Our cars: Mini Countryman - December

Article 8 of 12 See all
  • Mini Countryman long-term test
  • Year-long review
  • Tested by Alex Newby
Countryman Dec 23
Countryman Dec 23
Mini Countryman 1.6T Cooper S ALL4

Week ending December 23
Mileage: 2902 miles
Driven this week: 83 miles


I know one swallow doesn't make a summer, but with winter here and likely to bring ice and snow before long, it's good to know our Countryman has four-wheel drive.

In fact, it's big on safety all-round, including a five-star Euro Ncap rating, so I can feel reassured when the time comes to venture into the snow.

Whether ALL4 is worth a £1255 premium and reduced fuel efficiency depends on how paranoid you are about accidents, but I imagine anyone else with young kids on board is happy to pay the extra if they can.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending December 16
Mileage: 2819 miles
Driven this week: 56 miles


Like most toddlers, mine just loves to push his feet against the back of the front passenger seat.

It wouldn't matter too much if a) it wasn't so annoying for any passenger sitting there, and b) he hadn't had dog mess on his shoe the other day.

This is particularly unpleasant because my Countryman has fabric seats, and despite my best efforts to remove any visible sign of said mess, the smell still lingers.

I'll get it out with gentle detergent and some elbow grease, I'm sure, but I can't help thinking leather seats would have been a lot more hygienic.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending December 9
Mileage: 2726 miles
Driven this week: 123 miles


It has taken just one false move on my part to - literally - take the edge off the shine from the Countryman's alloys.

Having realised I was already touching the kerb while parking in a busy street, I did my level best to extract the car without scraping the alloy in the process, but the damage was already done.
On the plus side, it's a tiny scrape visible only to me, and not worth the trouble or expense of repairing on its own, at least not before it changes hands.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending December 2
Mileage: 2603 miles
Driven this week: 94 miles


Young families tend to give their cars quite a battering, and it's the interior plastics that often come a cropper from baby equipment or small feet.

The Countryman is fairing quite well for durability, with the exception of the boot lip, which has been badly scuffed by my feeble attempts to lift our heavy Phil and Teds pushchair into the boot.

To be fair, most other cars have the same weakness, but it's a shame the Countryman can't boast a super-tough boot lip among its merits.

Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Our cars: Mini Countryman - November

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