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Here's Why the Mini Countryman Is Better Than You Think

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22:15   |   May 02, 2019

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Here's Why the Mini Countryman Is Better Than You Think
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  • this is a 2019 Mini Cooper countryman
  • John Cooper Works all Fork which is a
  • tremendously long way of saying that
  • this is minis SUV and it's the highest
  • performance version of it now some many
  • people don't like this vehicle because
  • they've taken a mini an SUV off I'd it
  • but I've always kind of liked this car
  • and today I'm going to explain why I've
  • borrowed this countrymen from Crevier
  • mini here in Southern California in
  • Orange County and obviously they have
  • all of the latest mini models this is a
  • place where you can find car enthusiast
  • cars with fun driving experiences and
  • manual transmissions and you don't have
  • to spend a fortune like you would a
  • Porsche dealer but clarin or Lamborghini
  • and that enjoyable driving experience
  • includes the countryman let me give you
  • a basic overview of this vehicle this is
  • minis SUV and it also is really a mini
  • SUV the countryman is only a hundred and
  • seventy inches long which means it's
  • about a foot shorter than a Honda CRV
  • you can get the countryman in three
  • versions there's a base model with 134
  • horsepower there's an S version with 189
  • horsepower and then there's this the
  • high performance model the John Cooper
  • Works version with 228 horsepower now
  • 228 horses may not seem like a lot but
  • it's quite a big number in a vehicle
  • this size the John Cooper Works
  • countryman will do 0 to 60 in 6.2
  • seconds which is quicker than basically
  • any other crossover and its small size
  • also makes it nimble and fun to drive
  • and here's the kicker you can still get
  • one of these with a manual transmission
  • it's like the car enthusiasts special
  • you can't say that about most other
  • crossovers obviously the big drawback is
  • the price the John Cooper Works version
  • starts around $38,000 this one has been
  • equipped to around $48,000 which is a
  • big number anyway you look at it but
  • then this is a cool car and today I'm
  • going to show that to you first I'm
  • going to take you on a tour of the
  • country and I'm going to show you all of
  • its interesting quirks and features then
  • I'm going to get it out on the road and
  • drive it and then I'm going to give it a
  • dug score and for more of my thoughts on
  • the countryman click the link below to
  • visit Auto Trader
  • calm / oversteer where I've also rounded
  • up a list of some rare used manual
  • transmission SUVs currently listed for
  • sale on auto trader
  • all right now I want to start the
  • quicksand features of the contraband
  • with my very favorite quirk of this car
  • one of my very favorite quirks in the
  • entire car industry and that would be
  • the big circle if you look in the center
  • of this car in the center control stake
  • you don't have a bunch of boring
  • rectangles but you have one giant circle
  • and then you have the infotainment
  • screen in the middle of that and the
  • various buttons arranged within the big
  • mini circle but the circle isn't the
  • best part the best part is this light
  • strip that goes around the top
  • three-quarters of the circle not because
  • it provides ambient lighting but because
  • it communicates with you about various
  • different automotive functions alright
  • check this out you see the light strip
  • in the circle you go to turn up this
  • stereo volume and watch as the light
  • strip suddenly turns into a stereo
  • volume control so as you turn up the
  • lights go up to show you that you're
  • increasing your stereo volume that is a
  • pretty cool little quirk but it doesn't
  • end there in fact it doesn't even come
  • close to ending there you're backing up
  • and you're nearing an object the giant
  • circle in middle goes from green to
  • yellow to red to let you know how close
  • you are so basically it's an extra
  • parking reverse sensor thing you can
  • look to the big circle to see if you're
  • about to hit something when you're
  • parking and it does more than that you
  • want to change the climate control
  • temperature you use these little dials
  • in the center control stack but they're
  • small hard to see fortunately as you
  • twist them the circle also displays the
  • climate control temperature it's blue on
  • one side red on the other and then your
  • current temperature is this little white
  • mark that moves through the giant circle
  • letting you know approximately how warm
  • you change the climate control to in the
  • car I love that and it works the same
  • with climate control fan speed you can
  • twist that dial and look at the dial and
  • see where the fan speed is or you
  • couldn't look at the big circle and it
  • will show you exactly how far you've
  • twisted it and where your fan speed is
