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General questions on the Countryman
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Default General questions on the Countryman - 26th February 2018, 05:46 PM

Hello everyone,

I am currently a VW Golf GT 7 owner and am considering switching over to a Mini Countryman as I am looking for a compact SUV, after many years with the brand.

Yet to organise a test drive and have some questions I hope can be answered:-
  • Is the ride height sufficient enough to make entry and exit easier?
  • What is the road noise like on the motorway (based on 17" wheels, non-run flat option, if there is such an option)?
  • How comfortable is the ride?
  • If there is a variable damping option for the above, does it make a difference?
  • Any comments on build quality (paint, trim rattles etc.)
  • Like the Golf, is there an option for a long life service (aka 18,000 miles or 2 years, whichever is the soonest)?
  • Has anyone moved away from a Golf and can provide a comparison?
  • I understand there is a model revision coming. What are these changes and is it worth waiting for?

Thanks in advance.
  
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Default 26th February 2018, 06:55 PM

Welcome to tM. We were with VW for 12 years where my wife owned a series of Beetles and I owned Golfs (Mk 4 to 6). We decided to change over to the MINI brand after seeing poor build quality issues alongside appalling service from our local VW dealer.

Weíve been with the MINI brand for 7 years and never looked back. This is our third Countryman but the previous design (R60) but hoping to replace with the new design (F60) at the end of this year. Build excellent so far and even with the two seater MINI Roadster which we also own.

On your questions, no doubt other new F60 owners will share their experiences but for us:

- accessibility into the new F60 Countryman is very good, cabin/boot space bigger than the previous older model;
- all three of our Countrymans were/are on 18Ē runflats and road noise never bothered us. Reading reviews on the new F60 is better sound insulated with more comfort and you can opt for 17Ē non runflat tyres.
- there is a variable damper control option which is £450.
- MINI operate conditional servicing based on the miles you cover and the onboard computer will prompt you when the next service is due.
- the new design was released last year and there will be no changes in the pipeline for the next couple of years. For any reason, the new F60 Countryman doesnít tick your boxes also have a look at the BMW X2 to be launched in the next few weeks, it will similar in price but slightly larger.



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Default 26th February 2018, 07:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by icebun View Post
Hello everyone,

I am currently a VW Golf GT 7 owner and am considering switching over to a Mini Countryman as I am looking for a compact SUV, after many years with the brand.

Yet to organise a test drive and have some questions I hope can be answered:-
  • Is the ride height sufficient enough to make entry and exit easier?
  • What is the road noise like on the motorway (based on 17" wheels, non-run flat option, if there is such an option)?
  • How comfortable is the ride?
  • If there is a variable damping option for the above, does it make a difference?
  • Any comments on build quality (paint, trim rattles etc.)
  • Like the Golf, is there an option for a long life service (aka 18,000 miles or 2 years, whichever is the soonest)?
  • Has anyone moved away from a Golf and can provide a comparison?
  • I understand there is a model revision coming. What are these changes and is it worth waiting for?

Thanks in advance.
Hi, just awaiting delivery of my CM PHEV and the better half currently drives a Mk 7 GT Edition, which I have driven numerous times.

The CM is firmer than the comfort-biased Golf (I test drove a SEAT Ateca and was surprised at how much firmer it was than the Golf), but it is not harsh and I think it is better controlled than the previous gen CM where I found the ride very firm.

The build quality of our GT is very good and comparable to my BMW 118d; impressions of my test drive on the CM were that it is of very high quality and like all BMWs, seems like it will last for years - my BMW is now 4 years old and the interior still looks like new (45k).

Servicing is condition-based but should be 16-18k between services if my BMW is anything to go by, depending on driving style / annual mileage etc.

The higher ride height makes it naturally easier to get in and out of, especially compared to the BMW, which sits quite a bit lower than the Golf (my back will thank me when I swap to the CM next week!).

Road noise seems well suppressed, although I only drove the CM on a fast dual carriageway and around town.

It is easy to get carried away with the packs, but that depends on what you need / want and how deep your pockets go! Compared to the Golf, you might find it a little sparse which is why I specced the Chili and Tech packs, and anyway, I love beans on toast!

The boot is bigger and due to the SUV design, it is roomier in the back also versus the Golf.

And yes, this is the latest version, so hopefully there wonít be any major updates for another couple of years.


F60 Countryman PHEV, Island Blue, Black Roof / Mirror Caps, JCW Chili / Tech, Sun Protection Glass, Folding Mirrors
  
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Default 26th February 2018, 08:21 PM

Hi,

New F60 owner here.

The ride height is excellent for getting in & out easily.

The variable damper option is pretty pointless on the CM as it doesn't make anywhere near the difference that it does on the hatch (or any of the smaller models). It makes a huge difference to them but the CM has a ride and stance more suited to comfort rather than go cart.

The ride is massively improved over the R60. I am THE largest detractor of runflat tyres in West Sussex.... (well I may not be but you get my point) and the first thing I did on the R60 was ditch the runflat tyres. What an amazing difference it made. I have 19" runflats on the new F60 and it is even better than the previous car on the non runflats. I literally couldn't believe it when I got out and checked the tyres on the demo vehicle. I fully expected them to be non runflat. On 19's too! Literally shocking improvement.

