MINI COUNTRYMAN COOPER D STEPTRONIC
A sensible Mini … what are the odds?
A9,41 sec 110 kw/330 N.m 208 km/h LTHOUGH purists have bemoaned the fact that the new Countryman’s larger dimensions have quite literally stretched Mini’s previously pint-sized approach to its very seams, the CAR team was still very much taken with the mid-table S model that we tested in our July 2017 issue.
We were also of the opinion that, while the Countryman’s added practicality has succeeded in netting customers otherwise headed towards more conservative options, surely those looking for a diesel engine were slipping through Mini’s ngers. It makes sense, then, that the most pragmatically packaged Mini has also become the rst local recipient of one the marque’s sensible engines. But has maturity blunted the fun factor that’s the backbone of Mini’s cars?
Aesthetically, the answer is no, as it’s basically some “D” badging that differentiates this model from its peers. Otherwise, the chunky exterior and fun – if somewhat fussily detailed – interior does nothing to hint at the deceptively close mechanical relationship between this car and the grown-up BMW X1. While there’s a good deal of overlap between their underpinnings (they share the same platform and suspension setup), in many respects they feel worlds apart.
We were pleasantly surprised by just how supple and absorbent the ride quality was of the 19-inch-rimmed S we tested (better than any X1 we’ve assessed), and this Cooper D continues that trend. Shod with even plumper 50-pro le tyres on 18-inch rims, it served to