  • currently set another function of the
  • giant light circle it lets you know what
  • drive mode you're in if you're in green
  • the circle is green you move it to mid
  • which is like comfort and then it's
  • orange you move it into sport and it
  • turns
  • red because then it's sporty and
  • performanc and it needs to be read to
  • show that in a circle again
  • communicating another car function with
  • you now if the circle is not in use for
  • one of these functions it is being used
  • as ambient lighting and you can change
  • the color of it very easily there's a
  • little switch on the ceiling next to the
  • rear-view mirror you just press the
  • switch and you can watch the circle
  • cycle through different colors and then
  • just basically stop when you've reached
  • the color that you want that changes the
  • ambient lighting for the entire interior
  • but obviously it's the circle that's
  • most obvious and then when you're
  • driving down the road the circle retains
  • that ambient lighting color until you
  • pull up one of those functions like fan
  • speed and then it goes into its more
  • functional State it is a very cool funky
  • little quirky display that they
  • definitely didn't have to do but it just
  • makes it more interesting and more fun
  • when you're driving this car this car is
  • all about quirky a little fun details
  • and I'm gonna go you probably saw the
  • toggle switch when I was changing the
  • color of the ambient lighting in the
  • giant circle this car is full of toggle
  • switches instead of boring buttons you
  • can see down here in the middle in the
  • center control stack you have toggle
  • switches that change the drive mode
  • traction control auto start/stop and you
  • even have a toggle switch for the
  • start/stop button for the engine for the
  • vehicle itself rather than a boring old
  • traditional button in the ceiling once
  • again toggle switches I already showed
  • you the ambient lighting color one but
  • the map lights are also toggle switches
  • and there's even a bigger toggle switch
  • for the sunroof you just push it back
  • and then the sunroof automatically opens
  • right up very cool other interesting
  • quirks in the mini we move on to the
  • speedometer now the speedometer in this
  • car goes up to a hundred and sixty miles
  • an hour I'm not sure if it actually goes
  • that fast but what I do know is that
  • above 120 miles an hour instead of
  • putting red there like don't go this
  • fast they've put a checkered flag there
  • it's almost like encouraging you to go
  • to the really illegal speeds and getting
  • to that checkered flag territory in your
  • speedometer I love that that's printed
  • on there next up another interesting
  • quirk in this interior is the interior
  • door handles now if you look at the door
  • panel you can see the interior door
  • handles are in this circle thing but the
  • door handle itself isn't the entire
  • circle instead it's just the rear
  • half which is like a little B or C shape
  • that in itself is interesting enough but
  • making it even more unusual as the fact
  • that integrated into the part that opens
  • is the lock and unlock button so they've
  • been able to include basically all door
  • opening locking unlocking things in just
  • this tiny little half circle an unusual
  • quirk and next up another interesting
  • quirk in this car if you look inside the
  • center console storage areas you can see
  • that they are finished in plaid
  • there is one sort of at the back of the
  • center console and then there's one in
  • front of the cupholders and the bottom
  • part of them is plaid to just make
  • putting stuff in your center console
  • storage areas a little bit more
  • interesting and funky than in a regular
  • car and speaking of more interesting and
  • funky than in a normal car a couple of
  • other things I noticed one is the fact
  • that the automatic transmission your
  • shift lever the little button to move it
  • between gears is bright red I guess
  • signifying that you're doing something
  • important and sporty by putting the car
  • in gear also I like the little
  • microphones for Bluetooth in most cars
  • they're built into the ceiling just a
  • couple of lines you talk and the
  • microphones pick you up in this car same
  • thing built into the ceiling but instead
  • of just boring little lines they've made
  • the microphone openings the shape of a
  • microphone which is a fun little quirk
  • and then you know where the Bluetooth
  • microphone is so if you want to yell at
  • someone you can just yeah okay anyway
  • moving around to the center console open
  • this up and there is a little phone
  • storage spot I figured it was just
  • somewhere you could put your phone while
  • you're driving to kind of keep it from
  • flying around but it's better than that
  • it's actually a little wireless charger
  • you can put your phone in there and
  • charge it you have it hooked up to
  • bluetooth and it's playing music and
  • it's all a pretty good idea now I will
  • say I've covered a lot of interesting
