Don’t call it a comeback! Mini dropped a new Countryman for 2017, so they figured we could use a week of subcompact motoring. The new car looks identical at first, but its actually 8″ longer and 2″ wider. That’s because it was stretched to fit on the chassis of the BMW X1.
We had the upper-level engine, the turbo 2.0 liter four that is the centerpiece of the Cooper S package. All-wheel drive only sends power rear when needed, but you could feel it working deep into the corners. The 8-speed automatic lacks the urgency of a supercar, but it’s fine for a college commute.
Open the door and you are greeted by handsome leather and a great seating position. The controls and screens are laid out in an artistic fashion, but it doesn’t take too long to learn. More legroom front and rear is easily felt, and the rear windows offer nice visibility. Driving the Countryman is fun, as BMW knows their target audience.
Turning is quick and nimble, just as it should be. Thanks to the nice ground clearance, it is comfy for those with back problems. We’re used to falling into the world’s lowest supercars, so its a welcomed change. Trying to travel with a stainless tumbler or a Big Gulp will have you and your passenger knocking the toggle switches when reaching for a drink. The office consensus is that more insulation could be used to knock down the road noise, but it’s not bad when you consider a starting price under $30,000. If you need a stylish 4-door with room for a family, find your local Mini dealer and stay with us for more great reviews.