Special collaboration Nerd Auto - Sébastien Malo
When fun rhymes with driving
The "new" MINI Cooper has been on the road in Quebec for over 19 years. Initially offered only in a 3-door version, the convertible version came a couple of years later. And for those nostalgic of the British brand, let's not forget that the original version of the Mini has a rich history, both in rallying in the 60s, in movies and also on the TV screen.
This very nice-looking car can’t go unnoticed! It turns heads as it passes. The MINI is anything but ordinary and that is good.
I had the chance to drive a beautiful 2021 MINI Cooper Countryman S for a period of 4 months, that is to say nearly 8,000 km. It is important to note that no matter which Countryman you choose, you will benefit from the All-Wheel Drive system (also standard on the MINI Clubman). This will give you and your family peace of mind and security when you are on the move in snow storms or on bumpy roads. The ALL4 all-wheel drive system is ready to handle any road conditions.
Changes to the MINI for 2021
MINI fans will recognize the slight improvements to the MINI for the model year 2021. First of all, at the front, we notice a new bumper along with a new grille in addition to the new optical blocks and at the back, we appreciate the new design of the Union Jack lights which is very nice. By the way, MINI took the opportunity to change the choice of wheels offered.
The Mini I drove was equipped with the Premier package, which includes automatic tailgate opening, an easy-to-use navigation system and power front seats with memory and lumbar support.
Powertrain of the 2021 Cooper S Countryman
Under the hood of my test car is a 2.0-liter TwinPower 4-cylinder engine that produces 189 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of torque, all mated to a turbocharger. The 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission is smooth and precise. In sport mode, every shift is an extra smile on your host's face. This car is a pleasure to drive!
For those looking for even more performance, opt for the mythical John Cooper Works version with 301 horsepower. Pleasure guaranteed!
As mentioned above, the Mini Countryman is offered with a driving mode selection. You can switch between GREEN, MID and SPORT mode. GREEN Mode is more for fuel economy and smooth driving. For everyday use, MID is the way to go. In SPORT mode, the MINI reacts more spontaneously and is more in tune with the road. As for the exhaust system, it will leave a more groovy and deep sound.
Comfort of the Cooper S Countryman
Bold design and style have always been MINI's strong points, and this is no exception. The quality of the finish is impeccable. Once seated in the front, the focal point is obviously the instrument ring in the center of the dashboard, which houses an 8.8-inch touch screen. You quickly get used to the unconventional design of what is in front of you. What we notice at MINI is the attention to detail. For example, to adjust the temperature of the heating and air conditioning, the LED lighting strip around the screen will change color. At night, each door handle is illuminated, and a nice brand logo lights up the floor from the driver's mirror.
Let's go back to the interior. To start the vehicle, we refer to a red illuminated lever located at the bottom of the dashboard. It is impossible to miss. The seats offer excellent comfort and good support during sporty driving. After a few long trips of 400 to 500 km, I never felt any discomfort. By the way, these seats offer an adjustable seat length, a rarity in this segment.
As for the touch screen controls, such as the navigation system, the audio system as well as the various settings of the MINI, they can be easily adjusted thanks to the small adjustment wheel located between the front seats.
The My MINI configuration, which allows you to save different sets of settings for up to 3 driver profiles, is very interesting. Among these settings, the memory of the radio, navigation and lighting.
For the fanatics, we appreciate the reminder of the Union Jack flag at the bottom of the steering wheel. A nice touch. As for the audio system, it offers excellent sound quality. For true audiophiles, check out the Premier+ package, which offers a powerful Harman Kardon sound system.
The MINI's occupants will of course enjoy the sliding panoramic sunroof. In the back, you'll be able to charge your small devices, thanks to two USB-C plugs located between the two front seats.
Want to pull over to the electric side? No problem, MINI also offers a 100% electric version of the Cooper as well as a hybrid version of the MINI Countryman.
For those who are new to the world of MINI, the Cooper comes in several versions: