February 2012

Vehicle Profile: The 2012 MINI Cooper Countryman

Should needing four-door-plus-hatch versatility, 35 mpg fuel economy and the availability of all-wheel drive limit your choices to an ordinary car or crossover? Banish that old way of thinking with the 2012 MINI Countryman. The Countryman satisfies all those needs with a vehicle that also caters to your wants. MINI calls it “MINI Maximus.”
 
With the 2012 MINI Cooper Countryman (MSRP starting at $22,450) in the showroom with the MINI Cooper Hardtop, Convertible, Clubman, Coupe and now the 2012 Roadster models, plus selected John Cooper Works and Limited Edition models, it’s virtually impossible to walk out without finding the perfect MINI for you. If “perfect” for you means four doors and ample room for five, look right to the Countryman.
 
On the “wants” side of the ledger, start with styling. All the extra room doesn’t compromise the “MINI-ness” of the Countryman, a fact that becomes abundantly clear when you drive it.
 
The 2012 MINI Countryman comes in three varieties. The Cooper Countryman gets a refined and responsive, 121-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with up to 35 mpg highway fuel economy. The MINI Cooper S Countryman, like other MINI models wearing the “S” badge, revs up performance with a direct-injection turbocharged version with 181 hp and 177 lb/ft of torque. That punchy torque peaks at a low engine speed of just 1,600 rpm and holds through 5,000 rpm. Translated into English, that makes this four feel more like a six, but with un-six fuel economy of 32 mpg highway. When your accelerator foot calls for brief jolts of energy above and beyond the norm, an “overboost” setting kicks in and pushes the torque peak to 192 lb/ft. That’s some serious go-power.
 
You can choose between six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions with either engine. In the Cooper S Countryman, the automatic comes with steering wheel paddleshifters, so you can feel racy even when just running daily errands.
If you checked “all-wheel drive” on your “needs” list, then check out the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. Its sophisticated and seamless all-wheel drive system responds to driving and road conditions to ensure tenacious grip, whether the road is slick or dry. You might even put this one on your “wants” list because the extra grip really adds some driving spice to this buggy. All 2012 MINI Countryman models roll on standard 17-inch wheels with 18 inchers available in the optional Sport Packages, and different styles available to suit your taste.
 
Not only does the Countryman offer room for five (or four, if you choose the no extra cost four-seat option), but the rear seat can move 5.1 inches forward when you need more room for stuff (16.5 cubic feet), or back when you want to give rear-seat passengers more legroom.
 
To carry even more stuff, folding the rear seatbacks opens up a generous 41.3 cubic feet of space, turning the MINI Countryman into a MINI SUV. A variety of Genuine MINI Accessory roof-carry options can expand versatility.
 
Knowing that the 2012 Countryman earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “Top Safety Pick” rating is sure to check another box on the “needs” list.
 
Let’s close this one out on a fun note with a switch back to the “wants” list. Like all MINI models, the 2012 Countryman comes with a world of personalization possibilities. Make the MINI Countryman truly one of a kind by choosing from paint, graphics, wheels and performance upgrades. Then make it as luxurious as you please with special interior upholstery choices and infotainment features including the available MINI Connected system and apps, navigation and harman/kardon® premium audio.
 
It’s time to come see the 2012 MINI Countryman.


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