Austin Mini MK II Countryman driving report

Hardy Mutschler
Austin Mini MK II Countryman driving report
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B ei in the neighborhood park almost every day Mini Mk II Countryman. The car belongs to a young couple, I estimate both of them to be around 30 years old, and they probably work in the agency in the chic old building, in front of which the car usually stands - wedged between the five-car Touring, A6 and E-Class. It looks small and fragile, even though it is already the long version of the Mini series.

Stunning charm of the Mini

But the Mini Countryman can handle the modern age quite well claim - its greatest weapon is still its stunning charm, which many contemporary cars with their cold xenon eyes have long since lost. With his cute childish face, the cute ten-inch wheels and the light (non-load-bearing) ash wood frame, he enjoys the affection of women above all. And because such a Mini can also look back on a remarkable rally career (and the fame of the three Rally Monte Carlo victories still has enough magic left for this station wagon), the men actually find it pretty cool.

But master everyday life with 38.5 hp? At any time, because the iron BMC-A engine has a surprisingly lively temperament despite its homely pushrod technology. Thousands at best hum a little when he has to exert himself, but perseverance and the will to turn allow the compact four-cylinder to outgrow itself again and again. No, with the Mini Countryman, which is even a little heavier than a conventional Mini, this drive has no worries.

To the You have to get used to the mini-gearshift

Only fast gear changes are anathema to the transmission in the Mini Countryman, which is integrated into the engine housing together with the differential for reasons of space. The gearshift doesn't exactly impress with its precision, but rather the feeling of always poking around in the void with an overlong shift lever.

But of course you can come to terms with it. As is the case with the frequent oil changes that every Mini demands to keep its technology permanently alive. About five liters of fresh lubricant should be added about every 5,000 kilometers, which the engine and transmission then have to share with a common circuit. It's just a matter of habit.

Lots of space despite 3.3 m shortness

The Mini Countryman hides its true strength in its interior anyway, because there the car seems bigger than expected from the outside because it is with a length of just 330 centimeters behind the transversely installed engine and the steeply standing windshield offers astonishingly much space for four people and on top of that has an astonishingly large trunk. A plus of almost 30 centimeters compared to the mini sedan - the Countryman hatchback with Its externally hinged folding doors and sliding windows increase the everyday utility of the smart small car concept by creator Alec Issigonis by 100 percent.

The load volume of the Mini Countryman, also known as Woody, is an unbelievable 1000 liters without the back seat Of course, we don't want to expect a lot from a Mini born in 1967. However, it is always suitable for bulk shopping at the weekend, not least because it is tight Most supermarket parking bays lose fear behind their wheel.

Best seller with hatchback

On top of that, a Mini Countryman has to be -Drivers are also not afraid of unnecessary distraction from complex operating systems or any infotainment overkill. With a speedometer in the middle and a clock on the right and left for water temperature and oil pressure, the Countryman reduces its need for communication to the essentials. So we can concentrate exclusively on driving.

And this little station wagon does that with the greatest of pleasure. Its direct steering seems to come from a go-kart, and its decent road holding tempts you to make quick cornering maneuvers (even in the long version). On top of that, the Mini Countryman is iconic and classless - it also has that advantage over many current models.

This is how much an Austin Mini Countryman costs

If you are interested in an Austin Mini Countryman, you have to reckon with around 17,000 euros for an example in condition 2. For vehicles in condition 4 that are not in good condition, around 4,300 are due, but as soon as the body, wooden structure or drive unit is attacked, the restoration costs can skyrocket. Because even a small car can cause a lot of trouble. Good everyday Mini Countrymans in condition 3 can be found for around 10,000 euros. When viewing, however, an expert should be consulted.


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