It is a Countryman S but does it really manage to behave like an S? We would say no, especially after we tested its abilities on open roads where the only thing we had to do was to shift, brake, steer and accelerate. As we said, you shouldn’t experience too many problems if you intend to drive within the speed limit but, if you ever had the chance to test the car like we did, you might discover a few setbacks.
Given the fact that this is a Countryman S, the 184 horsepower engine, which is said to help the car sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 7.6 seconds, should feel a bit more alive. Meaning that the go-fast sensation we enjoyed a lot on the MINI Cooper S no longer exists and this is pretty much the result of using the same engine on a heavier, bigger vehicle.
The Countryman is fun to drive, that’s for sure, and if you’re a skilled driver, you’ll definitely appreciate the six-speed manual transmission. Probably the best thing about it is that it is pretty “flexible”, meaning that it allows two types of driving styles: either you shift and accelerate slower and thus obtain lower performances or you shift quickly and press the throttle harder and choose sportivity detrimental to efficiency.
In normal conditions, the all-wheel drive system, baptized “All Four”, sends the power to the front wheel until it detects slip. It then alters the configuration to compensate and maintain stability, just like any other traction control system. It automatically turns off when speed reaches 140 km/h (87 mph), so extra adrenaline is guaranteed at higher speeds.
The engine used on the Countryman suffered several modifications before being fitted on the crossover. It now develops 184 horsepower, as compared to the 172 hp output on today’s models, and employs several technologies to mix performance and fuel efficiency for best results - dual-scroll turbo, direct injection and variable valve timing.
Truth is, a Countryman driver would pay more attention to the experience per se than to fuel consumption, although real figures are pretty far from the ones indicated by MINI. The specifications list reads 31.4 mpg (7.5 L/100Km) city, 43.6 mpg (5.4 L/100Km) highway and 38.6 mpg (6.1 L/100Km) combined.Continue reading
MINI Countryman technical data summary
Engine: 1598 cmc L4 Gasoline
Dimensions: 161.8 inches (4110 mm) length / 70.4 inches (1788 mm) width / 61.5 inches (1562 mm) height
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