November 21, 2011
This weekend included, as usual, a trip to the grocery store. I've not been entirely convinced of the Countryman's utility in the past, but with 16.5 cubic-feet of grocery-bag space (instead of the standard Mini Cooper's 5.7 cu-ft) it really does haul the groceries. With the exception of the rear bucket seats, I'm starting to come around on this one.Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 16,665 miles
May 23, 2011
Over the weekend I took my family (wife, three-year-old, newborn) out of town to relax a bit and have a picnic at local farm that has fun things for kids to do. It seemed like a good test of the Countryman to, well, head out to the country.
I was a bit skeptical at first that the Countryman would work out as we now have the newborn to cart around, and that requires a bulky reverse-facing safety seat. To my surprise, though, the seat fit without much of a problem at all. It was a snug fit when I put it behind the driver seat, but I was pretty much able to keep my ideal driver position (I'm 5-foot, 10-inches). My wife and three-year-old were happy, and the luggage area was perfectly suited for holding our picnic cooler and other assorted items.
For family (of four) day trips like this one, our Countryman is quite suitable.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 7,571 miles
May 18, 2011
Another day, another trip to the new place with some boxes. But taking yet another minivan would be a cop-out (I'm also sick of them), so this time, I thought I'd see how much I could cram into our Mini Countryman's boot.
The answer is that much, which I think is pretty impressive given its size. The Countryman's boxy shape is definitely helpful when moving boxes and with more Tetrising, I could've fit more. Unfortunately, the back seats don't fold entirely fold flat and as Al mentioned, you stupidly have to pull an inboard tab to commence folding.
Either way, if you really want a Mini but need extra room for stuff (say, loads of boxes), then the Countryman indeed delivers. I should note, however, that I did not try to cram a six-foot sub into the boot. You're welcome to try.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 7,095 miles
February 03, 2011
Oh, what have we here? The back of our long-term 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman, and it looks like the hatch is firmly closed. In fact, it's so firmly closed that no combination of unlocking the car (via the remote or the universal switch on the center stack), hitting the hatch release button on the remote and pushing on the VW-style Mini-badge release latch, will open the hatch. It's stuck shut.
But the Countryman doesn't know anything about that.