Our cars: Mini Countryman - November

Article 9 of 12 See all
  • Mini Countryman long-term test
  • Year-long review
  • Tested by Alex Newby
Countryman Nov 11
Countryman Nov 11
Mini Countryman 1.6T Cooper S ALL4

Week ending November 11
Mileage: 2323 miles
Driven this week: 104 miles


I was concerned about the funny smell of melting plastic coming from the Countryman, so I called the service team at my local dealer, HR Owen Holland Park, to book the car in to be seen ASAP. The problem was, they wouldn’t have a courtesy car for me. With two small children to ferry about, this was going to be a problem.

The service engineer suggested I had a look under the car myself, in case a plastic bag had got caught on the car’s belly and was to blame for the smell. Naturally, I told him, I had already done this. The service engineer’s next proposal sounded more sensible: if I was too concerned to drive the car with the kids in, they could send out a member of BMW’s emergency team that very evening, free of charge, who could potentially sort the problem out without having to take my car away.

Well, with the kids in tow and the dealership 30 minutes away in busy traffic, there didn’t seem to be anything to lose and, while the boys and I had tea that evening, the rescue guy took at look at my car for me – only to report that he had removed the best part of a black plastic bag from around the exhaust pipe and that the remnants, and the smell, should disappear within a couple of days. Which they have, returning all but the colour of my face to normal.
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Week ending November 4
Mileage: 2219 miles
Driven this week: 58 miles


I have noticed a strange, and slightly alarming, odour in the Countryman’s interior – and this time it’s not toddler sick. No, it’s rather like the smell of a dry-cleaner’s – or melting plastic. I have yet to try to work out why or when it happens, but I won’t be leaving it unfathomed for long, which means a trip to my nearest Mini dealer could be on the cards.
Alex.Newby@whatcar.com

Our cars: Mini Countryman - October

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