There are some really big numbers floating around the hot hatch world these days. This is where we find models like the Mercedes-AMG A35, the BMW M135i xDrive and the MINI JCW Clubman.

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Although, the Clubman is viewed by many as a sort of wagon hatch, it’s a special car, no matter how you look at it. The MINI Clubman has been different since the beginning. The guys from Car Advice decided to take it to a track nearby and compare it to the A35 AMG, a car that needs no further introduction. Can the MINI keep up on the track?

2017 MINI John Cooper Works Clubman 28 750x500

This is a fun video and it is interesting to see how fast each car is on track. But let’s be honest: how many of these cars will actually end up being abused like this? Close to none. Instead, you should be asking yourself how much fun you can have on public roads and how comfortable and practical these cars are. I haven’t driven the AMG A35 yet but I did drive the MINI JCW Clubman and I have to say I absolutely love it. It’s fast, fun and, if you ask me, it looks good.

And since the MINI JCW Clubman and the M135i xDrive share a lot of their underpinnings, from the engine to the gearbox, one could wonder which one to get. If it was my money, I’d go for the more practical MINI which also sounds better. Getting back to the comparison at hand here, the superior torque of the lighter MINI allow it to catch up to the Merc on the straights but the 8-speed Aisin gearbox is a bit of a letdown in the corners, allowing the AMG to pull away. It’s a pretty close call though and if you take the price difference into account, it’s not an easy decision to make.