The Mini Cooper Countryman will be known for a very long time due to its love it or hate it nature. One bunch of people will praise it for being able to juggle so many roles with aplomb and another bunch of people will think that the designers at Mini were not in their senses when they set out to create this car! Since the Mini Cooper and the Cooper Convertible were very small cars with almost no space at the back for adults, Mini wanted to a produce car that could address their issue and their first attempt, the Mini Clubman, was a downright failure. Having learnt from their mistakes, the world now has the rather peculiarly named Countryman. Also, this car might be a Mini but, in terms of dimensions, it is anything but. Almost as large as regular sedans, but still capable of making drives enjoyable; the British marque has designed the Countryman to be the Mini that many have been longing for.
The petrol engine that drives the Countryman is basically the same engine seen in the Mini Cooper. After being plonked into the Countryman, the engine is tuned according to the variant it needs to drive. In the One Countryman, the engine generates 97 bhp and 153 Nm of torque; and the S Countryman gets its engine tuned to produce 181 bhp and 260 Nm of torque. Customers also have the choice of selecting their car to be an oil burner because of the option of a 2.0 litre, 110 bhp diesel engine. Due to it being larger and heavier than the Mini Cooper, the car is not as electrifying to drive but in no way can it be called uninvolving. Driving this car is still a delight, especially since you can take it into sharp turns at reasonably high speeds and yet not get any body roll. Also, with the diesel engine, fuel consumption will not be all that shocking as it returns 10.5 kpl in city driving and 14.7 kpl on highways. On the other hand, the firm ride quality of the Mini Countryman will surely not be to everyone———s liking even though it———s still better than the Mini Cooper; but that could easily be forgotten while throwing the car around, which is the most joyous thing one can do with the Countryman.
The Mini Countryman may be odd-looking from certain angles but it definitely is not a bad looking car. Since the car is much longer than the Mini Cooper, the designers have added a little downward kink in the car———s roofline just behind the rear door so that the car can keep the signature floating roof look without it looking bizarrely long. The Countryman can be ordered in Light Coffee, Blazing Red, Light White, Absolute Black, Brilliant Copper, Cosmic Blue, Crystal Silver, Oxford Green, True Blue or Royal Grey. The dashboard gets covered in a thick, soft, upmarket feel material and yes, that part of the car———s interior is still dominated by the gigantic speedometer that also houses the infotainment system. Ergonomics still are not one of Mini———s strengths and although the speedometer is huge, it is not that easy to read and the aircraft throttle lever style emergency brake and rocker switches are annoying to use. On the plus side, unlike other Minis, the headroom and shoulder room are more than sufficient and only passengers taller than six feet in height might criticise the rear legroom.
For a Mini, the Countryman is a very sensible car. It might not be able to lug around loads of luggage but then again, that was never the reason it was designed for. This was a car designed for the image conscious people who needed a bit more room and practicality than the Mini Cooper without compromising on driving dynamics. To some, this car will be a superfluous extravagance but to some others, the Countryman will be the perfect Mini they longed for.