2011 Mini Cooper Countryman
From the 2010 New York Auto Show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman.
2011 Mini Cooper Countryman
Cars.com Auto Review
Hi! I'm Joe Wiesenfelder with Cars.com. It’s been a long time since we heard rumors that
Mini was going to have a crossover. Finally, it’s here in North America. We’re looking at
our first two right off the boat. It’s called the Cooper Countryman, basically anything
from Mini as a Cooper. There’s the Cooper, the Cooper Clubman and now, the Cooper
Now, true to the name Mini even though it’s bigger and it’s a crossover, it’s only about
six inches longer than the Clubman which is the extended version of the Cooper which is
about 60 inches longer than. It is though higher and wider.
So, the height and the width show in the interior. I've got tons of headroom with the seat
all the way down. It is just up and down manually. That’s the standard feature. A lot of
the shoulder room obviously and people don’t recognize this but Mini is actually quite
roomy in the front seat. This being a bigger vehicle is no different.
The general styling is very similar to the other Coopers, a bit whimsical. It has the giant
speedometer that actually is kind of hard to read because -- the numbers of this are big
but -- whatever. It’s kind of interesting looking. You can get a six-speed manual and a
six-speed automatic. We happen to be in a regular Cooper Countryman which is a
normally aspirated engine, non-turbo. It comes only with front wheel drive.
Now, the car also comes as a Cooper S Countryman which is turbocharged and that one
is available with all wheel drive. Obviously all wheel drive and more ground clearance is
one of the things you want if you are buying a crossover.
Now, in terms of interior tricks, there are couple new ones in this model. One of them is
this center console channel. Instead of the traditional box with a lid on it, there is this
channel and the number of different accessories you can get to hold various things. In this
case, this one is an iPhone holder. There’s actually a competition going on to design
different accessories that Mini would then manufacture for sale, this is just one of them.
Now in the backseat, the same channel continues. Actually you can get a system where it
runs continuously from the front to the back. Here, another example is a cup holder. You
could probably get an ashtray if that’s your thing. This is a sunglass holder. It also kind of
looks like the remains of Mr. Spock from the early Star Trek movie -- it’s just a thought.
Now the seats themselves are remarkably roomy. The front seat, even though I have a lot
of legroom there and the seats all the way back, I still fit. If necessary, if someone smaller
is here, smaller on the front, these seats also move forward and back.
Now apparently, there was enough room back here for the whole world Countryman, so
instead they put a really big Mini logo. Now if you know Mini’s, you know that the
regular Cooper has a lift gate, the Clubman has barn doors, this obviously goes back to
the lift gate. Pretty big space, pretty tall actually compared to the smaller cars. And you
got this neat little trick. That rises up, it’s got some good hidden storage onto there.
Now, to expand the cargo room, you can fold the seat back obviously. Unfortunately, this
little covers some because there is a strap on the inside you got to reach in to get. Once
it’s down, cargo volume is 40 cubic feet. That’s only eight better than the Cooper
Clubman but still, it’s more and it seems to be a bit taller too.
So, Mini promises the same, go-kart handling in this car as they have in the others, the
smaller ones. Obviously for anyone that’s had a Mini, loved a Mini who wanted more
room in it, now they have an option. It’s just our first brief look but so far we’re pretty
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2011 Mini Cooper Countryman
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