Well, 26,000 miles now......
Now approached two years of ownership with our Countryman after being a ‘two car’ family giving our loyalty to Volkswagen for the past 12 years (owned a series of Polos, Golfs and Beetles). We jumped ship to the MINI brand in 2011 after seeing the Countryman, we always bought brand new before but being faced with receiving a £6k discount on this dealer demo 2011 Countryman Cooper D 2WD it was a no brainer going for this compared to a brand new model.
- crystal silver metallic;
- chilli pack;
- vision pack;
- 18” turbo fan alloys;
- panaromic sunroof;
- rear spoiler;
- anthracite roof lining;
- flat load boot;
- piano black interior trim;
- chrome line interior;
- full usb and Bluetooth with armrest;
- sports button; and
- on mods, an addition of a sports aerial as the ‘bee sting’ aerial which came with the car kept on clipping the garage door.
Build quality – very impressed. It’s a solid car with no rattles or squeaks but there is an issue with the rear sunroof blind, explained below.
Paint quality – really pleased it doesn’t suffer badly from stone chips compared to our previous VWs.
Tyres – rides on 18” 225/45 Goodyear Efficient Grip 91V RF tyres, the fronts were replaced at 22k miles. For our circumstances, we prefer run flats and these tyres lasted better the Continental and Bridgestone tyres on our VWs with both these brands being replaced at 17k miles. We also never had any issues during wet or snow conditions. We have also taken out MINI tyre insurance to give us piece of mind.
Oil consumption – hardly consumes any oil unlike our VW diesel models which consumed a lot and at £18 per litre of oil it didn’t help with maintaining low running costs.
Fuel consumption – during the cold months it hovered around 50mpg but in the summer provides between 52 to 58mpg. With the recent warm weather it returned up to 56mpg on our 40 miles commute (see first photograph above). After purchase, quickly found that to receive accurate fuel readings you have to reset the onboard computer before the start of each journey. If you don’t it gives silly mpg readings. Measured the consumption manually using the brim to brim technique and it is very similar to the onboard computer readings when reset. The consumption isn’t better than our previous VWs but with the Countryman being designed like a ‘brick’ and with a smaller fuel tank we were expecting that.
Road Tax and insurance – very cheap! £30 for full year road tax and £126 per year on insurance.
Alloys - VWs began to show corrosion after two years but these are so far perfect.
Dust Particle Filter – unlike VWs we never have any issues with this at all. We are faced with a 40 miles commute on a dual carriageway and it has only regenerated twice during our ownership.
Recalls – the entire fuel lines have been replaced.
Not so good bits (but I wouldn't say bad)
Panaromic sunroof - the rear blind rattles (caused by air turbulence) when the sunroof is in a tilt or slide position or the front windows are open. Read on quite a few forums that it is a common fault on all MINI models due to the design. Very reluctant to ask the dealer to sort out as they need to strip the ceiling: we had a similar issue with sunroofs in our VWs which were notorious for leaks, each time they stripped the ceiling this created all sorts of rattles.
Reading lights – have a mind of their own by switching on by themselves, need to sort this out at the next service. No big issue
Rust – surface rust appeared on the water pump, dealer said nothing to worry about. Last year, noticed the nut holding the rear wiper had rusted, mentioned this to the dealer and replaced during the first service but it’s rusted again.
Front brakes – both the front brakes and discs were replaced at 25k miles. A huge disappointment at the time but after reading other Countryman owners faced with similar replacements (especially, reviews from the US) I can only put it down to our car being driven hard during its demo days. The new front and the existing rear pads now shows over 30k miles before the replacement is due so hoping we don’t have to incur any more costs on these before we change the Countryman in 2015.
Overall, we’re pleased we made the move and will only replace it (even though some dealers are persuading us to change now due to the low 4.9% APR dealers available on the Countrymans) when the finance ends in 2015 in the hope the next generation Countryman is available at that time.