Sixties Mini Cooper vs Col de Turini
The Cooper is 50. Can the old-timer teach the Countryman a lesson on the rally that made it famous?
Posted: 25 Feb 2011
So we're not suggesting that, if you've been considering a Countryman, you should dash out and purchase a Sixties Mini Cooper instead. Mini's not-so-mini SUV-hatch is a fine, grown-up family car and, unlike the original Cooper, boasts a gearbox that doesn't require the touch of a master safebreaker to slot into reverse (in fact, trying to locate any gear at all with the Cooper's huge stalk of a lever is akin to stirring a pot of nails with a tent-pole). Where the old car is noisy and oily and basic, the newcomer is quiet and refined. But up here, alone in the trees, the Countryman seems a bit lacking in that trademark Mini effervescence still prevalent in the three-door versions of the modern car - a fizz present in spades in the old Cooper.