This is the coolest AWD vehicle! Perky engines, off-roading ability, and great safety (active and passive) features give the striking Mini Countryman heaps of desirability.
Now with a range of engines, and plenty of choice in the car’s exterior colour and interior trim, this is quite a fashion statement.
It’s hard to pick a winner in the Countryman line-up, though. I reckon I like the Mini Cooper SD Countryman – mainly for its brilliant diesel donk.
What do you think of when you hear someone mention a Mini? The chances are that you think of a small car – like the classic Cooper. Or maybe you think of Mr Bean in his little old yellow Mini Cooper. Modern Minis are great cars. They’re hot, fun little cars with a lot of appeal. However, it doesn’t pay to typecast the Mini marquee because here comes the Mini Countryman!
Mini’s entry into the SUV car sector of the market has begun. The introduction of the Mini Countryman does make sense. After all; no matter how much you love a standard front-wheel-drive Mini, the small vehicles aren’t really practical as a family vehicle – especially if your family, like mine, has large teenage boys in it. Hence the Mini Countryman has debuted.
If cars could be produced like dogs and horses, you’d be prepared to bet that the Mini Countryman (full name: Mini Cooper Countryman) was the result of a 4×4 hopping the fence into a paddock full of Mini Coopers. At least, that’s what the Mini Countryman looks like: a cross between the two types.
The looks are classic Mini – all friendly big headlights and that distinctive nose – but longer and higher, making this into an SUV of sorts (and yes, it does have permanent 4-wheel drive as an option!). This sounds odd when you describe it, but it looks quite nice with a reassuring retro feel about it.
The retro styling has been continued on the inside, with the displays on the dashboard being filled with the classic round displays and knobs. The real highlight here is the speedometer. This does the necessary job of telling you how fast the Mini Countryman is going (top speed 215 km/h) and also contains a display in the centre that works in with the audio system and the optional navigation package. Another nice touch inside the Mini Countryman is the “centre rail”, which allows you to click bits and pieces into place behind the gear stick. You can upgrade the standard features in the Mini Countryman with the Chilli option package. A top feature list comes with the Chilli package, including a multifunction steering wheel, floor mats in velour, a storage package, front fog lights and a whole lot more. Very sporty seats and racy interior trims create an exceptional driving environment. You’ll love it.
When you take a look at the Countryman’s safety credentials, the Mini Cooper Countryman has pretty darn good features. The vehicles includes ASC+T (automatic stability control + traction control), dynamic stability control (optional), ABS brakes with EBD, and front, side and curtain airbags. Throw in the optional bi-xenon cornering lights and the standard run-flat tyres (no more getting stuck on the motorway in the rain trying to change a flattie), and you can drive 150 km at 80 km/h even when the tyre’s down. Driver and passenger airbags protect the head and upper body during a head-on collision. Side and head airbags reduce the risk of injuries to the head, chest and pelvic regions during side-on impact.
The makers of the Mini Countryman also consider the sensitive suspension system to be a safety feature: the multilink rear axle allows each wheel to react independently, making uneven roads a lot smoother, safer and easier to handle.
So what powers the Mini Countryman? There are four engines, to be exact. Drive the performance model – the Mini Cooper S Countryman – and you are able to get this little SUV up to 215 km/h – if you can do so legally. This is accomplished with a maximum power output of 135 kW. Torque is exceptionally lusty for such a small engine. And you’ll find that there is ample of torque available in the 1600–5000 rpm range – making the torque curve very the wallet, the Cooper S Countryman has a combined fuel consumption figure of a decent 7.1 litres/100 km.
A base model 1.6-litre petrol motor offers 90 kW. And then there are two superb diesel engines that I reckon are well worth checking out. You’ll be greatly impressed. Their no fuss, torquey performance is addictive. Combine this with going off-road, and you have a delightful, unique car to drive.
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For any more information on the Mini Countryman, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes, even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quote requests out to our national network of Mini dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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