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2015 Clubman
2014 Five-door
2014 Mini
2014 Countryman
1959 Mini

Mini Countryman

Mini Coutryman 2014
EngineIn-line four-cylinder
Displacement, (bore * stroke)
Compression ratio
Mixture preparation
CO2 emission
Drive trainFront drive, transversal, all-wheel drive (+1800 €, except One)
TransmissionSix-speed manual/automatic
Front suspensionMcPherson
Rear suspensionTwist-beam axle
BrakesDiscs, front ventilated
Wheels205/60 R 16 (6,5")
Wheelbase2595 mm
Length4097 mm
Width1789/1996 mm
Height1561 mm
Tank capacity47 litres
Load volume350-1170 litres
Payload510 kg
Kerb weight
Top speed
Purchase price
Year of manufactureFrom 2014
*Boost: 260 Nm at 1700-4500 rpm

If I'm to be honest, I must admit that the Mini, under the auspices of BMW, technically speaking, doesn't exactly knock me off my feet. Admittedly, the fact that the Mini, of all things, was rescued by BMW from Rover's bankruptcy estate, caused me to prick up my ears.

One could also assume, that this was a case of a significant manufacturer of upper-class cars, ensuring themselves the access to the front-wheel-drive sector, which one day, would be appearing under the BMW name. Indeed, this was the only thing about the whole development, that I found interesting.

On the contrary, it saddened me to see how this, once daring concept, was more or less simply inflated, that there was no respect shown for an age-old institution. Indeed, what could be brought out of an old Morris-factory in Oxford? My suspicions were strengthened, when the 'new' Mini was given the petrol engine from Chrysler/Brasil. The tests were not exactly promising.

I did however, start to notice strange behaviour patterns in myself. Because at trade fairs, I never seemed to come away from the Mini exhibition-stands completely unscathed. Although I categorically rejected a dashboard with the speedometer smack in the middle, I did find, that the designer/s must have had a lot of fun with the interior. That's when I started to understand, just how important the interior is, which the owner sees a lot more often than the coachwork.

Of course, I didn't have to wait long before the disappointment crept back in. E.g., in the shape of this peculiar coupé, and, which in my opinion, giving it a red roof, doesn't do much to improve things either. What really was upsetting of course, was the appearance of the Countryman. This is where the builders gave themselves away. There was nothing left of the Mini, not even the production site, since the Countryman was manufactured by Magna-Steyr in Graz, in Austria.

Now, how come can't we simply ignore all the trappings and implications? Why does one follow this brand, although the core of the matter doesn't interest us? I've always slightly despised the term 'lifestyle'. Indeed, at the, mostly elaborate Mini exhibition-stands, I started to understand just a little of what they're trying to put across. Perhaps our old film right at the bottom, from the 2013 IAA in Frankfurt, can convey a little of what they mean.

Sometimes a 'bonus-value' is bought with the car, the same as it is with Audi, BMW, Mercedes and in particular, Porsche, which all have a 'fast-lane right of way' built in, the person climbing out of a Mini automatically has a somewhat more youthful image. It's no longer the convertible that makes older people look younger, unless of course, it's a Mini convertible. It's not without reason, that Mini has two in their program.

Indeed, also the Countryman and its driver radiate this image. We have tried to grasp this by the Mini luggage collection. Somehow, one comes across differently in a Mini. At the latest, after a quick look at the interior, it should be quite clear, that style comes before practical use.

In this respect, it's not that tragic, that it can't keep up, as far as loading space is concerned, when comparing it with others in the same class and also the mid-range Diesel engine, which as far as the suspension is concerned, could be a lot more exiting. Despite having undergone a facelift, the Countryman still hasn't been given the newest generation of engines. There are worse things than having to drive a petrol driven car with fully variable valve-drive and apart from the smallest one, also a twin-charger and direct-injection. 07/14