MINI Cooper S Countryman All4
|Rating: 4 / 10|
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|The interior: There's a lot of space for something called a Mini. It's smaller than most SUVs out there, which I call a win. There looks to be plenty of room in the back seats, and plenty of room in the trunk. Whoever bought this one initially didn't tick any of the boxes, because it doesn't have the giant circular infotainment system the Mini Cooper had, and it has cloth seats. Those things are in no way a deal-breaker for me, though.|
Driving: After I get adjusted, and figure out the weird hand brake that butts up against the center console and has a wide, flat handle, it's time to get going. The car is still low to the ground, despite being classified as an SUV, which is a plus in my eyes. As soon as I let the clutch out, and get into first, I realize this isn't anything like the Mini Cooper S. They use the same motor across the base models of each car (Cooper / Clubman / Countryman), so there's an extra 700 lbs, with the same power output. It looks and feels like hauling I'm hauling a hippo around.
The tech: This one has no options on it, so there's really not much tech. Honestly, I'm too focused on the driving to pay much attention to the tech, but it's really just a standard radio + cd player, and probably bluetooth.
The value: Well, it's still a used Mini, so it's likely to be expensive to maintain and premium is recommended in the gas tank. The fuel-economy is only 1 or 2 mpg worse than the Cooper S though.
If you like to feel like you're working hard to get moving, and working to gain momentum, this might be the car for you. Plus you get all of the costs associated with a British BMW. It might move a little better in the FWD version, since that should drop the weight a bit. And the John Cooper Works may be better too, since it's up on power from the S. But the JCWs are few and far between, and much more expensive. The newer models are up on power and torque as well, but they're also heavier and more expensive.
Hard pass. Moving on.
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