubman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 119 more horsepower (301 vs. 182) and 155 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the Cooper Clubman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Forester doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
For better stopping power the Cooper Clubman’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:
The Cooper Clubman stops much shorter than the Forester:
60 to 0 MPH
The Cooper Clubman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forester’s standard 60 series tires. The Cooper Clubman’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Forester Sport/Limited/Touring’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Clubman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Forester’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 Forester doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
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 Forester’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Cooper Clubman S handles at .87 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The Cooper Clubman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Forester Touring (26.5 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).
The Cooper Clubman is 1 foot, 1.6 inches shorter than the Forester, making the Cooper Clubman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Cooper Clubman is 10.8 inches shorter in height than the Forester, making the Cooper Clubman much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Cooper Clubman easier. The Cooper Clubman’s trunk lift-over height is 27.2 inches, while the Forester’s liftover is 28.4 inches.
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 Forester doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Cooper Clubman uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Forester 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.
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 Forester 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 Forester’s power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.
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 Forester 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 Forester’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 Forester 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 Forester doesn’t offer headlight washers.
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 Forester Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the MINI Cooper Clubman offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Forester doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Cooper Clubman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Forester doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Cooper Clubman is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The Forester doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cooper Clubman is less expensive to operate than the Forester because it costs $109 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Cooper Clubman than the Forester, including $46 less for a starter and $332 less for fuel injection.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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