|Mini Mania Test Drive: 2011 NEW MINI Countryman
A team from Mini Mania took advantage of the opportunity provided by Niello MINI in Sacramento to test drive one of the new MINI Countrymen.
My first impression is that the new BIG MINI for the family is not really all that big.
Once in the driver’s seat this MINI feeling is further enhanced by the sameness of almost everything in front of you.
|For years now, the MINI has been touted as a ‘personal’ car that lends itself to being used to make a personal statement about lifestyle etc. of its owner.
Thus it was note worthy that the most significant observation of this new 4 door MINI has to do with a passenger rather than the driver.
The entry to the rear is generous with doors of the same size as the front.
The real features are seen once inside the rear, not only to the seats slide front and back providing tremendous leg room, but the back of the seal also tilts for total control of passenger comfort.
The rear bucket seats are also slightly raised on the base platform to make it all the more comfortable for your friends and family to see out of the front windshield.
|Once driving the car the very first impression was that perhaps the A-Pillars on either side of the front windshield ‘felt’ closer in and perhaps made me feel a little enclosed.
But within a minute or so this potential distraction disappeared as if it was just my imagination.
The actual driving of the Countryman was simply like driving a MINI.
While his particular model was an automatic that is not the same as my daily driven 6 speed, it was just the same as previous MINI automatics that I have driven in the past.
And in fact, perhaps in this application a MINI automatic may be my first choice.
Bottom line, I will have one of these before too long as my daily driver.
More pictures can be found here.