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Mini Countryman in the driving report: The Mini in new dimensions

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Mini Countryman in a driving report
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Z u times of empire Britain would not have taken Austria seriously. Not as a world power - because of the lack of an ocean-going fleet, which the lack of a sea connection in no way excuses. And not as an Autonation.

The Countryman in the driving report: He has the stature of the compact class

Today, Mini is building the Mini Countryman in Graz - the first four-door (no, the roller shutters of the Moke tent do not apply), first series all-wheel drive and first car over four meters in length of the brand. Three reasons for mini-funders to get excited: What else has to do with the mini-idea, a car 106 centimeters longer, 38 wider and 22 higher than the original model, the concept of which Sir Alec Issigonis scribbled on a piece of paper over 60 years ago . The answer is so easy: The Mini is golfing. As a Mini Countryman, it has the stature of the compact class. Over the years, the normal Mini has moved further and further away from its potential customers due to its persistent smallness. Over time, they have acquired bulky hobbies such as surfboards or families that cannot even be forced into a clubman with pressure or good persuasion.

The Mini Countryman looks like a mini, but has a maxi effect

Appearance of the mini design department: the task of designing a car without great sentimentality regarding historical models is taken with the same Enthusiasm and guarantee of success, as Italian drivers would do if they were asked to make their traffic even more chaotic. Now it is there, the Mini Countryman, looks like Mini, but looks like a maxi. 4.11 meters may not be a lot for a car, but for a mini it is a new dimension. She is well managed by the proportions. But you will have to get used to the profile with the rear doors as well as to the brute fender cladding and the buxom rear. Getting used to it in a positive sense is already required in the driving report. Previously a topic that was politely ignored, it can now be done easily in the Countryman, without squeezing and climbing. The brand celebrates the advantages of the 'four-door' as if it had been invented with the Countryman.

There has never been so much space in a Mini

Behind the portals, the Countryman is the first Mini to offer a seating position in which adults do not run the risk of constantly putting their glasses on their knees blown your nose, they don't even poke theKneel against the front seat backs. So much space in a mini - from now on, claustrophobia will have to look for a new ally. Of the two furnishing options in the rear of the Mini Countryman - a three-seater bench or two individual seats - the bench in the driving report proves to be the more practical solution because it too can be moved 13 centimeters lengthways. And because of the lush space, there is enough space for three adults in the back. Only in the two-person combination does the so-called center rail extend to the rear. Holders for cups, cell phones, sunglasses, MP3 players and what-I-do-I can also clip onto the rail.

If the rear seats are flat, there is an impressive 1,170 liters of luggage space

A more significant achievement can be found in the rear of the Mini Countryman: a luggage compartment. For the first time in the history of the Mini, it deserves its name, as the loading compartment has a capacity of 350 liters - as much as a Golf - and when the rear seats are flat, there are even 1,170. 76 lines, we're celebrating the trunk capacity, and that's supposed to be a real mini? For the driver it doesn't seem like that at first: too high (plus seven centimeters seat height), too much space inside, too much car around it. After all, the well-known, playful style of the cockpit offers that typical mini-feeling. This is exactly what matters when driving. For the Countryman, the technicians revised the usual chassis - McPhersons at the front, multi-link rear axle - with larger spring travel and tighter stabilizers.

The direct injection engine with fully variable valve control pushes forward energetically

With this, the Mini should not only surpass the pack of other SUVs, but almost achieve the handling qualities of the smaller models. Compared to the front-wheel drive variants, the all-wheel drive versions called ALL4 have the advantage that they are helped by the electronic power distribution, which is designed for high driving dynamics and reacts to slip differences within 0.1 seconds. ALL4 is only available as an option and exclusively for the 112 hp Cooper D and the Cooper S with 184 hp. The other models drive the front wheels: the One D (90 hp), the One (98 hp) and the Cooper (122 hp). Then flick the keys in, press the start button and go. Under the high hood of the first prototype in the form of the Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 is the refined and recently strengthened 1.6-liter turbo. The direct injection engine with fully variable valve control pushes the one and a half tonne truck forward energetically - according to Mini, from a standstill to 100 km /h only 0.8 seconds slower than in the normal Cooper S.

The soft roader cannot weigh more than 300 kilograms dubbing

In curves, the Mini Countryman sticks to the family tradition, can be steered neutrally with its very balanced and precise steering. In tight turns he pushes harder over the front wheels in the driving report, but he doesAll-wheel drive then pushes it out again with high traction and avoids the tugging of the steering, as occurs in the Cooper S when accelerating. But the soft roader cannot cover up its additional weight of around 300 kilograms. Lightweight and not four-door is a crucial aspect of the mini-handling legend. So that we understand each other correctly: For a compact SUV, the Countryman scurries charmingly around bends.

Compared with its curvy siblings, the Mini Countryman is hampered by its more voluminous figure and the longer suspension travel, which results in greater lateral inclination - but also the better suspension comfort. Another thing traditionalists can get upset about. For the other fans of the brand, the Countryman is a family car just as they want it to be: grown up - but remained mini.

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