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Like a mouse and a cactus.

Like a mouse and a cactus.

During the first two weeks of a long test, the 184-horsepower four-wheel drive five-door MINI managed not only to conquer with its catchy appearance and surprisingly reckless handling for a crossover, but also alerted a very rigid and shaky chassis. After spending a month with him, has my impression of the bright blue Countryman Cooper S changed? If only just a little.

I myself got used to the exhausting stiffness of the MINI Countryman Cooper S suspension (especially on the optional 18-inch wheels) over time, and even caught myself thinking that I was trying to justify the character of the British crossover from the position of an inveterate mini-drive. Well, yes – it shakes; Yes, the in-salon rearview mirror on the patches shudders so that the image in it becomes blurred, and the heart contracts from periodic blows in the suspension … Just think!

But how he rulitsya! And in general, all this is an integral part of the “Mini-Entourage”, for which thousands of people love the British brand in Russia.

Only in front of passengers every now and then it became awkward. “Oh, sorry for the shaking – I didn’t notice the crack.” “Oh, sorry for the abrupt maneuver – I went around the patch.” Etc.

I also wanted to apologize for the weak soundproofing of the Countryman. Inside, one can clearly hear the not very melodic hum of the engine, and the hum of tires, which, when driving onto freshly laid rough asphalt, clogs all other sounds in the cabin. And for not the most comfortable rear seats: the back with the seat of the rear sofa is hard and almost flat.

Legroom in the back, back to back, even with the sofa fully pushed back (it is adjustable in the longitudinal direction).

Rear seats for above-average adult passengers – back to back. The trunk is small, but there is "underground" for small things. The handle for closing the fifth door – who would doubt it! – also round.

As a result, as soon as at least one passenger appeared in the “Countryman”, the speed of movement dropped significantly – it’s a pity for the man! However, fuel consumption also decreased – from the established 12 liters to 10.5-11 liters for every hundred kilometers of run..

But driving the Mini in the Cooper S version slowly is the same as keeping a little puppy on a leash: it seems like you want to rush after the bird, but they don’t give it … freer, the small crossover is transformed. He gallops frantically over bumps and hatch covers, dancing with impatience at the joints and patches; growls loudly with its small but high-torque 1.6-liter turbo engine, reacts sensitively to steering turns and nimbles in sluggish metropolitan traffic with the agility of a wasp.

Beautiful 18-inch wheels are not the limit for the MINI Countryman! If desired, the buyer can order even 19-inch ones – for 120-130 thousand rubles, together with tires. True, I’m afraid this is "Mini" will be even tougher.

Not the most modern six-speed “automatic” Aisin, installed on the Countryman Cooper S, is good friends with the German-French engine jointly developed by BMW-PSA: it is fast and adequate in sports and does not annoy with excessive fussiness with uniform movement. For a complete driving buzz, the “Countryman” lacks only the same “transparent” and informative steering wheel as on ordinary hatchbacks “Mini” – the steering of the crossover seems overweight and unnaturally tight. Especially when the driver presses the Sport button on the center console, which makes the steering wheel even heavier and sharpens the throttle response..

was spent on fueling MINI Countryman Cooper S for a month of operation.

But what can I say – by the end of the month I was almost used to even the toy salon “Mini”!

Moreover, the driver is quite comfortable here: a plump steering wheel, comfortable seats, a high seating position and good visibility are what you need for the city. Another would be to make the side mirrors a little larger and choose better materials for finishing. And then for a car worth 1.7 million, the texture of most of the interior details is, um … bewilderment.

Rough “tarpaulin” on the central tunnel, echoing front panel – you will not find soft plastic here.

I almost never used the large speedometer in the center of the front panel – it’s inconvenient. It is much easier to follow the speed readings on a small screen located in a neat “saucer” of the tachometer.

I have not adapted only to the non-lockable paddle switches: unlike BMW cars, where the effort on the turn signal switch and the washer lever is selected with great care, on the “Mini” the force step between different positions is too great, which entails the inevitable errors. You will not squeeze, then you will squeeze …

The look of the MINI Countryman was created by the former chief designer of the brand Gert Hildebrand, who left the company in 2011 – it was he who created the entire style of the revived brand. "Mini", since 2001.

Not impressed by the advanced multimedia system installed on the test MINI Countryman. She never made friends with the iPhone until the end – when trying to use a smartphone to transfer data, the electronics demanded to contact the dealer to activate the corresponding function. And a special application for iOS, with the help of which the driver can communicate with his car – find out the fuel supply or monitor the statistics of trips – turned out to be, by and large, a useless toy.

Firstly, it works only when the phone is connected with a cord, and secondly, the ability to send template messages to Twitter (in English) with content like “It’s +26 heat outside, and I ride my Mini, or “I’m going to Red Square” is not the most exciting way to spend time, even in the most

dense traffic jam.

The multimedia complex can still broadcast the feed of friends from "Twitter" and Facebook, display calendar entries and even work with office mail, but all his skills are leveled by the low speed of the car-computer hardware. And web radio that downloads tracks over a cellular network sounds flat and uninteresting.

But if the high price tag of the MINI Countryman Cooper S is still not stopping you, nor its inherent rigidity and unpretentious interior, then let’s calculate how much it will cost to own this small crossover..

. or flip through your friends’ feed in "Twitter"

The MINI Countryman AWD transmission uses a GKN multi-plate clutch capable of fully "close" in 0.1 seconds. It is compact, lightweight and does not require maintenance during the entire life of the vehicle..

To begin with, it is worth recalling that the traditional MINI Countryman routine maintenance program for other brands does not exist: there is only a manufacturer’s recommended service interval from 15 to 25 thousand kilometers (depending on the engine type) or once a year, after which the oil changes in the car. , oil and cabin filters, as well as visual diagnostics of key components. This procedure costs 11-12 thousand rubles. Everything else is controlled by electronics – when visiting a dealer, mechanics read information about the state of the main systems of the car and report the need to replace, maintain or repair a particular unit.

So it will be difficult to predict the exact costs of the MINI owner in the first 2-3 years of ownership: it all depends on the luck and the nature of the car’s operation..

However, even unplanned expenses are unlikely to ruin the MINI owner: replacing candles on a turbocharged Cooper S, for example, costs about four thousand rubles together with work, and the timing belt does not ask for close attention on runs up to 100 thousand kilometers. All-wheel drive transmission and “automatic” do not require special maintenance during the entire service life, and brake pads “run”, on average, 30-40 thousand kilometers. Every two years, experts advise changing only the brake fluid (3-3.5 thousand rubles), and on a run of about 60 thousand kilometers (or after three years from the date of purchase), the dealer recommends a deeper diagnosis of the car, which will cost about 2500 rubles.

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