Leave it to MINI to inject a dose of real driving fun into a segment where fun seems to mean driving to Saturday soccer practice. The all-new 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 blends turbocharged power with intelligent all-wheel drive in a MINI-riffic five-door package.
Sure, it’s fun to watch your kids’ soccer games. Getting to the games, though, can hardly be fun in a ho-hum crossover. Step up your game with the 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 (MSRP $27,750), and your kids, or the friends you love to chauffer, might just be shouting from the backseat, “Hey, where are we going?” as you head off to explore a twisty road.
Any old crossover will give your favorite passengers the room they deserve, but only one will also give you the exciting performance you want, and that’s the 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. Even if you don’t care if your friends ride comfortably or not, and you just need room for your bike, drum kit, rappelling gear or scuba equipment, why settle for an ordinary crossover that drives like your grandma’s sedan?
Now, it’s time to dig into what makes the 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 the MINI of crossovers. It’s a roomy machine, yet it preserves the sharp handling that separates a MINI from mere crossovers. Naturally, the Cooper S Countryman conveys the unique MINI style that refuses to blend in.
As in all other MINI variants, the Cooper “S” designation means you’re going to motor with a 181-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. This motor’s big fat torque curve hits 177 lb/ft at a super-low 1,600 rpm and holds it through 5,000 rpm. Channeled through the standard six-speed manual transmission, it’s enough to boost this fun, versatile MINI from zero-to-60 mph in just 7.3 seconds. A six-speed automatic with steering wheel paddleshifters is available. Because that torque keeps on flowing over a wide engine speed range, the Cooper S Countryman ALL4 always feels quick on its standard 17-inch alloy wheels, giving you the power and agility to handle the daily cut-and-thrust with ease.
A neat little Cooper S performance trick called “overboost” bumps up the torque to 192 lb/ft for brief spurts of acceleration. You’ll feel an even bigger shove in the back as the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 rockets ahead of the crowd.
Those great performance numbers come with great economy numbers. The 2012 Cooper S Countryman ALL4 delivers 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the six-speed stick shift.
You have to admit, “ALL4” is a pretty clever name for an all-wheel drive system. It’s entirely appropriate. The system in the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 instantaneously and seamlessly distributes power between the front and rear wheels, optimizing traction for nearly any road condition. All you notice is the extra grip it provides year-round.
All MINI Countryman models offer room for four, or, at no extra charge, you can choose a bench rear seat with room for a fifth. The Cooper S Countryman provides up to 16 cubic feet of carrying space behind the rear seats, and that expands to a cavernous 41.3 cubic feet when you fold the rear seatbacks down.
Like every MINI model, you can make the 2012 Cooper S Countryman distinctly your own via the vast array of “youification” colors, graphics and packages. Make sure to check out the MINI Connected and MINI Connected with Navigation options. Each adds a high-definition central display screen and, as their name suggests, connectivity features including Comfort Bluetooth® and a suite of useful functions available with the MINI Connected iPhone app.
If you’ve ever looked at a MINI and thought it just didn’t have enough room for your life, you need to see the 2012 MINI Countryman. And if your life includes a hotspot for horsepower and a need for more road grip, test-drive a MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4.