8. MINI Countryman

MINI Countryman
14 Jan, 2013 8:10pm

The idea of a MINI 4x4 was pretty controversial when the Countryman first appeared, but think of it as a four-wheel drive for the fashion conscious and it makes real sense. Nothing in the sector looks quite like the MINI Countryman and its retro-inspired styling and unique interior design make it one of a kind here. If you want to be different, look no further.

There’s more to the MINI than eye catching looks, though, because BMW, which owns the British brand, has company car drivers firmly in its sights. Its clever array of economy-boosting features ensures the ALL4 model is up there with the class leaders when it comes to efficiency. If you want to minimise your tax burden as a user-chooser, CO2 emissions start as low as 129g/km for the Cooper D.

Sporty Cooper SD and John Cooper Works models add to its appeal, but the firm ride compromises comfort and the Countryman’s eager chassis doesn’t deliver the same level of driver enjoyment as the firm’s hatchbacks models or, indeed, the likes of the Skoda Yeti or VW Tiguan.

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I have to say I'm extremely happy with my Countryman and it's 4WD system is a peach. The handling is superb though the slightly higher C of G and run flats take some getting used to.

I have the thirstiest model in the range (ignoring the JCW auto) I have the Cooper S All4 Auto and my current average is 32-33mpg and 40mpg on a good run which I think for what the car is, isn't too bad.

It's quite an ugly car.