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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
MINI COUNTRYMAN GETS BIGGER, BETTER

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
OK, so here is the deal. This is the biggest Mini (an oxymoron, indeed) you will ever drive. It is 7.8 inches longer, 1 inch wider and up by 2.9 inch in wheelbase than its predecessor. Under the hood of the Countryman ALL4 resides a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder twin-turbo engine that puts out 134 horsepower @ 4400 rpm and 160 pounds-feet of torque @ 1250 rpm. Best of all is the fuel-saving and seamless 8-speed auto transmission. Front suspension is left up to a 1-link drive strut axle front while the rear gets a central pivot axle. Keeping the car on course is electric power steering. Drive modes include sport (aggressive), mild (normal) and green (eco). Fuel mileage mimicked EPA estimates at 23 mpg city and 30 highway.
Up front are large, round traditional Mini headlights surround a hexagon radiator grille, power dome and striking helmet roof. The rear shows off jewel-like upright tail lamps, exhaust tip and COUNTRYMAN etched in bold letters. The circular theme continues inside with air vents, instruments, door trim and of course the eye-catching retro-style, center-mounted speedometer. The changing colors of the LED light ring in the instrument cluster provide feedback to the driver. With the rear seat up or down, you get 17.6 and 47.6 cubic feet of space respectively. Other notable features include 6.5-inch navigation touch screen, panoramic moon roof, heated front seats, power tailgate, height-adjustable front and slide-recline 40/20/40 rear seats, wireless phone charging, dual auto a/c and a hidden under-floor cargo bin.
Standard are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, front knee airbags, rearview camera, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, stability, traction and park-distance control, three-point seatbelts, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
Always fancied a Mini Cooper but hesitated because you feared it fell short on space? Well, you have plenty of room in this splendid ride with its inimitable European flair. Plus, enjoy security of being behind the wheel of an all-wheel drive car.

COUNTRYMAN
Tires: 225/50/R18
Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
Length: 169.8 inches
Weight: 3,543 pounds
Fuel capacity: 16.1 gallons
Base price: $28,100
Web site:
www.miniusa.com

CALLING ALL MINI DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com