You will have no issues on any tyre on 17's. So don't run away from runflats, yes they are noisier but there is no trade off in ride like there was on the R60.... I would still have normal rubber out of choice but my wife drives it daily and she loves the peace of mind they give for her late night commutes.

I nearly bought the PHEV but the range is only 16 miles on full electric so opted for the S. If the next generation of PHEV will have circa 200 mile range I will get one as they are a mightily impressive thing to drive.

I would get a test drive in one as close to your probable choice as possible..... I think you'll be impressed coming from a Golf.



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Default 26th February 2018, 09:33 PM

Greetings,hight for getting in and out is good,even on JCW,there is loads of room,totally different beast to r60,vdc turns it into a go cart,is current 2018 model as well,didn't want run flats was told could only have it with,it came without them,lot better car than 3door,best car we have had since 2 rs turbo escorts

Last edited by yorkie; 27th February 2018 at 07:48 AM.
  
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Default 27th February 2018, 04:41 PM

We have had a copper 1.5 turbo petrol for a few months and so far it's great .
We have 17 s none run flats and it drives fine but had the same model with run flats for a week and it was harder but soon got use to it . The hight it good for access but the sports seats don't help in the front . We have the spare wheel and it fits in the boot under the lift up floor . The build quality is very good but never had a golf so cannot help with that one .you can get a 2 day test drive so give one a go . We were going to go for the S model but the 1.5 is so good we didn't bother and better on fuel. If you are going for a manual have a good test with the clutch pedal as they are close together and could do with moving over to the left but we have got use to it . Go for the auto dip rear view mirror as the standard mirror is hard to turn ( not a good design)
You should be able to get 12% discount or more and I think the service intervals are 2 years.
Make sure you get the LED headlight as they as fantastic and the 60 L fuel tank is only £50 . We have the heated screen and I think it's only £125
  
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Default 3rd March 2018, 08:34 PM

I am very grateful for all the responses, especially those coming from a VW Golf background.

Must admit, on my Golf I have the Dynamic Chassis Control (adjustable dampers) and I still find the suspension quite hard on the softest setting so I might even consider opting for the 16 inch wheels.

For sure, the Chilli pack looks to be great value for money (even though they include 17 inch wheels).

Good to hear build quality is good and road noise does not seem to be an issue. I do a lot of motorway driving so the more serene at this speed the better.

On my Golf I have the Dual Clutch automatic (DSG). For those that have the automatic on their Countryman, is the gear change quite smooth in operation?
  
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Default 3rd March 2018, 10:45 PM

Hi Icebun, yes, it is smooth. As you will know, the Golf’s DSG is one of the best dual clutch set-ups around; I can only go by the test drive to date but from reading reviews leading up to ordering the MINI PHEV, the gearbox was noted as being smooth and responsive, and I thought the same.

Only time will tell if it is as good as the Golf’s DSG, but when you get to test drive one, you will be able to make the comparison and hopefully it will suit your needs.

I will have 18’’ wheels on my car with the run flats but as I have run two BMWs with 17’’ wheels and run flats over the last six years, I am quite used to them (and the rubber lasts for around 25k on the rear and about 28k on the front - much better than the 18k on the Golf’s fronts) but I actually found the PHEV’s ride more compliant than my 1 Series and I would have thought the 17’’ standard rims on the MINI would be slightly better still.

It sounds like a 48-hour test drive would really help you make your mind up on whether the MINI is for you - happy hunting!


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Default 6th March 2018, 02:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by icebun View Post
I am very grateful for all the responses, especially those coming from a VW Golf background.

Must admit, on my Golf I have the Dynamic Chassis Control (adjustable dampers) and I still find the suspension quite hard on the softest setting so I might even consider opting for the 16 inch wheels.

For sure, the Chilli pack looks to be great value for money (even though they include 17 inch wheels).

Good to hear build quality is good and road noise does not seem to be an issue. I do a lot of motorway driving so the more serene at this speed the better.

On my Golf I have the Dual Clutch automatic (DSG). For those that have the automatic on their Countryman, is the gear change quite smooth in operation?
Mini Sports Auto beats the cr@p out of the VW DSG system IMO (I've owned a few GTIs). I even drove a friends 2009 911 Turbo PDK at the weekend and found the gearbox in that a tad slower (and that car was an animal!).

It's a super fast and incredibly smooth setup. Very similar to the ZF gearbox found in the BMWs. In fact, i'm not sure if MINI have switched from the Aisin 8spd to the ZF now anyway, both of which are sublime to use.

I have a Countryman JCW.
  
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Default 7th March 2018, 06:01 PM

agree with the above totally.

My golf gt tdi was woeful! The DSG was terrible!! Yes it was lovely and fast on the move but the pulling away was a huge problem as the delay was dangerous, also reversing up hill was impossible without heel and toe.....

I'm sure its improved now but it was terrible.

The 8 speed auto in the S is Aisin I believe and you couldn't want a better gearbox. The ZF boxes i've had with BMW are so similar I thought this box was a a ZF but I understand its Aisin.


Either beats the DSG hands down.


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F60 Cooper S All4 auto. Thunder grey with a lot of gloss black and very little chrome. Chilli, Media, Tech, XL, LEDís, pano roof, black 19ís, black leather, black stripes, black roof, black rails (I like black)....pretty much all options ticked - already regret the ones that are missing.
  
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