2013 MINI Cooper Countryman 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M)
In this price range you're faced with a dreary econo-box, stripped out sedan or something else uninspired.
My main goal when purchasing a brand new car was something with space, great gas mileage and FUN to drive.
The Countryman checks every box and then some!
Don't get me wrong... There are other cars in this segment that are great value, but the Countryman is the only one you'll take a second look at when you're walking away from it in a parking lot.
Why not have your cake and eat it too?!
Heated leather, snappy gear-change, TONS of space considering the dimensions, great handling, MPG's, Bluetooth as standard.
A little more power would be welcomed, but revving the nuts off of it constantly is sorta' the idea!
Thought it was sluggish, rough riding & very noisy compared to some of the competition. Lot of hard cheap plastics & lousy infotainment. Premium fuel recommended.
Looked at 2014 Kia Soul, was impressed with it's padded plastic & leather dash, very little cheap plastics to be found.
It had heated AND ventilated front seats (rear are only heated), excellent infotainment system with a hard drive to store 6000 songs, large 8" screen...amazing
for a 30K car, heated power folding mirrors, HID headlights, moonroof, ect.
Much zippier & more fun to drive than the Countryman.
The Kia also was more luxurious & QUIETER & uses regular gas. Negative...doesn't have the prestige but is know to be better than average in reliability.
The poor quality of the Mini is pretty well known,
the worst according to CR.
Looking at the Mini Forums, I read lots of problems.
So do your homework when looking at the Mini.
Best bang for your buck is the Kia Soul Exclaim at a little below 30K and very well equipped.
I rather have better quality vehicle than one with prestige that is poor made.