Archive for category MINI

2011 MINI Cooper Countryman

When it was launched the MINI Cooper was the smallest car available in the U.S. It achieved popularity within short period of time despite not being the fastest or most practical car but for being different. In 2011 MINI introduced the Countryman, the first 4-door vehicle from MINI. Compared with the Cooper, the MINI Countryman is much bigger in size, it offers more rear cargo space, more room for passengers.

The 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman is offered in three models: base, S and S ALL4. Standard equipment include tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD stereo, auxiliary input jack, trip computer, cooled glove box and 17-inch alloy wheels. The S model adds sport seats and fog lights. There are numbers of other individual optional features available.

Standard safety features include dual front airbags, curtain side airbags, traction control, tire-pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, front side airbags and electronic stability control.

The Countryman is offered with two upgraded versions of the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine found in the current MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper Clubman. The base model produces 121 horsepower and 118lb-ft of torque having fuel economy of 27mpg in the city and 32mpg on the highway. The Countryman S gets a turbocharged version of the 1.6 that produces 181 horsepower and 188lb-ft of torque achieving 26mpg in the city and 32mpg on the highway. The top of the line S ALL4 gets the same engine but fuel economy goes down to 25mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway. The S ALL4 model gets MINI’s first all-wheel-drive system.

Category › Car Reviews

Title › 2011 MINI Countryman

Though 2011 MINI Countryman larger than other MINIs, but seats only four because of the two rear bucket seats. The materials used on the dashboard are appropriate for the price. The seats are supportive, and front passengers have plenty of headroom and legroom. There is plenty of room for two adults in back, even behind two larger adults up front. The MINI Countryman offers more driver and passengers storage options, and is offered in two configurations: a one-piece unit that runs the full length of the two seating rows, and a two-piece version with shorter rails front and rear.

There is a decent 18 cubic feet of space in the cargo area. The rear bucket seats do folds down but do not fold flat. With the seats folded the cargo space increases up-to 40 cubic feet.

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2010 MINI Clubman

Like its counterparts at MINI, the Clubman is offered in the now-familiar Cooper and Cooper S trims.

2010 mini clubman 2010 mini clubman

2010 mini clubman

The primary difference between the two is that the former is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, while the S gets a turbocharged version. The most fundamental difference between the Clubman and other MINI models is a 9.45-inch gain in overall body length, on a wheelbase stretched 3.15 inches. The increase creates a substantial improvement in rear legroom, while the longer body and near-square shape in the back yield a larger cargo bay.

The Cooper S engine produces 172 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The standard Overboost mode pushes the torque peak to 192 lb-ft briefly under full acceleration. Short-shifting made city driving much more pleasant.


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The Cooper Clubman produces 118 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm. The milder Cooper also does better at the pump, with EPA city/hwy ratings of 28/37 mpg, while the Cooper S nets 26/34 mpg. Both engines require premium fuel. The manual box is quick, slick and precise, aided by a light clutch pedal with nicely progressive engagement.

The bucket seats in the Cooper are almost a match in overall support for the sport seats in the Cooper S.

Category › Car Reviews

Title › 2010 MINI Clubman

Dashboard design is stylish, with its gigantic, center-mounted speedometer and myriad toggle switches. Controls for the audio and cruise control, mounted on a nicely shaped and textured sport steering wheel, are superbly effective on both models.

Clubman models provides much better legroom, the rear seats are easier to access. When you need more space, you can flip down both seatbacks. Clubman models provide equal lateral crash resistance on both sides of the car. The Clubman shares the usual complement of airbags – two frontal, two mounted on the sides of the front seats and a pair of curtain airbags that extend farther back than in hatchback models.

2010 mini clubman

2010 mini clubman

The new MINI is all about perfectly unique styling, unmistakable driving fun and slick design. Solid and safe for such small cars, the new Clubman versions definitely have their place in the MINI line. The rear seat is much more useful and the additional cargo volume will come in handy.