  • quirks and cool features that this car
  • has so far but one thing it doesn't have
  • power seats
  • this car has a window sticker of almost
  • $48,000 and it has manual seats driver
  • and passenger you still gotta pull a
  • lever and throw your weight in order to
  • put the seat where you want that's
  • unheard of in a car at this price point
  • now next up I want to move on to the
  • infotainment system and most of the
  • features in this infotainment system are
  • shared with various other BM
  • models so I'll link a few BMW reviews in
  • the description below if you want a more
  • thorough look at this infotainment
  • system today I want to talk about some
  • of the unique mini specific traits like
  • for example the mini country timer I
  • wasn't exactly sure what this is so I
  • looked it up and it turns out the car
  • will monitor if you're starting to drive
  • off-road if it thinks you're on some
  • off-road thing because it feels the
  • suspension and the body moving in that
  • direction and then it will start timing
  • how much you're driving off-road and
  • eventually if you drive off-road enough
  • it will call you a cliff champion and it
  • will put a storm record inside the
  • infotainment system recording how much
  • time you've spent is a cliff champion
  • and then in the future you can try to
  • beat that with an even longer stretch of
  • off-road driving if you don't do any
  • off-roading your label that's simply a
  • street cruiser but you could attain
  • cliff champion status if you off-road
  • your countryman enough next another
  • interesting quirk of the infotainment
  • system you can go to a tab in the
  • infotainment system that allows you to
  • check the current status of the vehicle
  • which is it all that unusual what's
  • unusual is the way that mini displays it
  • check this out it shows the range and it
  • says Range okay with a flag and then it
  • shows the temperature and temperature
  • okay with a rocketship then it shows the
  • exterior temperature it shows the car
  • wearing sunglasses to let you know if
  • it's too hot or cold outside for the car
  • to operate and then it shows I guess the
  • current status of sport mode with this
  • little sport on graphic and then finally
  • it says B Mini and then the Mini goes on
  • to a little road and drives off so it's
  • a little bit different from your
  • standard vehicle check B mini whatever
  • that means next another feature in the
  • infotainment system you go into
  • technology in action and you can click
  • on something called minimalism and that
  • shows how the vehicle is currently
  • operating basically is the engine
  • providing power to the wheels which
  • wheels how are they turning where are
  • you going and basically it shows you a
  • general status update of the car as it
  • drives down the road just they've given
  • it a cute name minimalism next up
  • another feature in the infotainment
  • system if you don't like that the giant
  • circle changes colors when you do
  • various things in the car you can go
  • into the infotainment system and turn
  • that off you can configure it so if you
  • don't want the giant circle to display
  • the current climate controlled
  • temperature when you're changing the
  • climate controls or the stereo volume or
  • your Park Assist or blah blah blah you
  • can turn all that stuff off if you just
  • find it distracting but I would judge
  • you because I think all of that stuff is
  • really really cool
  • now one other item worth noting with the
  • infotainment system even though this is
  • the modern BMW infotainment system and
  • it functions and works very well it's a
  • tremendously small infotainment screen
  • then he had to fit it within the giant
  • circle and it turns out when you're
  • trying to fit a touchscreen in there
  • that circle isn't really all that giant
  • and so a lot of the screens are small
  • trying to touch different menu items can
  • be a bit of a challenge because the
  • screen is so small even seeing it in
  • certain circumstances it's just not as
  • big as all of the large touch screens
  • that automakers are now integrating into
  • so many of their cars nowhere is this
  • more apparent than when the backup
  • camera is on you shift the car into
  • reverse the backup camera shows up it's
  • just really really small for a car at
  • this price point it's a very high
  • quality camera but you just can't see it
  • all that well due to the small size of
  • this screen now next we move on to the
  • backseat of the countryman which
  • actually is not excessively small this
  • is the largest mini and so I'm sitting
  • back here the front seat has moved up
  • somewhat but I have enough Headroom I
  • have enough legroom it's actually
  • reasonably large back here especially
  • considering that this is a fairly small
  • vehicle I'm surprised how much rear seat
  • space is in this vehicle next up one
  • thing that strikes me while I'm sitting
  • in the back seat is just how nice the
  • materials are now this is a very
  • expensive vehicle given its size and its
  • market position but it backs that up
