Mini Countryman S 2011 Review
How many variations on the Mini theme can you get? Now, there's a five-door SUV model called the Countryman - in various permutations.
We got hold of the Cooper S variant with front wheel drive (also available with all wheel drive) and have been enjoying the drive time especially given it runs a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with 135kW/240-260Nm output.
It makes the compact Countryman pay attention when you push the throttle that's for sure.
Being front wheel drive excludes this particular car from any sort of offroad driving and means chains for the snow.
But on the other side of the coin, it uses less fuel and accelerates faster than the 4x4 model.
We have regularly seen 7.0-litres/100km fuel economy in mixed driving from the cheeky little box.
The engine is from BMW and features a twin scroll turbo for optimum efficiency as well as direct fuel injection and variable valve operation. The same engines arrive in BMW's revised 1-Series in a couple of months.
Our Countryman has a six speed manual (also available with a six speed auto) and a decidedly sporty nature, especially when accelerating thanks to the turbo. Whoosh and you're off.
Handling and ride is on the sporty side and you can actually punt the Countryman nearly as hard as the Mini three door hatch. But it's considerably bigger in every measurement and is over 4.0-metres long. That means plenty of space inside for four or five depending on chosen seating configuration.
Ours has the schmicko centre rail with extra storage and arm rests but loses the middle rear seat.
Equipment levels are generous for the $47,500 asking price and we'd definitely go for the lurid exterior striping and variable ambient lighting package inside. We'd also go for the auto.
Countryman Cooper S is an interesting little beast that occupies a particular prestige niche that no other maker plays in - yet.
Mini Cooper Countryman
Price: from $37,700.
Engine: 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol, turbocharged petrol and turbodiesel four-cylinder.
Transmission: six-speed manual or automatic, front or all-wheel drive.
Thirst: 4.4 (Cooper D) - 8.1 (Cooper S ALL4) l/100km.
Range and Specs
|Cooper||1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$9,700 – 14,630||2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper Pricing and Specs|
|Cooper Chilli||1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO||$12,200 – 17,600||2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper Chilli Pricing and Specs|
|Cooper D||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$11,500 – 16,830||2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper D Pricing and Specs|
|Cooper D All4||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$14,500 – 20,460||2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper D All4 Pricing and Specs|