In life, looking good definitely helps. It associates you with success and attracts money. In the world of celebrity and sports stars, beauty is the one common thread. Unfortunately the success rate of relationships based on this beauty points to the fact that splendour without substance is pointless. Which brings me to the Mini Countryman – it has style, but there’s also an appreciable amount of functionality to add some substance, too.
Over the last couple of months the Mini Cooper S Countryman has had to endure the chores of daily commuting, the collection of building supplies, and the odd weekend away. With the help of Thule roof bars and a roof box, the carrying capacity has been greatly improved. Powertrain-wise the Mini is a delight to drive and still puts a smile on my face, especially when sport mode is selected. The sporty nature of the vehicle means that fuel consumption figure suffers as a result, but somehow the fun factor makes up for this deficiency.
On the snag list are the cup holders that no longer fit in their position on the sliding rail between the seats (the plastic clips broke off) and what was thought to be chrome beading strips on the exterior trim has turned out to be plastic strips with a chrome sticker that has begun to peel off.
Unfortunately, the Countryman’s windscreen had to be replaced after a loose rock, picked up by a vehicle on the N7, managed to chip the screen, accompanied by a sound resembling a gunshot. The replacement cost? A hefty R4 586.
In summary, I am looking forward to my last couple of months with the Mini and hope to take it on a long drive before bidding it farewell. Style and functionality can indeed co-exist.
Mileage on delivery: 470 km
Current mileage: 15 423 km
Fuel consumption to date: 10,74 L/100 km
We like: styling, handling, performance
We don’t like: small boot, limited fuel range
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