May 25, 2011
In prior years with the regular Mini Cooper, I think I was willing to let a lot of Mini's interior design flourishes slide. After all, it's a sporty little coupe (or convertible), so why not have a little fun? But I'm finding myself growing weary of "quirky" in our Countryman.
I think it's because I'm expecting more out of the Countryman. This is supposed to be the Mini for people who need a real back seat (i.e., car enthusiasts with small families, like me), and that in turn puts a greater emphasis on usability. But there are so many little interior design gaffes that they really reduce my appreciation of the car as a whole.
I've made a list of 10 of them.
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
April 04, 2011
I just spent a very sunny southern California weekend cooking in our long-term 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4.
As you can see in the photo above, the Mini's sunroof does not have a retractable solid shade. Instead it's retractable shade is perforated fabric. Many cars have this and it usually isn't a problem, but the Mini's shade is too porous.
Too many holes. Or the holes are too big. Whatever. I had the Countryman's air conditioning working overtime to battle the incoming solar rays.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 3,303 miles