Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S All4Is a five-door crossover Mini just too maxi?
Being a car maker today without a crossover almost unheard of, so how did many make it this long without one. Well, no matter, it's here now, let's drive the 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 and check the deck. It support the new face for Mini, 4 back seats, 4 wheels driven if you like, and 5 doors, a first for these guys, but when you're Mini, the most important thing is to make sure every many is clearly a Mini, push the boundaries too far and dilute all your models. So, what is a Countryman, first of all, this is a big part of the story. You got a lot more cargo space in one these guys. As you can imagine by the overall packaging is like twice as much interior space as to standard Mini. It's got higher ground clearance, got longer wheelbase. Our car is equipped with an optional dual pan around the roof. It's got little more of an off roady look because as you can see on R it's an ALL4. It's got all wheel drive, but they don't all have that. That's an optional level on this car, and they can also be had as an S, which our car is or not. Now, one thing about a mini is you always know you're in a Mini because the speedometer is maxi and that's iconic for them though increasingly silly to me. Yes, it's a size of dinner plate. It's basically just a speedo with some idiot light on a segment fuel gauge, but you know I'm kind tired of stick at this point. This is a BMW style display with a Mini style set of controls. I actually like how simple and clear it is. You know I see so many elaborate screen based display sometimes, it's kind of nice to go back to simple, and this one is very effective. Now on the input side, your basic sources are AM/FM, HD radio and SIRIUS, so the full year on SIRIUS by the way, quite generous and an aux jacks to enter the analog aux down here. Upgrading like you can upgrade to Harman Car on output side. You can also upgrade to getting this guy here, that's a USB plus iPod and you've got a little pigtail you use with that, so one of these daily use here. It's goes into aux and USB and has go iPod on the other end. Now, they tell us, and I think it's true, they've upgraded the material to plastic on the dash and the whole fitting here in this guy. It is a little nicer grade of material, little more toned down, but there're many ways to customize this thing. Who knows what yours look like. One yours will have is very noble is this, a set of aluminum rails hair. Kind of like one of those really expensive European rails systems they put their bicycles on, runs here all the way down through the back seat was by the way are dual brackets. There's no rear bench available on this car, and what you do is you clip accessories in there. For example, here's a cellphone holder. You put the little ears down in there like that and you click it into place. The only problem is I can't put it where I want it because they've got this part blocked here, a whole bunch of it because they had to leave room for this to parking and braking handle, although I would like to put my phone right here, right in front of it, I'd be okay with that, and sort of. So, it's more kind of promise than it is theory. Now, I've got the base gearbox here. It comes with a 6-speed manual of this vehicle with the old vintage style knob. You can also get an automatic. That's optional, extra cost, it would have paddles on the wheel. With the LCD connected head unit, you will also want the free connected app that uses your phone for Google search and send to NAP, streaming web radio, driving efficiency analyzer, the ability to compose non [unk] updates for your social media accounts by voice I assumed, and it has now has a new feature called dynamic music that doesn't just increase the volume the faster you drive, but also ramps up the tempo. I think I might hate that. Okay, under the stubby little hood up here on this guy, we've got an engine that's quite familiar. This is a 1.6 L in line 4 turbocharged. It's a twin-scroll turbo, real BMW lineage kind of stuff, generates 181 horsepower, 177 foot-pounds of torque when it runs. This is a first time on the a car tech. We've had a car flat out die. Well, that's I was saying 177 foot-pounds of torque, zero to 60 with 7.3 seconds of the manual, 7.7 with the automatic transmission while delivering 25/31 mpg. Now, I'm gonna restart the car. Well, that's that. One thin on a [unk] for the car. Yes armed in this engine did tanked when idling during our shoot. It never started again. Went home on a flatbed now that is miniute statistically, but consumer reports does based on the 2011 Mini is near the bottom for predicted reliability. My single grip about driving the Countryman S ALL4 is that it seems that numbest Mini. Now, when you lean into it, especially in sport mode, it's a lively point and show thin. It's that other 9 percent of your driving where I found it the least fun of their line. That stuff I called nibbling. Anything from stop and go to just stop light to stop light driving. Here, the Countryman has all the torque of a moped unless you jump on the gas pad of which I don't do all the time. So, that makes most everyday driving, kind of tedious, all of us on the car tech team complained that we kept dumping the clutch and killing the car because it was 0 low rpm gas. Okay, let's price our Countryman. Our guy's top end is 276 base because we've the S turbo motor. The all 4, the all wheel drive. Now, on top of that, you to spend several grand to go CNET stuff. First of all, I wanna get this thing called the premium package that gets me to dual panoramic roof. I get automatic temperature control and Harman Car audio upgrade and off convenience and connected. That's 2 grand for 6-1/2 inch LCD, voice command, USB plus iPod, smart phone integration, auto dimming rear view, rain sensor, the full kilos access deal on all of that, and then on top of that 2000 package you add in 750 more to build navigation into that screen and of course, we gonna want the Mini connected out. We killed the car. It's dead. -Won't start-- -That's [unk] alright, I'll do short shoot.