2010 mini clubman

2010 mini clubman

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2010 MINI Cooper

It may be hard to tell, but BMW’s highly acclaimed remake of the MINI Cooper is now in its second

2010 mini cooper 2010 mini cooper

2010 mini cooper

generation, and the convertible version is finally here as well. The roofless version of the nimble compact was a smash hit in its last generation, having sold 164,000 units worldwide. Now based on the slightly sleeker body and stiffer chassis


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of the latest MINI Cooper, the new convertible is aiming to be just as successful.

Model Lineup

Like every Cooper since its reintroduction in 2001, the new convertible is available in two primary trim levels: the basic Cooper Convertible and the more powerful Cooper S Convertible. Although both have taut suspension and a good chassis, the Cooper S is far and away the performer, thanks to its punchy turbocharged engine. Aside from proprietary badging, the Cooper S can easily be recognized from its hood scoop and center-exit exhaust pipes.

Both convertible trims offer plenty of features, with many former options now standard equipment. They are available with dozens of additional options, accessories and packages, including a navigation system and a $1,500 Sport Package

Category › Car Reviews

Title › 2010 MINI Cooper

consisting of a traction-control system, 17-inch wheels, hood stripes, fog lights and sport seats, but not the “Sport Suspension” option, oddly enough.

Under the Hood

The engine in the 2009 Cooper Convertible is the same unit found in the solid-roofed Cooper: a 1.6-liter four cylinder capable of 118 horsepower at 6000 rpm, with 114 lb-ft of torque at 4250 rpm. While the convertible does add weight, the engine is still sufficient to get around town and enjoy the breeze. For those looking for a bit more kick, the Cooper S Convertible offers the same turbocharged engine found in the Cooper S. With direct injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger, this one produces 172 horses at 5500 rpm, and 177 lb-ft of torque in a flat plateau starting at just 1600 rpm and lasting until 5000 rpm. Additionally, there is a momentary “overboost” function that increases torque by 15 lb-ft from 1700 to 4500 rpm.

Both trims are offered with either the new 6-speed paddle-shift automatic or a traditional manual transmission, also with six gears. Most would agree that a car like this is best enjoyed with a traditional clutch and shifter, though as automatics go, this one offers crisp shifts and gear ratios that make the most of the available torque.

Inner Space

The easy-to-read tachometer is still a plus, and hints at the car’s sporty personality. The large, center-mounted speedometer flies in the face of BMW’s typical “eyes up” driver theme, but there’s a digital readout in the tachometer. One of the most interesting features of the new car is the “Openometer,” a gauge to the left of the tachometer, designed solely to log the hours spent driving with the top down. Sure, it’s technically a gimmick, but it’s bound to be fun for owners, and is the kind of purely playful idea that only MINI would have the guts to realize.

2010 mini cooper review

2010 mini cooper

The four seats are comfortable and supportive, and even the base black/gray leatherette feels surprisingly nice to the touch. Carbon Black cloth is an option, and leather is available in different colors. Additional color accent and trim options are available as well. Like the exterior, there is no shortage of interior color combinations from which to choose.

On the Road

For a front-wheel-drive compact car, we found the MINI Cooper S Convertible hard to beat for sheer fun. While it’s possible to feel the weight increase from the additional chassis reinforcements and bracing, the MINI convertibles don’t suffer like most cars originally designed with a roof do that’s now lopped off. MINI says that the suspension is tuned specifically for the convertible, but the nimble handling owes itself to simple physics — the cars are diminutive.

2010 mini cooper

2010 mini cooper

Turn-in is quick and responsive, and there’s ample grip from the 195-width tires. A little more weight and feedback in the steering wheel would be welcome during hard cornering, though, and experienced drivers seeking to push the MINI to its limits may wish to keep the stability control (DSC) turned off, since its intervention can be a nuisance. The brake pedal communicates nicely, and the brakes themselves offer sufficient stopping power and feature a plethora of electronic aids including ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Cornering Brake Control.

MINI claims a zero to 60 mph time of 8.9 seconds for the manual-transmission Cooper Convertible, and 7 seconds flat for the S. In driving both the Cooper and the Cooper S, we’re left wondering if the ideal engine would be somewhere between the two. The regular Cooper Convertible just isn’t powerful enough to have any real fun, while the Cooper S Convertible is plenty fast, with instant turbo boost almost always on tap.

James Tate

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