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MINI COUNTRYMAN,

Overview

The Mini Countryman is a sporty and fun alternative to the standard set of small crossovers and wagons. The Countryman earns the premium price tag it carries by offering a substantial list of standard features, while a plethora of available options allows buyers to customize the Countryman to their heart's content. All four trims — Cooper, Cooper S, John Cooper Works and Cooper S E.

Inside

The Countryman boasts a sense of roominess than other Minis. There are thoughtful touches such as an instrument panel that moves with the steering wheel and folding rear headrests. Most things up front are easy to reach. The front seats allow plenty of fore, aft and height travel, ensuring drivers of any size will be able to find a good position. There's an abundance of headroom up front, even with the panoramic sunroof. Shoulder room is lacking due to the aforementioned seat bolsters. All windows are tall and wide, and there's even a large window in the rear three-quarters portion to minimize blind spots. A standard rearview camera is nice but unnecessary.

Driving

The Countryman Cooper S is more entertaining to drive than most traditional compact crossovers but it's not as quick as luxury alternatives. Countryman feels sluggish at partial throttle in Green and Mid driving modes. Until you select Sport that it feels like it's got some pep. It doesn't rocket off the line, but achieved a decent 0-60-mph time of 7.2 seconds. It came to a halt from 60 mph in 117 feet, average against standard crossovers. Steering effort is a little heavier than in competitors. The car responds reasonably quickly, but directional changes are more immediate in Sport mode. It's stable at highway speeds. The clutch is easy to operate and cruise control reduces set speed when turning.

Overall Rating

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