MINI Countryman : First Drive
With extra length and two extra doors, is the Mini Countryman still a Mini? Priyadarshan Bawikar investigates...
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We have mentioned earlier how surprisingly spacious the back seats of this two-door hot hatch are. But let’s face it, you’re still going to be hard pressed to fit two regular sized adults in there. If you do want to make a car dedicated to the task of carrying four to five people about regularly, you need a longer wheelbase and two extra doors. And that’s exactly what the MINI Countryman is.
Now MINI bills the Countryman as a crossover SUV, but you’d have a very hard time believing that once you see the car in the flesh, especially in the Cooper S trim. Yes, it’s bigger than the hatch, and the ground clearance has been bumped up a bit (although not significantly so), but there’s nothing on the car to indicate that it would handle any of the rough stuff.
Some might like to argue that the MINI Countryman won the Dakar Rally this year and has been going great guns in the WRC as well. But the rally version of the Countryman bears as much similarity to the road car as the current MINI hatch bears to the original Mini, which is to say not much at all.
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