MINI COOPER D CLUBVAN: PH FLEET
Daily commuting duties reveal the Clubvan is still a Mini at heart
And yet the Mini has made the interminable stop-start driving more tolerable than it should be. The torque of that diesel combined with its sharp steering makes it great for darting into gaps and scooting across roundabouts. The pedals are light, the gearshift sweet and the whole dynamic package encourages a cheeky driving approach. Which is what a Mini is all about, right?
The stop-start system deserves a special mention too while discussing urban driving. It's been 99 per cent perfect, killing the engine at just the right time and firing it again as soon as the clutch moves. Only very seldom does it get flustered, leaving you momentarily stationary as traffic moves again.
Elsewhere, the Media Pack has really proved its worth. The Bluetooth connection has been flawless, putting the systems in some more expensive cars to shame. The DAB radio has been great too, meaning Talksport (this is still a van, after all) is transformed from its normal crackly AM reception.
And if all this doesn't sound like a particularly PH update, that's because I have a slight confession; YH13UWD isn't that enjoyable away from the traffic. That electric turn-in is still there, the 16-inch wheels give an acceptable ride and everything feels really neutral through corners.
But it can carry lots of Eunos parts (and left over beer from Le Mans) while also returning nearly 50mpg; this despite it often being driven with our best van driver boots on. It may not be perfect, but that doesn't stop the Mini Clubvan being a useful and fun member of the PH Fleet.
Car: Mini Cooper D Clubvan
Run by: Matt, others when an Ikea visit beckons
On fleet since: June 2013
List price new: £19,575.50 (Basic list of £14,275 +VAT plus £400 for Midnight Black paint, £1,700 for Media Pack, £55 for Storage Pack, £50 for space saver spare, £105 for leather two-spoke steering wheel, £60 for velour floor mats, £45 for warning triangle and first aid kit and £30 for front passenger airbag deactivation switch. All options prices inclusive of VAT.)
Last month at a glance: Mini proves adept at the urban grind, less fun on the open road
Mini gets run-in the PH way; to Le Mans!