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Mini Cooper Countryman/Paceman

A Mini with the versatility of a crossover.

The Mini Cooper Countryman could hardly be described as mini, seating four people with ease and possessing a decent amount of cargo space. And yet it adheres to Mini’s philosophy of providing a premium sporting vehicle at an affordable price. It looks and drives like a Mini, with the hatchback’s quintessential bulldog stance and driving characteristics. It might not handle as crisply as its smaller siblings, but it surpasses most of its crossover competition when it comes to dynamics and the fun-to-drive factor. The Countryman’s extra size in both two- and four-door models allows for a more-family-friendly interior space with a relatively commodious back seat. The instrument panel and the powertrain options mirror those of other Minis. There is an oversized, center-mounted speedometer — it also houses the screen for the optional navigation system — and numerous toggle and rocker switches for the climate and accessory controls. Both transmissions have six speeds, and the optional automatic has the ability to shift gears manually using the lever or steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Engine options are identical to those of other Minis, but the All4 four-wheel-drive system is unique to the Countryman/Paceman.

COMPETITORS

Honda CR-V

Nissan Juke

Subaru Forester

Volkswagen Tiguan

new for 2013

The Countryman is joined by a two-door variant called the Paceman for 2013. The only other change is the addition of Bluetooth as standard in place of satellite radio (now a $250 option).

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

ABS; corner brake control; tire-pressure monitoring; traction and stability control; and front, side, side curtain, and passenger’s knee air bags are standard. Adaptive xenon headlights, daytime running lights, and park distance control are optional.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 23–27

HWY 30–35

PRO

Mini styling

Maxi package

Drives like a smaller Mini

CON

Stiff suspension tuning

Counterintuitive ergonomics

Base Price Range: $22,650–$29,950 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Countryman, S Countryman, S Countryman All4, Paceman, S Paceman, S Paceman All4

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 4- or 5-passenger

ENGINES: 1.6L I-4, 121 hp, 114 lb-ft

1.6L turbo I-4, 181 hp, 192 lb-ft

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: (Countryman)103.0 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 1000–2000 lb (est.); cargo (rear seats up/down) 11.7–12.4/38.1–41.3 cu ft

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