  • with a very high quality interior you
  • have Alcantara all over all of the seats
  • you have stitching everywhere the
  • steering wheel everything feels nice
  • looks good all the toggle switches feel
  • good to toggle there's a lot of BMW
  • parts switch gear materials in this
  • interior and it really does show this
  • car has a nice interior very very high
  • quality a couple of interesting interior
  • highlights in fact this car has
  • Alcantara in stitching on the door panel
  • armrest both front and back that's
  • something you won't even see on a lot of
  • BMW models a lot of time it's just
  • plastic sometimes it's a nice leather
  • this car takes it up a notch even from
  • there and it has Alcantara in the
  • seat headrests they could have
  • completely skipped that no one would
  • have cared or noticed but they did it
  • anyway and it gives the car just that
  • much more of an upscale look and helps
  • to justify that price although frankly I
  • would have rather had power front seats
  • but maybe that's just me
  • and next up moving under the hood in the
  • countryman you can see the engine under
  • here nothing particularly noteworthy
  • although one interesting item about this
  • car the base model of the countryman
  • uses a turbocharged three-cylinder
  • engine which is a surprise not to many
  • three cylinders on the market today
  • makes about 135 horsepower but the John
  • Cooper Works high-performance version
  • has a turbocharged 4-cylinder which this
  • is like I mentioned 228 horsepower which
  • is a fairly healthy number given this
  • vehicles size maybe the most interesting
  • thing you'll see up here is the fact
  • that when the hood comes up the
  • headlights don't that's because by
  • federal regulation here in the United
  • States the headlights and taillights
  • must stay fixed
  • and even though headlights come up in
  • some minis in some markets and I think
  • maybe even the first u.s. minis did that
  • they don't anymore instead they have a
  • little cutout in the hood the entire
  • hood area around the headlight goes up
  • so there's basically these big circles
  • in the hood when it's up but the
  • headlight itself has to stay fixed in
  • order to comply with government
  • regulations and next up I want to
  • discuss some general exterior items with
  • this car I want to start with the
  • overall styling I know many purists
  • don't like this car because it's a
  • larger bigger Mini and they've made an
  • SUV out of it and they've ruined it all
  • but to me I think they've done a really
  • good job of turning the mini into an SUV
  • and I think it looks really cool it has
  • the same sort of funky distinctive look
  • that the standard mini does just a
  • little taller a little wider a little
  • bit more space I think they did that
  • really really well and they could have
  • totally screwed up and they didn't now
  • regarding these specific colors for this
  • vehicle this is rebel green with a chili
  • red roof or as I call it the Christmas
  • Mini I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't go
  • with green and red myself but it does
  • give you an idea of some of the
  • personalization and customization you
  • can do with roofs and mirror caps and
  • body colors on
  • these next up moving around to the back
  • of the countryman a couple of
  • interesting things back here one is this
  • rear wiper look at this tiny little rear
  • wiper just so little Dan small
  • basically I can fit my entire hand
  • across it from end to end it's a cute
  • little wiper for a tiny narrow little
  • back window in terms of the actual cargo
  • area the tailgate is powered opens up
  • and the cargo area is fairly normal
  • nothing particular interesting and
  • actually more space than you might think
  • given the size of this vehicle although
  • it isn't huge back here now one
  • interesting item with the tailgate is
  • the fact that mini has gone to great
  • lengths to put little minis on a lot of
  • the buttons you can see the
  • recirculating air button has a mini on
  • it instead of a generic car same thing
  • with the hood opener a mini instead of a
  • generic car but the button to put down
  • the tailgate just has a generic vehicle
  • on it they've borrowed this from BMW I'm
  • sure and they didn't bother going to the
  • trouble of making it a mini specific
  • button and so those are the quirks and
  • features of the Mini Cooper countryman
  • John Cooper Works all for now it's time
  • to get it out on the road and see how it
  • drives alright it's like a mini SUV it's
  • like you could have a boring CRV it's
  • cooler looking it's more fun it's more
  • exciting and I think from that
  • perspective as a smaller cuter you know
  • tighter sporty-er version of a regular
  • SUV as opposed to a bigger bloated
  • 4-door version of a mini you have a
  • better feeling about
  • I also have always just loved the
  • interior of this thing I think it has
  • some of the coolest touches and features
  • and the displaced agree in the circle
  • and all the lights I just think is so
