Mini Countryman Cooper D All4 (2011) longterm test review …

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Mini Countryman Electric Cars

Mini Countryman Cooper D (2011) long-term test

By the CAR road test team

Term Tests

15 December 11:05

Goodbye — 15 2011

The Countryman is gone but not and, whilst I’m not left for the little rhino, I may have something of a softspot for it.

I’m left mainly memories of the positive of this strange mutant The interior was always a delight, the cream leather and headlining the space feel instantly and roomy. Despite the percieved of the pale leather, it survived after nine months use, with just a of blue denim fatigue on the seat.

The car was undeniably well heated screen and seats and the lights made the Winter bearable whilst Sat Nav, DAB and phone connection made journeys more fun.

The took their toll on the purchase price of £26,430, but to Parkers the car still would £21,660 on a Mini dealer which is an impressive retained

The germanity of the car shone through with everything feeling engineered. I would not expect any car to be apart after a year and miles, but there was not a problem, or rattle to be found anywhere. The fault with the car was a flat after running a power from the cigarette lighter all day the engine off.

I would put one down to driver error.

The got me down a little, but maybe I needed/wanted a big car and not a medium sized Once behind the wheel I forgot about boot and enjoyed the drive. It never quick, but was always a pleasure on the thanks to a good ride and handling. The four wheel system obviously got me out of any bother the snow, but for the rest of the year it adds weight and cost to an heavy and expensive car.

with this engine you feel no benefit unless on the white stuff.

The car has a lot going for it, and to this there is the attraction of the brand and image. I applaud for making cars that out from the herd and, with a low powered diesel, are fun to drive, but this was just quite my cup of tea.

By Mark

Is the Mini Countryman roomy — 14 November 2011

I in the best of moods to begin Crawling through late-afternoon traffic in the Mini Countryman a 5am start and a photoshoot fraught upsets. The climate control was set to a 17 degrees and I was fruitlessly searching the DAB station list for some to match my mood when I it.

Across the street stood a 50ft wide: a new advert for the The car was shown floating in space, a spaceman similarly suspended in gravity next to the car. It was a view, with the boot and a view in to the cavernous galaxy-like that is the boot of the Countryman. I remember the tagline.

I think I was too I would guess it was something about the word space.

I can the meetings. ‘So,’ says the ad polo neck, ‘tell me the USP of your new Mini model.’

says Mini marketing ‘The Countryman is larger the other Minis, with room inside.’

So the advert make perfect sense in a universe in which Minis the only car brand in existence. It is a Mini, granted. In the same way a 1982 Trabant could been factory fitted a sports exhaust and badged as the Super Sport F1.

Fortunately we do not inhabit that dimension, nor communist East 30 years ago. We have a choice of medium sized to buy. Many of these more ‘space’ than the

By Mark Fagelson

What a Mini obsessive make of our — 1 November 2011

on photoshoots an extra pair of is required and I employ the services of an One such assistant is Simon. In respects Simon is a normal, kind of young chap. He is helpful, keen and eager to the ways of automotive photography.

He is an obsessive car lover, but his love of extends only so far as the products of MG

Simon’s daily driver is a Racing Green Rover a 17th birthday gift has since covered 180,000 It’s getting a little and ripe for replacement now, but the of selling fills him with anguish that he is considering a burning outside the gates of

In fact the only reason is ditching the Rover is that his dream sports car is now within an MG TF. Tucked away in Simon’s are a 1984 Mini and his beloved 1960 Mini. His final photographic degree project documented this car along the people and places that 50 years ago were involved in testing and building it.

Now Simon is not a big fan of BMW He thinks the Countryman looks that it is mainly bought by conscious’ women in their 30s as a downsized Chelsea tractor and Sir Alex Issigonis would be in his grave. It was, then, some degree of trepidation I handed him the key to the Countryman at a wet and windy race track for a recent CAR shoot.

His instructions from me clear- to drive around the at a steady pace whilst I, securely into the open shot the two sports cars behind. Nevertheless, as we set off my mind was with vivid images of driven over the clifftop the angry Irish Sea in a fit of anti-Germanic

Later in the day he got a chance to drive of the best roads North had to offer, and he was slowly warming to my conceding that it handled and had a nice interior, though that Mini shouldn’t bothered building it, and that it was kinds of wrong’. Two weeks Simon drove a new Mini JC Works on an epic three-day for me.

