The MINI Countryman was a bit controversial when it launched in 2010. Some MINI purists were not initially accepting of the bigger vehicle, seeing it as an affront to the, well, MINI moniker.

But the Countryman, with a fully functional and comfortable backseat and rear storage area, has been accepted by enough buyers to make it an unqualified sales success.

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The car is not that big really, For a crossover, it has the space of, say, a Nissan Versa hatchback. It's muscular stance, though, gives it the impression of being bigger than it is.

The AOL Sweepstakes Countryman is a front-drive turbo-charged crossover powered by an inline-four cylinder engine. Our turbo cranks out 181 hp and 177 lb-ft with an overboost feature that allows for 192 lb-ft to be available as early as 1,700 rpm. Our sweepstakes car is equipped with automatic transmission. We debated ordering one with the manual that we prefer, but realized that our winner may not feel as comfortable with a stick and clutch as we do.

Research the MINI Countryman S
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Despite the larger package in the Countryman, compared with the MINI Cooper, the interior of the crossover says MINI from stem to stern. The big speedometer is still intact incorporating Mini's navigation and infotainment screen, while the center stack has only been touched up, not completely redesigned from the MINI Cooper. The only major difference is the noticeably higher seating position, but it takes a matter of milliseconds to get used to the higher perch.

One rear seat configuration is offered in the Countryman: be offered: two bucket seats with a sliding track down the middle that can be configured to house either a cup holder or armrest. There's plenty of legroom and headroom for rear seat passengers, and the seats can be moved forward or backward, as well as recline or fold forward.

Research the MINI Countryman S
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All of the things that we've grown to love about the Mini Cooper remain in the larger Countryman. The steering is nicely weighted and has a crisp feel at turn-in with immediate response from the wheels. There's more weight being thrown around than in a MINI Cooper, and the higher ground clearance gives you a slightly more disconnected feeling from the road, but it's easy to adjust to.

The biggest reason MINI developed the Countryman was because they were losing too many customers with kids who thought the MINI Cooper and Clubman were just too dang small. For two kids, the Countryman is a serviceable daily driver and grocery getter, but with all the delight of driving a MINI.

Research the MINI Countryman S
MINI Countryman S Photos & Information
MINI Countryman S Specs
MINI Countryman S Local Dealer Price Quote



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