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2014 Kia Optima, Remington Red Metallic, 9 mi., $24,930
Review of the 2012 MINI Countryman
IntroductionMINI has introduced the all-new Mini Cooper Countryman for its 2012 model year lineup. The 2012 MINI Countryman is a four-seat compact SUV available in two trim levels: Countryman and Countryman S. The Countryman S can be equipped with an AWD system called ALL4. The MINI Countryman is pitted against the Volkswagen Tiguan and Volvo XC60.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesA surprisingly generous passenger compartment is the hallmark of the MINI Countryman. The two rear bucket seats offer enough room for even six footers. The cabin is instantly recognizable as a MINI thanks to the huge central speedometer and other chic styling ridden instruments. It has all that features that one wants - AC, cruise control, tilt and telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel, 6-speaker sound system, satellite radio and more. The Countryman S adds sport seats, fog lamps, a turbocharged engine and a different exterior trim. You can customize the MINI Countryman in numerous ways like body graphics and interior color schemes. Check out the optional features that enhance the MINI experience.
EngineA 1.6-liter inline-4 rated at 121 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque supplies power to the front-wheel driven MINI Countryman. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. It sprints from zero to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds with the manual and 10.9 seconds with the automatic. It delivers 28 mpg in city and 35 mpg highway. On a combined journey, it returns 31. The corresponding figures with the automatic transmission stand at 25/30/27. The Countryman S gets power from a turbocharged version of the 1.6-liter engine good for 181 hp churning out 177 lb ft of torque. Here also, FWD is standard and AWD system dubbed ALL4 is optional and has same transmission systems. It reaches 60mph from zero in 7.6 seconds. The estimated fuel economy hovers from 26/32/29 with front-wheel drive and the manual to 23/30/26 with ALL4 and the automatic.
SafetyThe four-passenger 2012 MINI Countryman has received the Top Safety Pick recognition from IIHS and it is the first MINI car to be certified so. It achieved ?Good? rating for front, side, rollover and rear impact protection and its roof strength performance is three times more than the federal standard. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is standard. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBFD), and Cornering Brake Control (CBC) enhance the active safety level. There are seven standard airbags, three-point inertia-reel seat belts, LATCH, Brake Assist and more. All Countryman models feature 205/50 R17 run flat tires as standard and 18-alloy wheels are available.