And guess what? Simon it, raving about the engine, the the looks. He later recalled the he got back into his Rover the shoot to drive home. felt a bit rubbish,’ he said.

By Fagelson

Points of contact in our Countryman – 16 September 2011

As a cyclist, when I’m not CAR Magazine I will often be lusting after a new ride in the of a bike magazine. The received on buying a new bike is to spend money on the contact points. The being that the bits you touch the bike (seat, pedals) make a big difference to the comfort and control.

It got me thinking the same aspects of our Mini. The contact points in the Mini are quality items. The seats as good as they look, all tan and sports shaping.

The steering is chunky like a bumper and the leather is padded but firm.

The wheel controls I’m keen on. They are quite any other wheel-mounted buttons come across. The four-way are very small and sit flush to the of the surface, so to push them you to prod them hard an angle that takes hand from the wheel. report that if you are well with fingernails you can jab at them

Perhaps I should grow my

I’ve now given up using the wheel buttons to control or change radio station it’s easier to reach to the stereo itself.

I love of the touch points, mind. The handles are big and strong and made of To open the door to get out there is a big moon of the cold stuff pulls with a solid The exterior door handle, is oversize and gun-like to touch and on.

You feel like you’re in a car every single time you in and out. Nice.

These you grip and grab several a day really count, and Mini has its budget accordingly. Back the cabin the pedals have bothered me. The spacing, size and covers are all well and good, but the is overly springy.

I can see the logic: are drivers’ cars and a real wants some feel and in their pedal action. got no problem with this, when it comes to the clutch — I could really do it.

Maybe I’ve just used to automatics, but the heaviness and of the Countryman leaves me cursing it on long first-to-second M25 jam crawls are an inevitable part of my working as a photographer covering events the and breadth of Britain (and Perhaps Mini could a clever thumb-operated clutch on the wheel for lazy souls me?

By Mark Fagelson

A mini – 9 August 2011

‘That car, the Mini?’ asked the at the next table in McDonald’s. I was a quick breakfast before a at nearby Goodwood and flattered by the attention the Countryman was garnering. Yet was something of a look of panic on the face that unsettled me. why?’ I responded. ‘Er, I someone’s just crashed it.’

I jumped up and ran outside to copious amounts of blue down the driver’s side of my car, and the culprit driving out of the car in a blue Mazda. I gave on foot, fumbling to get my phone out of my and into photo-taking mode – I could record the licence at least.

By the time I got to the roundabout I was and breathing heavily, but spied my at the head of the queue waiting to out. Before I knew it I was the Mazda and got a clear shot of the plate. The rush hour was heavy and they were nowhere, so before I knew it I was at the window, banging my fist and throwing myself on the bonnet to any further escape.

The driver, a in her 30s, wound the window I was charged up and ready for a row, of adrenaline from the chase, and with indignation and anger at the to my precious little rhino. me’ I panted, ‘I you may have reversed in to my car.’

I’m so terribly sorry. drive back over and you my details.’

At times like I’m proud to be British. The duly returned to the car park, liability for the damage, apologised and offered her personal and company details.

The damage to the Mini horrific initially, but back the next day I carefully polished the away to leave a slight in the door panel and some scratching – barely noticeable a distance. The Countryman is a tough rhino indeed.

By Mark Fagelson

Where to your money on a Mini – 18 2011

The cars we’re by manufacturers are inevitably stuffed to the with optional extras. And does mean our average test car does usually a chunky sum more than the OTR But if you are laying down your own then options become a rather than a given.

written here previously the £6500 of extras fitted to my car, and after living it for six months I feel better to give my opinion on the best and of the Mini’s options.

1. Mini tlc Pack

A no brainer. Too good to be £200 gets you five of free servicing at your Mini dealer. Only an would pass this one up.

2. Pack

If you are keeping the costs on your new Mini then by all ignore the Chili Pack and pick the bits you most And after you have tried you may come to the realisation that won’t actually stretch far, and go for this bundle of bits and pieces, including a steering wheel with swiches, an upgrade to full seats, automatic air-con, fog and better alloys.

3. Mini System

Ye,s you can just buy a Tom Tom for but £995 buys one of the best around. Many manufacturers far more for far less. Did I really recommend this?

Don’t your money on.

1. Voice (£250.00)

Once the novely of to your car and getting a vocal has worn off, you are left what the point is. If you have in the car you will feel silly it. If you are driving alone you will sad and lonely.

