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14Mini fesses up to Countryman clutch issue, plans fix

Aside from the general lack of snow in the Midwest earlier this year that hampered our ability to properly play with our Blizzak-equipped Mini Contryman long-term test vehicle, the biggest problem we had with this crossover during the year we spent with it was the transmission. On four different monthly updates (September, October, November and June), all in the hands of different Autoblog editors, the Countryman's clutch was called out for being too finicky, leading to many stall outs. Apparent

302011 Mini Countryman: June 2012

When you've been test-driving nearly every new vehicle on the market for as long as I have, you get to the point where you mostly know what to expect. Not that I or most other veteran car reviewers make up our minds about new products before we drive them, but certainly we formulate theories to go about testing once a new car lands in our driveway. More often than not, our experiments confirm our hypotheses. This can be a great triumph or a crushing let-down, but rarely does a vehicle manage to

282011 Mini Countryman: May 2012

Our long-term 2011 Mini Countryman is nearing the end of its year-long stay in the Autoblog Garage, the past six months of which have been spent bouncing back and forth between the various Detroit-based team members (and Cleveland – we mustn't forget about Herr Neff). And while we've all had plenty of time behind the wheel of the biggest Mini, this is one car that always seems to be in high demand, whether its for long road trips or just because we all really like driving the thing.

412011 Mini Countryman: April 2012

April was a busy month for the long-term 2011 Mini Countryman, with over 2,500 miles added to the odometer and a heaping helping of people and things passing through its doors. When I picked up the Countryman, I was impressed by the fact that all four of its winter tires were neatly stowed behind the front seats. However, the biggest of Mini models didn't fare so well when the rear seats were occupied.

192011 Mini Countryman: March 2012

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 winte

132011 Mini Countryman: February 2012

I regret to inform you that despite what the image above indicates, Autoblog's long-term Mini Countryman will again be passing hands without having been thoroughly tested in the type of inclement weather for which it's been prepared. While we thought there was no way it would escape a February in Cleveland without slogging through weeks of snowfall, our Countryman's Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 winter tires only met the cold stuff once, and then for only a day or two before everything melted. As I

92011 Mini Countryman: January 2012

Literally two days after my last update about our long-term Mini Countryman, I found myself trudging through a snowstorm at 30 miles per hour on Interstate 94 along Michigan's west coast. I guess Mother Nature had heard my cries about not being able to test our Mini in the snow, and decided to reward me with super slippery roads and poor visibility for two and a half hours straight. Lovely.

162011 Mini Countryman: December 2011

As much as I detest the winter months here in Detroit, the truth is, I'm kind of bummed that we've only seen about a half-inch of snow so far this season. In fact, I was happy that our most recent snowfall actually started to stick to the parking lot across the street from my loft, simply so I could capture this photo of our long-term Mini Countryman with some powder on the ground. Two hours after I took this picture, it had all melted. Sigh.

322011 Mini Countryman: November 2011

After spending September in the San Francisco bay area with Senior Editor Damon Lavrinc, our long-term 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4 moved to southern California during the month of October to serve our esteemed photographer, Drew Phillips. In early November, I handed Drew the keys to our long-term 2011 Jetta TDI and stole the Countryman from his driveway. He hasn't seen it since.

162011 Mini Countryman: October 2011

The last time we updated you on our long-term 2011 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4, it was in Northern California with senior editor Lavrinc. Since then, we've driving the car down to Southern California, although not before it served as our mode of transportation for the Rennsport Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We've also taken a trip to Phoenix to check out the Local Motors Rally Fighter (look for a feature soon), and driven the Countryman plenty around Los Angeles, doubling our car's mil

12Getting intimate with Mini Connected

We've being living with our long-term Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 for a little over two months, but we haven't spent much time on one of the most often used – and complex – bits of the car.

17Mini Countryman configurator powers up

Right on schedule, the German brain trust in charge of marketing the heck out of (and hopefully selling a boatload of...) the 2011 Mini Countryman has uploaded the whole kit 'n kaboodle to the Web, and you are now free to build and price out your very own Mini crossover.

15Video(s): Mini Countryman WRC gets wrung out

2011 Mini Countryman WRC – Click above to watch video after the jump

AddMini Countryman commercial makes mess of multiplication

The Mini Countryman is multiplying – Click above to watch video after the jump

29Video: Mini commences Countryman advertising barrage

2011 Mini Countryman – Click above for high-res image gallery

81First Drive: 2011 Mini Countryman

Yes, it's a Mini. Yes, it's a crossover. Yes, it makes sense.

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