By MPHO HLAPISI
For those with penchant for Mini Coopers brand, this is the 4th generation having unleashed the classic two-door Mini Hatch, Mini Clubman and MINI Convertible.
The latest Mini Cooper S Countryman Getaway has been described as ‘a mover and shaker’ by motoring reporters who got the glimpse of this cute model during its unveiling recently.
Having being privileged to test drive this latest ‘body-swagger’ and feel the gears and its take-offs, we headed-off to the graveled and untarred roads of North West, passing the unspoilt mountains and secluded farms gave me enough time to enjoy the ride.
Indeed this is a getaway vehicle!
S Countryman is 4metres long, has 4 separate seats, 4 wheel drive and 4 doors. It has a long-distance comfort of four individual seats which can fill up the fifth person.
As it peacefully waded and beat the rugged corners one could tell this latest Mini Cooper has improved its features from the original ones, as it has become customary for car manufactures to do that.
The latest fitted features such as multifunction buttons on the steering wheel to operate the telephone (optional) and audio functions, and to activate and deactivate the cruise control system is one of the finer points.
Beautifully decorated seats, air-conditioner and digital speedometer called coined Centre-Speedometer brings the best out of the car.
MINI Countryman includes high-quality audio and navigation systems as well as mobile phone interfaces with full integration capability for the Apple iPhone or other smartphones, and the inclusion of Twitter and Facebook this will be to woo the young and hip market.
Customers can also enjoy the large panoramic sunroof. The angle of the backrests can be adjusted and the backrests can be folded down either individually or in a split (three-seat bench), which allows luggage capacity to be increased from 350 litres to a maximum 1,170 litres in the boot. It is a power-steering with a sporty function that makes your steering a bit stiff when pressed.
It is a six speed gearbox with an Aeroplane-like handbrake, four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group’s Valvetronic technology, a 1.6L engine which has the Acceleration of: 0-100 km/h: 7.6 seconds, with the Average fuel consumption of: 6.1 litres/100 km.
As we accelerated from one point to the other in company of fellow colleague, the Countryman stood its test of time, no wonder it felt like “go-kart”.
Another element it comes with adaptive xenon headlights lights something which bodes well for it.
It comes with only 11 colours (five non-metallic and six metallic paint finishes) and six different Alloy-wheels (magrims).
The Countryman also features runflat technology which comes with 225/45 R18 tyres – these tyres are available as an option for all other models. All Mini Countryman variants are fitted with the Tyre Defect Indicator.
Depending on your taste, it can also be ordered with Park Distance Control, which makes reversing manoeuvres much easier. In a gravel road, in case you bump into a big-stone with one wheel, it tilts and adjusts back to the normal position that you require.
The MINI Cooper Countryman prices ranges from the standard of 6-speed Manual at R287 500 to the MINI Cooper S ALL4 6-speed Automatic for R409 100.
People can begin to purchase or order the MINI Countryman now.