Good old fashioned perform the functions more and without leaving you feeling your car is up to something behind back.

2. White Indicator (£70.00)

White indicator as owners of late 1990s 911s will be aware, better than orange lenses. That being the Mini should just fit as standard rather than you seventy quid.

3. Luggage separating net (£145.00)

On the first day of ownership you will unload the of the bag, fit it to the car interior and think to ‘What a great idea. time I need to shift furniture I will fit my luggage separating net and I will be protected that furniture shifting in the event of sudden braking’

The day you will put the net in the shed because it was around in the boot, taking up space. You will never see the compartment separating net again.

By Fagelson

Mini Countryman quality ahoy! – 16 June

Build quality is a term of automotive journalists. The problem is a broad term, easily to everything from the thunk of a door shutting to the flimsiness of a front wing. There you go I’ve gone and done it

Fallen into the usual of nationalities’ automotive products.

brings me to my Mini Countryman despite the Mini customers’ of Union Jacks, is built in The German BMW genes show strongly in the car, which decidedly German, or at the very bordering on it.

For a car that starts at the Countryman is a strikingly well and bolted together product. If you poking around the cabin you find weaker, cheaper here and there, but the overall and perception is high grade. The wouldn’t look out of place in a car.

Everything works, nothing nothing rattles and nothing you cause to doubt that’s the way it remain. Outside it’s the same story. The slabs of plastics beloved of Mini are always a weak point.

My wheelarch has already popped out of place and after a few years material fades, needing applications of Back-to-black to retard the process.

I know this I’ve already owned my own Cooper S for a few years. More on our Countryman are the larger panel around the bonnet and headlights, but seem to be a necessity of the ambitious rather than any build

Going back to my initial I have to admit to being impressed with the interior and finish on similarly sized and Renaults recently. But oh those plastic front wings! The could still learn a or two from the Germans, it seems.

By Fagelson

Sat-nav success – 16 May

Anyone who drives a lot inevitably has a relationship with sat-navs. vary wildly in their and usability; if you spend your day jumping from car to car then it can be to keep your TomTom at hand rather than try and get to with yet another unfamiliar

Mini Countryman Electric Cars

The Mini’s system is among the on offer. The screen sits the large central speedo and has something of a Bond gadget to it, perhaps because the tech is at odds with the retro and dials. Inputting your is achieved using the tiny down behind the gearstick.

BMW’s iDrive condensed the lid of a biro. It functions fine and looks after the stereo and car

It says something about the clarity and usability that I never felt the need to for my old friend TomTom even venturing to the centre of Paris on a shoot. The display is big enough to use as a screen, it reroutes quickly if you wrong turn or choose to a direction and it accepts postcodes fuss.

I have no idea why brands seem to struggle satellite navigation, but Mini has got it on and for the time being the TomTom is dust.

Downsides? It’s

By Mark Fagelson

Nice on the – 27 April 2011

The ‘on the road’ for a Mini Cooper D ALL4 such as my long-term test car is But I’m sure nobody ever a Mini without adding and ours has £6555 of extra most of it lavished on the insides.

is far and away my favourite part of the Here I warm my cheeks on seats (£250), defog my windscreen (£345), call up the (£995) by using the trick control system (£250) and my little world of cream (£675 to complete the part-leather comes with the £2490 pack), tasteful trimmings of (£90) and piano black trims (a no cost option, one).

As for that Chili beyond the half-leather there’s a of goodies including automatic air a better stereo system, bigger alloys (now sports front seats and wheel controls. It also in some basics you might be to get as standard such as front floormats, a trip computer and seat height adjustment.

The result of our options list is a unique cabin that’s to the rafters with luxury, and gadgets. The boxes ticked on the more than compensate for an lacking in that Mini of style and individuality.

By Mark Fagelson

An unexciting – 13 April 2011

Has a Mini left the factory with no or upgrades? Parked down my is a rare example of a bog standard One: solid red paint black plastic wing and steel wheels. The owner is a man – he got a great car for £12k – but it goes the whole brand ethos.

your bells and whistles is a of the Mini experience.

Alas I out on this part of the process: a bod at BMW office specified my Countryman’s so the car arrived ASAP. Low key, if not seems to be the order of the day when it to the spec. You can have a 2wd Countryman, but uses the ALL4 intelligent drive system.

