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Either OR - Mini: Kombi Clubman vs SUV Countryman

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D he Mini cars were known for many things. It all started - in keeping with the name - with the fact that the cars were particularly small and light. It didn't take long before the nimble crowds were also able to celebrate successes in motorsport. In 2001 the speedsters experienced a renaissance under the pen of BMW and from then on made a name for themselves as lifestyle cars with lots of customization options and crisp chassis. To this day, the portfolio has expanded to include segments that would not previously have been expected from this brand. Who is better at the newly gained trait of suitability for everyday use - Clubman or Countryman? We'll clarify that now (and go into great detail in the video below in the article).

The format

The editors Patrick Lang and Thomas Grau always provide purchase advice in either OR format to two models from the same manufacturer to find out which car is better for you.

Let's first explain what you can do here expected. In our “Either OR” format, the two editors Patrick Lang and Thomas Grau always compare two vehicles from the same manufacturer. We do not collect any measurement data or test according to the classic auto motor und sport scheme. This is about buying advice and finding out which of the two models is right for you. We take a look at the configurator, check the interior, the exterior and the trunk. In addition, there are of course impressions from driving in terms of clarity, comfort, sportiness, assistance systems and so on. Depending on which criteria apply to the respective vehicles

Close to each other in terms of prices

If the structure of the cars is as different as that of the Club and Countryman, then there is usually enough for us to compare. That's why we've come closer to each other in terms of equipment. Both come as Cooper D with 150 hp four-cylinder diesel, front-wheel drive and automatic transmission. The test car prices are also at a similar level: Mini wants to have 46,830 euros for the lifestyle station wagon, 880 euros more for the SUV. The surcharge policy of the BMW subsidiary is not exactly brutal, but you have to put down a little bit of money to equip your vehicle.

You can get a smart metallic paintwork for 600 euros (for example the classic British Racing Green), but can also put up to 2,300 euros for leather in the interior if you want. There is still a lot that can be customized. From the characteristic hood stripes to the contrasting parts of the interior. The cars can be “spiced up” with the different equipment lines Salt (1,050 euros), Pepper (2,500 euros) or Chilli (4,750 euros) - these can be used with velor floor mats, LED headlights, comfort access or ambient lighting . While our Countryman comes up in bright Icelandic blue, with stripes and black 18-inch wheels, our colleague Thomas Grau is less brave and designed, according to his own name, the Clubman in gray with gray rims.

10,000 euros cheaper than the X1

For the performance on the road, however, it is completely irrelevant which color pigments Mini has breathed on the body - a tougher rating counts here. A good keyword, especially since Mini's cars are known to be tough fellows; at least as far as the chassis is concerned. For this reason alone, the Countryman seems like a distant relative, because it does not bring hardness. Then why do I buy such a car? Well, maybe because the group brother BMW X1 is too expensive for me, because it costs around 10,000 euros more on average. And even if the Countryman does not drive up with the distinctive round mini headlights, it still has the - perhaps a tad exaggerated - round shapes in the interior. Most dominant: The huge round element in the center console, which also houses the infotainment.

The Countryman is not an outspoken dynamic man. You get the impression of the weight of the A-, B- and C-pillars before you start rolling. The all-round view remains quite neat. The start of the in-line four-cylinder, accompanied by the sound of a fishing boat, falls short of what one would expect from 150 hp and 350 Newton meters. On the other hand, a feeling of security quickly arises when driving, which is also due to the stable brakes. The jagged steering adds a pinch of driving fun, but there is nothing of the much-sung go-kart feelingmore is left.

The combi go-kart

In the Clubman, things are a little different, if only because the center of gravity is much lower. Everything on the station wagon is noticeably firmer, especially the chassis. The fact that our test car was equipped with the optional, somewhat firmer sports seats further reinforces this impression.

The driving experience is so engaging that even as the passenger, you feel like you have to do something. Perhaps also because there was less insulation here and the background noise of the background noise is always a bit more binding. In terms of longitudinal dynamics, the Countryman struggles with the short ratio of first gear during a sprint. It doesn’t move in a decidedly sporty way, but it’s faster than the Countryman. You can now see in detail which differences we have discovered between the two of them in the complete episode either OR.

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