2011 MINI Cooper Countryman S ALL4 4dr Wagon AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
My All4 Countryman is my fourth SUV if you really can call it that.
It's really a 4-door Mini that has all wheel drive.
This isn't your father's SUV, and it isn't really suitable for "off-road" vaunts of a SUV.
What the Countryman is is a 4-door sports car - a rally car really - with all wheel drive.
And, the all wheel drive only kicks in when it is needed, it isn't full time 4 wheel drive and it cannot be manually controlled by the driver.
This car will likely not appeal to those looking for a classic SUV.
But those of you who want a smaller, sportier vehicle that is built for the driver - and is an absolute BLAST to drive, this is the car for you.
Mini's, the Countryman included, are built for the driver.
The car's handling capabilities, power train, driving ergonomics are superb.
Using the paddle shifters or putting the car in sports mode you get incredible handling characteristics.
I've been driving SUVs for 30 years, and I haven't had this much fun in a car since I drove a Lancia Beta Coupe when I was in college.
I'd suggest the Mini is closer to a VW GTI than an SUV. The difference is the Mini is higher off the ground and has all wheel drive.
For a 4-door Mini sports car - the inside is actually quite roomy.
My last car was a VW Touareg and my son says the rear of the Countryman is more comfortable than the Touareg.
As awesome as the Countryman is, it could use some improvements; with them I would have rated the All4, All 5's.
1. Some of the exterior build quality, especially the bonnet seams over the fender wells should be tighter.
2. Classic BMW "optioning" on the car makes some things that should be included in the car expensive optional accessories such auto-dimming rear view mirrors, homelink and power seats.
Loaded All4's are in the $35to$40K range,
a lot considering the size of the car - but you aren't buying an SUV - make no mistake about it - this is a sports car.
SUV comparisons are Acura RSX (with more included options)
3. The rail system is cute, but doesn't really work, cupholders suck.