MINI’s advertising slogan is “Not Normal” – and when you test drive one at Braman MINI in West Palm Beach, you’ll discover that they’re right — but in a good way. People of every age drive MINIs, but the company has carefully cultivated its reputation as the transportation of choice for young hipsters. So where, exactly, does that leave the MINI Countryman, an oversized MINI with four doors and seating for five? Well, it’s pretty much the vehicle for hipsters who got married and had a family, but couldn’t stand the idea of growing up and driving (shudder) a ‘normal’ car.
The 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman, a small, four-door crossover/wagon is significantly larger than the standard MINI, enabling it to carry five people and about three times as much cargo as the standard Cooper hardtop. It’s available in Base, S and John Cooper Works versions, all sharing the delightfully nimble ‘go-kart’ feeling of a MINI. All-wheel drive is an option on the Countryman S and standard on the JCW model.
The 2014 Mini Cooper Countryman uses a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 121 horsepower and powers the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. 0 to 60 mph acceleration takes approximately 9.8 seconds (manual transmission) and 10.9 seconds (automatic), and fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 31 mpg combined City/Highway with the manual gearbox and 27 mpg with the automatic.
The Countryman S is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, which produces 181 hp. Front- and all-wheel drive versions are available with this engine, as are 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. 0 to 60 is 7.6 seconds with the manual gearbox, and 29 mpg combined fuel economy. All-wheel drive drops MPG to 27 City/Highway.
The John Cooper Works features a higher-performance version of the S model’s turbocharged engine that generates 211 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. The same transmissions are offered, and all-wheel drive is standard. 0 to 60 takes just 7 seconds. Fuel economy is the same as the Countryman S with all-wheel drive, 27 mpg.
Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels; roof rails; heated mirrors; driver-adjustable settings for steering effort and engine response; full power accessories; cruise control; ambient interior lighting; air-conditioning; height-adjustable driver and passenger seats; leatherette upholstery; a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio and USB/iPod and auxiliary audio jacks.
The Countryman S adds a turbocharged engine, a rear spoiler, different exterior trim, an adjustable traction control system, fog lights and sport seats. The John Cooper Works is similar but has a more powerful engine, all-wheel drive, 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and special interior styling details.
The Countryman offers a wide range of options, both stand-alone and within packages, including 18- or 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension for non-JCW models, adaptive xenon headlights, keyless ignition, rear parking sensors, a dual-pane sunroof, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a premium 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
The Mini Countryman can be further customized with special body graphics and a range of different interior color schemes. The new John Cooper Works interior and exterior option packages add the intensified decor of the JCW model to base and S models without the expense of the former’s engine upgrades. If you add the JCW exterior package to the S model, a sport-tuned suspension is included.
If you’re one of those people who prefers to be ‘not normal’, then the MINI Countryman exactly your kind of car – and they’re all waiting for you at Braman MINI in West Palm Beach.