What is it? Mini's answer to the small crossover segment, the Countryman is essentially a four-door Clubman, with an elevated ride height and available all-wheel drive. Slightly larger than the Clubman, with a more truckish front appearance and roofline, the Countryman sticks close to the proven Mini formula.
The second row provides more passenger space than any other Mini, enough to be comfortable for an average-sized adult with decent leg and headroom. Sitting behind the wheel feels quite familiar to our experience in other Minis, complete with low windshield header, giant center-mounted speedometer, and quirky controls--though minor tweaks promise to make some common functions like stereo adjustment easier.
The second row provides more passenger space than any other Mini, enough to be comfortable for an average-sized adult with decent leg and headroom. A floor-mounted center rail system allows the riders to connect various storage devices configured to their needs.
Cargo space to the rear is flexible. It can be configured with a flat load floor and pass-through space between the rear buckets. Or, the load floor can be fixed vertical, creating a deep storage well and separating the passenger and cargo sections.
The Countryman will share powertrains with other Minis, meaning a choice of 1.6-liter naturally aspirated or turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
What's new or notable: With the Countryman, the Mini experience now offers more passenger space and greater all-weather demands than previous vehicles could provide.
When will it be available? February 2011.
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