This ups the by a little over £1000 and the official mpg figure by a little 10%.

Our car, with its diesel engine, sits in the of the oil burning Countryman range, an underpowered 89bhp base below it, and the hot new 141bhp Cooper SD the range while still the same economy figures as the cars.

As for the rest, I generally by unnoticed in this curious vehicle due to the Royal Grey paint (£385 – and not the most colour on offer) and the matching (black or white are no-cost our car doesn’t have). Ditto for the – we have boggo silver. We do white indicator lenses for but have you noticed them?

exterior options fitted as xenon headlights (£590) and dimming wing mirrors add function if not flair. It’s all a bit too grown up for a Mini. Is it possible to fit a Union Jack roof and mirrors, big black wheels and body stripes?

Next, the interior.

By Mark Fagelson

the Countryman duck – 21 March

Hadn’t driven the Countryman so arranged a swap with Mark Fagelson. It’s a beast: all standing on tiptoes, Mini motifs stretched alien shapes, not all of them I tried to cast aside of the hate campaign, I really

But it was still difficult to approach the with total neutrality.

of the problem lies in the curious on offer. This car is 4097mm – on a par with your typical – so its boot is just 350 litres. makes life difficult for Fagelson with his myriad rigs, bags and lengths of

They call it the first Mini, and they’re right: is plentiful in the back seats, but the is that the boot is slightly Wouldn’t you just buy a Golf or Panda 4×4, depending on priorities of passengering and mud-slinging?

long-term test Mini is an All4 equipped diesel and seems over-specced with The basic FWD Mini hatches struggle for traction in JCW form, so why this chunky derv need all-corner drive? waffle, I suspect (unless you in hilly/snowy climes, accepted).

you could level much of the at the Mini 4×4’s competitors. I CAR’s Skoda Yeti than most and came to it. How so?

The 300-litre boot felt accommodating despite the figures and the cabin was more premium too – increasingly finding the Countryman’s places cool over It’s an ergonomic mess: you look at the massive central whose ‘epicyclic’ needle obscures your speed and buttons are scattered everywhere.

The not a complete disaster zone. you set off, you quickly realise kept the Mini zest The steering is pointy and keen, the Countryman an athletic partner, and the ride is fidgety on urban it settles down nicely at speeds when you’ve that trad Mini up to sixth.

I suspect in petrol guise, or Cooper S spec, the Countryman drive phenomenally, whereas the feels sporty but never delivers the thrills suggested by the

It’s a curious beast, our Wannabe hot hatch, yet with a 1.6 that struggles to feel with all that extra The more practical Mini boot will struggle to the load capacity of many estates.

And a poser’s interior the mask is just beginning to I love most of the new Mini but reckon the Countryman might not quite hit the spot.

By Tim Pollard

to our new Mini Countryman – 9 March

hen my new long-term test car turned up on the household’s doorstep I had yet to see a Mini at close quarters. Yes, I’d the early press shots curiosity, and even briefly sight of one on the road, but I really know what to expect. In it’s difficult to judge the of the thing: would it be big and high a Freelander, or small and dinky a Panda 4×4?

The reality was in between. Certainly it is more than I had imagined, but park it to a regular Mini and it appears far brutish and pumped-up than its The styling is odd, with so design cues lifted the Mk2 that it’s difficult to the design on its own terms. I fear it may just look like a uglier Mini, but then we all the same of BMW’s Mk2 Mini…

To way for the Countryman we’ve sold our Golf GTI. The Mini is the same size as the dearly VW, and the Countryman range is priced to the Golf’s too. Expensive tags will nothing new to Mini owners, but this is the grown-up Mini, a Golf for people in need of four and a boot.

With the promise of practicality, BMW build quality, coolness, what’s not to like?

be putting all of that to the test. the GTI, in the past I’ve owned a BMW Mini in Mk1 Cooper S so know all about the style and that the brand can offer. And that, with a family and my as a photographer, the Countryman’s load-lugging will be tested daily.

I want to judge it too soon, but one for sure: it’s a strange neither butch SUV nor clever MPV but different and unique. The Mini of style and character are present and but will the substance of the package me wanting my Golf back?

find out over the next six or so, and in the next report I’ll be the spec of my Countryman. Made the and already bought one? ‘Add your comment’ and let me know what engine, and options you’ve gone

By Mark Fagelson

Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars
Mini Countryman Electric Cars


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