The Mini Cooper Clubman and Countryman Are Going in Opposite Directions
Mini is having a good year. Most Mini models, including the compact Cooper Clubman, are selling better in 2023 than they did a year ago. However, the most popular model, the Countryman, has seen declining sales this year. Here’s a look at the numbers.
Mini sales numbers are looking up so far this year
Comparing first-quarter 2023 sales numbers with those from the first quarter of 2022, we see that the Mini Clubman is more popular this year than last year in America. Mini sold 641 Clubman units in Q1 2023 and 577 in Q1 2022, BMW Group reports. Those numbers aren’t wildly impressive, but the difference represents an 11.7% gain for the compact wagon.
Although the Countryman is Mini’s best-seller, it saw a drop in sales. In Q1 2022, Mini sold 2,997 Countryman subcompact crossovers. In Q1 2023, it dropped to 2,788. That’s only 209 fewer vehicles, which isn’t terrible. But it still represents a 7% decline.
Other Mini vehicles saw increases in the first quarter of this year. The Cooper Hardtop 2-Door had 8.8% growth, the Cooper Hardtop 4-Door was up 26%, and the Cooper Convertible jumped by 27.4%. Overall, Mini’s sales grew by 5.9% in the United States.
Why are Mini Clubman sales up?
There’s plenty to like about the 2023 Mini Clubman. It boasts excellent acceleration, zippy handling, plenty of luxurious features, and a large cargo area for a compact wagon.
However, this model also has a relatively high price, a somewhat harsh ride quality, and subpar fuel economy for its class.
The 2024 Mini Clubman starts at $34,050, slightly more expensive than the 2024 Countryman, which starts at $32,660. As for the fuel economy, the Clubman gets 22/32 mpg city/highway. That’s not terrible, but some SUVs with similar gas mileage.
Even though the Clubman isn’t the best-selling Mini, consumers are showing an increased interest in it. This small wagon tends to score well in critics’ ratings, so consumers basing their purchasing decisions on experts’ opinions will be drawn to the Clubman. That this car also comes in bright, eye-catching colors could also play a role in why the Clubman is becoming more popular.
However, it remains to be seen if the Clubman’s upward trend will continue or if consumers will return to the Countryman.
Are buyers losing interest in the Mini Countryman?
Although consumers are still buying the Mini Countryman, there could be a few reasons it saw a drop in sales compared to the Clubman. One is that the wagon earned better performance ratings. For instance, U.S. News gave the Countryman a performance score of 6.8 and the Clubman a 7.7 out of 10.
In addition, U.S. News reviewers were disappointed in several areas of the Countryman. They include a weak base engine, below-average cargo space, and a relatively high starting price of $32,660. Still, most of that is to be expected because BMW, a luxury brand, owns Mini. There’s also the fact that no one buys a Mini thinking it will be an excellent family vehicle with loads of room.
With that in mind, it isn’t easy to pinpoint why sales are down for the Mini Countryman. It could just be a slight fluctuation in the market that will be rectified when the latest numbers come in.