Mini Countryman

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Mini Countryman

Road Test

Mini Countryman Cooper D All4 driven

Driven January 2011

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Provided you're not planning a drag race against anything quicker than a heavily laden milk float, the Countryman Cooper D makes sense.

The petrol versions of Mini's big crossover seem a little unsure of their purpose in life, striving hopefully to marry Mini's traditionally frolicsome handling with all-wheel drive and SUV ride height. The diesel better resolves the Countryman's schizophrenic aims.

BMW's 110bhp turbo unit, mounted transversely here as in smaller Minis, is a stellar engine - its relaxed power delivery dovetailing neatly with the Countryman's squishy road manners to yield a highly chilled cruiser.

But don't be fooled by the Cooper badge. This is a slow car. Up and running, things aren't too bad, but from a standing start, you'll be trailing in the wake of sprightly yaks. With both feet on the accelerator and the wing mirrors folded in, this version takes nearly 12 seconds to hit 62mph, a function of a 1,455kg kerbweight and 4WD. We fear for the 89bhp version.

Uncheck the £1,000 ‘All4' option box, and enjoy the better economy and pace of the FWD Cooper D. Yes, the Countryman is the first Mini available with four-wheel drive, but yours doesn't have to be.

Sam Philip

We like: Fitting four adults in a Mini
We don't like: Being out-dragged by kids on bikes
Performance: 0-62mph in 11.6secs, max 112mph, 57.6mpg
Tech: 1598cc, 4cyl, 4WD, 112bhp, 199lb ft, 1455kg, 129g/km CO2
Tick this on the options list: Piano Black dash trim, £105
And avoid this: iPod Connection ‘All4' 4WD, £1,000 approx

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