Would you buy this MINI?

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Pictured above is a pre-production R60 Cooper, otherwise known as the Countryman Cooper. Cooper as in normally aspirated. Normally aspirated as in no turbo charger under the bonnet. Would you buy it?

I wouldn’t.

The problem with the Countryman Cooper is that it is just too slow. I’m not saying this from an enthusiasts point of view, or from a modder point of view or even from a I-want-to-put-this-MINI-on-a-track point of view. I’m telling you that this MINI is just too danged slow. I have actually had the chance to drive this car, with an automatic transmission no less, and it’s horrible. I’m not the only one that feels this way. From MotoringFile.com.

Slow cars are not something that the car buying public are very used to anymore. There was a time that a 10 second 0-60 time was considered sporty. Clearly that time has passed. Anything over eight seconds is usually looked at with raised eyebrows and certainly dismissed by driving enthusiasts. This has always served MINI well with the base Cooper model (in the US of course) coming in right around that mark and always feeling just frisky enough. The Countryman Cooper does not. It is a slow car in the modern sense of the word. Motivating nearly 3,000 pounds of metal up and down the hills west of Austin was both physical and mental work. I drove the manual this time, but even rowing the hell out of the gears didn’t solve the problem.

Sure the price is right, coming in at a base of $US22,350. And it’s got the mileage. And the extra doors that the hard top lacks. And it’s still a MINI, with all the great things you love about the MINI except performance. We talked about this a great deal on past episodes of White Roof Radio too. And it’s sad for me to actually say, but I can’t recommend this MINI.

Instead, opt for S. Sure it’s base price is $US3,600 more, but you will get a few more options and the extra power. Sure, nicely equipped pushes the $US30k barrier (and beyond from what I am reading), which is way beyond my budget. But that’s the price you pay for power.

Me? I’m sticking to an R56 or R55 Cooper. As soon as budget allows.

Comments are open. What are your thoughts on the Countryman Cooper?

(6) Comments|Posted in Op/Ed on 11/15/2010