2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman front 3/4 view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear 3/4 view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman side view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman front view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear view

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman front detail

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman grille

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman headlight

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman headlight details

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman logo

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman logo

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman fog light

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman wheel

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman wheel detail

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman side marker

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman side marker

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman side mirror

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman door handle

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman roof spoiler

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman taillight

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman logo

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman badge

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman badge

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman badge

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear fascia

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman exhaust pipe

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman engine

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman engine

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman engine

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman engine detail

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman engine

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman interior

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman interior

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman front seats

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman front seats

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman seat trim

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman steering wheel

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman steering wheel audio controls

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman steering wheel cruise controls

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman tachometer

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman dash vent

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman speedometer

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman audio system display

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman audio system display

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman navigation system

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman audio system display

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman dash

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman instrument panel

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman window and door lock controls

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman shifter

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman cup holders

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman Connected controller

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman iPod input

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman floor mat

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman sill plate

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman door handle

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear seats

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear seats

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear seat divider

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear cargo area

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear cargo area

  • 2011 Mini Countryman
  • 2011 Mini Countryman rear cargo area

When our friends at The Tire Rack told us they'd be sending over a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 tires mounted on 17-inch Sport Edition alloy wheels for our long-term Mini Countryman, our minds were immediately filled with images of the little blue hatchback bounding along snowy roads with razor-sharp precision and confidence. Instead, editors Neff, Paukert and myself can literally count on one hand the number of times we actually had to drive the Mini on snowy/slushy roads. So much for winter tire/all-wheel-drive snowy playtime.

To say that we've had an unusually mild winter here in the Midwest is truly an understatement (note: we are absolutely not complaining). In mid-March, we saw record-high temperatures in the mid-80s. As Neff said in last month's update, seriously, what the hell is going on?

So rather than wear down the tread on our Blizzaks even further, we took the Countryman over to Motor City Mini once again to have its stock Pirelli Cinturato 18-inch wheels and run-flat (boo!) tires put back on. Perfect timing, too, since the car was just about to roll over the 12,000-mile mark, meaning its first scheduled maintenance was due. The oil was changed, fluids were topped off and all of the other mechanical elements inspected, and thus, our Mini is now prepped and ready for spring and summer in The D. We griped about the harshness of the run-flat tires combined with our optional sport suspension already, so we'll spare you another round of grumbling. If there's one thing we'll miss about the winter tires, it's the smoother – albeit, slightly louder – ride.

Our observed fuel economy numbers are falling short of what the EPA suggests.

With 12,000 miles now under our belts, the Countryman is plenty broken in. But after a quick math session with the car's logbook, it seems our observed fuel economy numbers are falling short of what the EPA suggests. I'll personally admit to driving the Mini more aggressively than most consumers likely will (hey, this thing is seriously fun to throw around), but even so, the fact that our observed fuel economy is only 24.9 miles per gallon is indeed questionable. The EPA rates the 2011 Cooper S Countryman All4 at 26/32 mpg city/highway and 28 mpg combined when fitted with the six-speed manual transmission, and our best recorded fuel economy is only a dismal 29.3 mpg. Either I'm not the only one with a heavy right foot or something is off here. We'll definitely be keeping a close watch over this as time progresses.

In the next month, associate editor Chris Shunk will put the Countryman to use as a family hauler, so we'll get a better idea of just how kid-and-cargo-friendly the four-passenger interior really is. Stay tuned.

Keep your eyes locked on the official Autoblog Facebook page for the majority of our updates, as well as the official Autoblog Twitter account (@therealautoblog, look for the #ablongterm hashtag).


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • Share This Photo X