MotoringFile’s Countryman (The Final Spec)

As many daily readers know MF is getting a Countryman. And over a month back we asked you to help us narrow down what to choose from. Since we’ll have this car for a year to test we wanted to make sure that you had input on what you wanted to see written about and dissected. Then the second step was to present four options of different specs and models.

Today we’re happy to say the votes are in and the decision has been made. With 46% of the vote the Light White Countryman Cooper S All4 is the clear winner. So let’s take a look at what we’ll be getting.

The biggest news is that we’ll b giving MINI’s new all wheel drive a proper all year test. In our previous Countryman comparison test we rated it second best to the standard FWD Cooper S Countryman due to less weight, better MPG and performance. But all-wheel drive is hugely popular here in the US and we intend to find out if there’s really a need for it. And with this being the first MINI to offer the option, it’s a good opportunity to try something different.

Then there’s MINI connected and the updated nav system. While it’s over $300 cheaper than last year it’s packing a huge improvement in functionality. Then there’s the sport suspension, center rail and a number of unique features to the R60 that we’ll be dissecting for you.

You can see the full options list via the links or list below. We should take delivery sometime in the next 30 days. But as any MINI owner can tell you that’s just the beginning. We intend to practice the age-old art of youification with more than a few accessories.

DESIGN

  • Light White Body Color / STD
  • Anthracite Headliner / $250.00
  • Center Console & Door Trim in Piano Black / $0.00
  • Center Rail / STD
  • Chrome Line Interior / $250.00
  • Door Panel in Carbon Black / STD
  • Leather Sport Wheel w/Multifunction / STD
  • Piano Black Cockpit Surface / $250.00
  • Pure Red Color Line INCL Rear-mounted Bike Rack Prep / STD
  • Roof Rails STD Black Roof/Mirrors / $0.00
  • Center Arm Rest / $250.00
  • Leather/Cloth: Pure Red / $1,000.00
  • Sport Seats / STD

PACKAGES

Cold Weather Package / $750.00

  • Heated Front Seats, Heated Powerfold Mirrors & Washer Jets

Premium Package / $1,750.00

  • Automatic AC. Dual Pane Panoramic Sunroof. Harman/Kardon Sound System

Sport Package / $1,500.00

  • 18″ 5-Star Double Spoke, Anthracite Black Bonnet Stripes, White Turn Signals, Xenon Headlamps

PERFORMANCE

  • 6-Speed Getrag Manual / STD
  • Start/Stop Button / STD
  • 7 Airbags w/Side Curtain System / STD
  • ALL4 All Wheel Drive System / STD
  • Dynamic Stability Control / STD
  • Dynamic Traction Control / STD
  • Sport Button / STD
  • Sport Suspension / $500.00
  • Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror / $250.00
  • Front Fog Lamps / STD
  • Rain Sensor and Auto Headlamps / $250.00

INSTRUMENTS

  • 6-spkr AM/FM CD Player / STD
  • HD Radio / STD
  • Sirius Satellite Radio / STD
  • Comfort Access System / $500.00
  • MINI Connected / INCL
  • MINI Connected with Nav System / $1750.00
  • On-Board Computer / STD
  • Rear Park Distance / $500
  • Control Universal Garage Door Opener / $250

MSRP w/Factory Options $37,650.00

  • kalou

    cool

  • b-

    So when do you get it? Will you take it to the Dragon?

  • Alexandre

    Next 30 days delivery?! Nice! How did MINI USA manage that?

  • Congrats!!

    What mods are you planning after you get the car?

  • Scott Purvis

    Man…..that is one expensive Countryman, but I admitt I’d option one out too! Good luck and can’t wait to hear your feedback. Are you planning on taking it to the Dragon and MOTD9? Now THAT would be a test to write impressions about.

  • freakin OUCH! With registration in CA being the sales tax, you’ll be driving a $40k not-so-MINI for a year. While I’m sure it will be a nice ride, for $40k I’d buy something very, very different.

