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 mileage in the process. Thanks to a majority of those miles being on the freeway, we've averaged a solid 27.39 mpg, a number that falls right in line with the official rating of 25/31. Our best stint was 29.3 mpg, all freeway miles, coming back from Phoenix. If anything, spending spending five-plus hours in the Countryman at once has revealed some new likes and dislikes. Follow the jump to read more about them and what life is like for the Countryman in Southern California. Like all Mini models, there's no doubt that the interior of our Countryman takes some getting used to. We still haven't found a use for the analog speedometer in the Mickey Mouse center stack, as we generally use the small digital readout below the column-mounted tach to get a reading on our speed. At least the circle serves another purpose, housing the Mini Connected infotainment. Thankfully, being able to spend more than a few days in the car has allowed us to get used to placement for the many switches and buttons. One aspect of the Countryman that we've grown to love are the seats. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they're incredibly comfortable and provide excellent support. It's something that we've appreciated on our long trips, and a stark contrast to the unlikable buckets in our long-term 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. The materials look like they will last for the long term, too. That's not to say we haven't had interior complaints. For some reason, the cupholders aren't large enough to fit a standard 20-ounce bottle. The cable provided by Mini to connect an Apple iPhone or iPod doesn't connect well, and either comes out too easily or sticks and doesn't want to be removed at all. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but during our five-hour trip home from Monterey, the cord would disconnect over slight bumps in the road. Having to reconnect our device more than a dozen times during trip was utterly maddening. We would have gladly used the standard iPhone cord, but the Countryman requires a separate connection for audio in addition to the USB cord. Another complaint for longer trips is the Countryman's 12.4 gallon fuel tank. Mini states that owners will be able to get 384 miles to the tank, but we generally were able to squeak out just over 300 if we racking up freeway miles and pushing the fuel gauge to right at zero. With the Countryman averaging more like 24-25 …
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|MPG||25 City / 31 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||181 @ 5500 rpm|
|Drivetrain||ALL4 all wheel|
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