  • I'm a sucker for all these these
  • gimmicks that are interesting because
  • they spend a lot of time a lot of cars
  • you get a Nissan Rogue and it's just
  • boring I mean it's the same stuff you
  • have in any other car but this thing
  • they've thought about it making this car
  • and worked as distinctive and I think
  • that stuff is really really special you
  • can still get one with three pedals I
  • mean it still has the sort of brand
  • philosophy that Mini has always
  • cultivated since it you know was revived
  • and I think the one area where I agree
  • with people and any complaints about the
  • countryman specifically it's expensive
  • it's an expensive car it's yeah it's
  • smaller and zippier and more fun and
  • more exciting than a CRV but if you're
  • paying for all it and the interior is
  • better and the materials are better and
  • blah blah blah I mean it's it's better
  • every way but the question is do you
  • want a smaller vehicle for more money
  • and that that's the hard sell and that's
  • obviously the tough decision that you
  • have to make if you want to get one of
  • these
  • [Music]
  • I think the performances card is just
  • fantastic obviously it's not incredibly
  • fast it's not really really crazy
  • Cynthia rating like that go what it is
  • is better than all the other you know
  • little SUVs or at least most of them
  • it's it's more engaging it's more fun
  • left to drive one with a stick and
  • really have the mini is alive and well
  • in this vehicle and this is practical
  • this is a car you never are going to get
  • into and be like I'm bored in my car
  • again you know it's it's sort of the in
  • the antidote for the traditional boring
  • little contact crossover just someone's
  • in the air and the history is so much
  • better the body rolls so much more
  • controlling me you get it any any other
  • compact SUV in it it's just you know
  • it's fine flew people by and you've been
  • a rav4 were dancin whatever but it's not
  • exciting no car person is ever gonna
  • want it
  • and I kind of feel like to some extent
  • this is the most the in terms of
  • entry-level lower level smaller Indies
  • this is the most car person II one if
  • you get a base bomb that much power at
  • least it's more engaging more exciting
  • and just a little bit more unique in
  • suspension and so that's the Mini Cooper
  • countryman John Cooper Works all for now
  • I get it it's not a real Mini because
  • it's an SUV but here's the thing people
  • are buying SUVs and frankly I think many
  • has done a pretty good job of taking the
  • regular minis quirky features and it's
  • fun driving experience and it's funky
  • styling and converting it into the
  • countryman prices are high and that is
  • definitely a drawback but the countryman
  • is a fun little crossover in a world of
  • boring ones and now it's time to give
  • this vehicle a dug score starting with
  • the weekend categories in styling I like
  • the Countryman's look of big mini
  • without being a bulbous or ugly mini and
  • it gets a 6 out of 10
  • acceleration does 0-60 in 6.2 seconds
  • and it gets a 3 out of 10 handling is
  • very sharp for a vehicle in this segment
  • and it gets a 5 out of 10 fun factor is
  • good for a little SUV but only ok
  • overall it gets a 3 out of 10 finally
  • cool factor is decent is these are neat
  • sporty little luxury SUVs and it gets a
  • 4 out of 10 for a total weekend score of
  • 21 out of 50 next up for the daily
  • categories and features the countryman
  • has a lot of good stuff but it's missing
  • some basics like that old-school tiny
  • backup camera system and the manual
  • seats and it gets a 6 out of 10
  • Comfort is normal for this segment and
  • it gets a 6 out of 10 quality is good
  • the interior materials are very nice and
  • it gets a 7 out of 10
  • practicality with 49 cubic feet of cargo
  • room it gets a 7 out of 10
  • finally value and this is where the car
  • hurts it's just a lot of money for a
  • small luxury crossover no matter how
  • sporty and it gets a 5 out of 10 for a
  • total daily score of 31 out of 50 add it
  • up in the dug score is 52 out of 100 and
  • here's where it falls against a few
  • other SUVs I've reviewed in this segment
  • it's more fun than the evoke in the XC
  • 40 but it doesn't quite beat those
  • rivals in the daily categories where the
  • countryman is a bit low on features and
  • a bit pricey still I think the
  • countryman is a cool SUV and a nice
  • adaptation of the mini for people who
  • just want more practicality
  • [Music]

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Description

GO READ MY COLUMN! http://autotradr.co/Oversteer

THANKS TO CREVIER MINI!
https://www.creviermini.com/

The Mini Countryman is Mini's SUV -- and it's better than you might think. I've always liked the Mini Countryman, and today I'm reviewing the Countryman S John Cooper Works to explain why I like it so much.

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DOUGSCORE CHART: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KTArYwDWrn52fnc7B12KvjRb6nmcEaU6gXYehWfsZSo