    One constructive thought though. Put those 18″ wheels in the garage, get some 16″ with a smaller diameter tire and get some of the zip back that’s been lost to weight.

    Matt

  • Aurel

    so is MINI picking up the tab for this 1 year rental?

  • One constructive thought though. Put those 18″ wheels in the garage, get some 16″ with a smaller diameter tire and get some of the zip back that’s been lost to weight.

    I’m not entirely sure 16s would fit over the larger rotors of the Countryman. But that said I’m actually thinking of going with 19s. I’ll just remove all the seats if I take it to the track.

  • Rixter

    Gabe can’t add the rear-hitch bike rack? I know several others were very interested in your review of it as well

  • Gabe can’t add the rear-hitch bike rack? I know several others were very interested in your review of it as well

    Yes – that’s a strong possibility when it comes to accessories.

  • Les

    JCW Aero Kit. Nice. I love the look of the Countryman Cooper, but the S needs more clean aggreeive lines. Hopefully the JCW will add more style give a complete look to the car.

  • lavardera

    Taking delivery in 30 days sounds quick. What is the turn-around on orders these days?

  • I just spent the morning in a Chevy Volt. It’s very nice. With all the incentives to buy it, it wouldbget my money first….

    Matt

  • Yeah! Im glad mine made it! look forward to the real-life photos and test

  • that.guy

    Overall nice spec but lose those “bonnet” stripes.

    $37.6k… sorry, this still seems like VERY little car for the money to me.

    BMW 328xi $38,2k BMW X3 xDrive28i $36.7k Audi A4 Avant Quattro $36.3k

    If I had $38k to spend on a relatively small AWD car with good performance and a cargo-friendly form factor… don’t think the Crossperson would get my money.

  • A friend of mine was holding out for the Countryman All4. Will order a X3 xDrive35i (what is it with BMW and really, really akward names?) She’ll spend more than the MINI. But when the pricing comes into play, it’s not a huge jump to more vehicle.

    I’m sure that the Countryman will sell well, but MINI has to watch the price points, they are getting scary…

    Matt

  • that.guy

    And the X1 is coming soon…

  • GregW

    At US$40,000 this does not seem that expensive. At 0.9% finance it’s a steal. It’s all those little add-ons which are surely overpriced that add up – $250 for an armrest? You’re kidding? Notice how the optios all seem to be either $250, $500 or $1,000?

  • Aurel

    What’s a regular hatch S with the same options go for? about $8-9K less?

  • Steve

    It all depends on what you like. I spent nearly $45,000 on the WC50 with JCW suspension and JCW spoiler with tax and am adding another $2300 for Breyton GTS-R wheels. But I love it. It’s just money. And if you like it, you’ll pay for it. So money doesn’t really matter. I’ve heard too many people say they loved their JCW over their 911, Corvette’s, Ferrari’s, etc. because it was like nothing they’ve driven before and had the fun factor they couldn’t live without.

  • That’s true, one pays for what one likes. But it’s also true as you get up in price point that there are more cars that can be condsidered. While those focused on the MINI experience may not be swayed, there are whole bunch of potential customers where a MINI is one of many possible choices. High prices will lose some of those, that’s for sure. My friend who’s going with the X3 can get whatever car she wants, but the driving dynamic of the coupe isn’t high on her list of priorities. She’ll buy something else, and she’d been holding out for the Countryman for quite a while. In the end, MINI lost the sale to something else. That will be more common that those that choose to pay $45k for a WC50. I also don’t think that those that loved the coupe over the 911 etc will find the Countryman dynamics as compelling as the coupe.

    Matt

  • TheDude

    WOW, Thats alot of scratch. No way I would spend that on a MINI suv. For way cheaper you could have bought a 4 door Jeep Wrangler and lifted it and had a much cooler vehicle. Just my opinion though.

