By Cars.com EditorsApril 2, 2010
About the video
From the 2010 New York Auto Show, Cars.com's Joe Wiesenfelder takes a look at the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman.
<v Announcer>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 gonna 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 for Mini is a Cooper. There's the Cooper, the Cooper Clubman, and now the Cooper Countryman. 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 16 inches longer than. It is though, higher and wider. So the height and the width shows in the interior. I've got tons of headroom with the seat all the way down. It adjusts up and down manually. That's a standard feature. A lot of shoulder room, obviously, and people don't recognize this, but Mini is actually a quite roomy in the front seat. This being a bigger vehicle, is no different. The general styling is very similar to the other Cooper's. A bit whimsical. It has the giant speedometer, that actually is kind of hard to read because the numbers are this 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're buying a crossover. Now, in terms of interior tricks, there are a couple of new ones in this model. One of them is the center console channel instead of the traditional box with a lid on it. There's this channel and there are a 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 back seat, 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 early Star Trek movie. Just a thought. Now the seats themselves, remarkably roomy. The front seat, even though I had a lot of leg room there and the seats all the way back, I still fit. If necessary, if someone smaller is here, smaller in the front, these seats also move forward and back. Now apparently there wasn't enough room back here for the whole word Countryman. So instead they just put a really big Mini logo. Now, if you know, Minis, you know that the regular Cooper has a lift gate. The Clubman has barn doors. This obviously goes back to the lift gate. A pretty big space, pretty tall, actually compared to the smaller cars. And you've got this neat little trick. That raises up, got some good, hidden storage under there. Now to expand the cargo room, you can fold the seat back, obviously. Unfortunately, it's a little cumbersome because there's a strap on the inside that 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, wanted more room in it. Now they have an option. It's just our first brief look, but so far we're pretty impressed. <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog, KickingTires.net.
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