Photos: Mini Countryman newest crossover on the market, a fun drive

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX – It’s got the charm of the popular Mini Cooper, but it can go off road. The Mini Countryman is the newest crossover vehicle on the market and AAA Arizona’s Jim Prueter gave Javier Soto a look Monday morning.

The Mini Countryman is the first Mini with four doors and all-wheel drive.

Prueter, who is 6 feet 6 inches tall, said it’s a comfortable fit, both in the driver seat and the passenger seat.

“I call it the maxi Mini,” Prueter said. “Mini Coopers are small, but they decided they wanted to jump into the crossover SUV market. … It’s bigger. It’s the first four-door. You can get it in four-wheel drive. You can get it in two-wheel drive.”

Prueter said the Mini Countryman is a fun car to drive.

“This isn’t going to handle like the regular little Mini Cooper because it sits higher, but it does have more room and it does have that super-charged engine in it,” Prueter explained. “They’ve done some pretty nice things with it on the interior.”

The Mini Countryman feature four bucket seats, all of which slide back and forth. It also has a lift back. If you need more room in the back, the back seats do fold down.

With gas prices as high as they are, gas mileage is a big consideration for many people. The Mini Countryman will get about 30 miles to the gallon, which while not stellar for a small vehicle, is respectable.

“It’s not going to break the bank,” Prueter said.

The Mini Countryman starts at about $22,000. If you get every option available, you’ll pay about $40,000.

For more information on AAA Arizona, including recent auto reviews, visit www.aaa.com.