  • that.guy

    I agree with the good Doctor. MINI has let the price points get way out in front of the actual value of their cars. My 04 JCW was $25k brand spanking new. I loved it to death, but if it had been priced above $30k I would not have bought it. Which means I will probably never buy another MINI, unless they stop this madness.

  • that.guy

    If you have $35k to spend on a small AWD performance car, please step away from the Countryperson and look at this:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/03/07/2012-volkswagen-golf-r-first-drive-review-road-test/

  • DavidT

    @that.guy I was with you until that last comment. Cool car but wow is it heavy. A 4WD Cooper S JCW would be about 2650 or 2700 lbs. 500 to 600 lbs less than the Golf R. I may have missed it but the (I suspect horrible) fuel mileage was not listed. At least for me, no thanks. If my next car is going to be that heavy, it better be electric or like the Volt.

  • that.guy

    @DavidT Operative phrase in your comment is: “would be”. That car does not exist. If it did I would be very interested as well.

    If you want an AWD MINI your only option is the Countryperson. And it weighs 3200lbs, within 3% of the Golf R. You have to admit that is pretty freaking close. And while it is always preferable to “add lightness,” weight can be overcome by engineering, to some extent. The current M3 weighs 3700lbs and is no slouch in terms of handling. And as for fuel economy, the Golf R has a highly tweaked turbo 4 that supposedly delivers an average of 28mpg while also delivering 260hp. If so, that is very close to the All4 Countryperson in terms of economy and light years away in terms of performance.

  • Steve

    Well put, Dr. O. From a marketing perspective, you’re right.

  • Steve

    While I love the new X3, I would be torn between it and the Countryman only because of my love for the MINI. Or maybe not. The All4 was quite slow. Nonetheless, great points, Dr. O.

  • jon

    that.guy- I completely agree with you. The Golf R would be tops on my list.

    and @DavidT. I think your numbers for an AWD Cooper S JCW are way off. According to Mini’s site a base JCW S is 2668. If you add 500lbs you are at 3168 which is nearly as heavy as a Countryboy.

  • that.guy
    and @DavidT. I think your numbers for an AWD Cooper S JCW are way off.

    Not to mention that the car does not exist.

  • James Gaston

    I’d cut at least $5k of options and not miss them. And I’d still prefer my Cooper S.

  • agranger

    I think that I hit a price barrier at $28k for a well-optioned 2006 MCS… I know that inflation has adjusted that up a bit, but $38k is more than I could bring myself to spend for a regular daily-driver MINI.

    Plus, I’d have to know that I’m driving a car that likes to have it ‘crammed in the boot’, and I could just never get over the visual image.

  • that.guy

    I’m not feeling a lot of Country-love here on MF. Not a good sign when you start losing the interest, evangelism, and $$ of your hard core brand loyalists.

    Maybe the “Del Sol Chop Job Twins” will be somewhat better received. An AWD JCW Coupe might bring back the love.

  • DavidT

    @that.guy Great response, I am surprised by how good the gas mileage is on the Golf. The Countryman is excessively heavy for my needs so I would not buy it either, so I guess I was way off topic mentioning a lighter car. Especially one that does not exist.

    @jon Sorry, it was late. I meant 2850 to 2900 lbs, depending on the level of optimization. Beyond that, there is absolutely no reason that AWD would add anywhere near 500 lbs. Just check the curb weight difference (243 lbs) for the bolt on system added to the 328i.

  • jon

    @davidT- NO worries. I ain’t mad at ya! You may very well be correct on the weight but a MINI AWD still has too many compromises esp. space for me. I love me some Mini but I would still shell out the coin for a Golf R before a Mini AWD. 2 kids in car seats= no fun in a Mini.

  • Rixter

    Gabe the rear-hitch bike rack option would be FANTASTIC to review. I saw the “INCL Rear-mounted Bike Rack Prep / STD” but I wasn’t sure if that meant you’d actually ordered that option.

    Thanks for considering it!