The Amusing Countryman…

Ezra Dyer wrote an amusing review of the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman that still has me smiling days after I read it.

His remarks are hilarious.  Here are a few examples:

  • Description of the the Countryman’s interior “it looks like something that other companies may cook up for a concept car but then abandon on the way to the showroom.”
  • The parking brake handle “resembles an aircraft throttle, and a center rail that bisects the interior allows for clip-in attachments like cup holders, armrests and a litter bag. (Future accessories I’d like to see include a harmonica holder, an attachment for Travel Battleship and some sort of portable saltwater aquarium.)

I’m not making this up.  Read the review for yourself!

  • Describing the weight of the Countryman, which adds 600 pounds to a Mini Cooper S, he said it was” akin to a 150-pound person ballooning up to 180,” you’re going to notice a change like that.”
  • The extra weight’s impact on its speed was significant with the Countryman S All4’s quarter-mile time was exactly the same as that of the Toyota Sienna SE minivan: 15.7 seconds.

“I don’t expect a Mini to excel at drag racing, but it would be nice if it could outrun a Cheerios-encrusted day care on wheels.”

Seriously there were tears in my eyes when I got to this point.

Here’s one more!

  • Regarding using the all-wheel drive for light off-loading (recommendation from the Mini website, he remarked, “seems as likely as using it as a pushback tractor at LaGuardia.”

I’m liking Mr. Dyer a lot and will put him on my must-read list.


Virtual Countryman: There’s an App for that:

In a related story, Marketing Daily has reported the Mini division of BMW has launched a mobile app (Virtual Mini) via AOR Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, and Helios. The iPhone app lets users take pictures that superimpose Mini Countryman vehicles over whatever they have in the frame.

The app is available via a QR code included in a print ad in the March issue of Wired, and will through the iTunes Store, Facebook and at

Humm… Anyone heading for LaGuardia?


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  1. I concur that Ezra Dyer is one of the best of the current crop of auto mag writers in the universe, and that his opinions are generally spot-on, with a flourish of humor that I find well articulated.

    That said, I just ordered one of these amusing, not-so-little MINIs. An ALL4 in Royal Grey with black roof and mirrors, premium package, sport package, anthracite interior, anthracite wheels, etc. I’m in for mid-30’s, but it is, as the kiddies say, one sick ride. Finally, a MINI that us folks that live well above the snow level can drive on a regular basis. A 2WD MINI was about as practical as the Boxster S that I loved and lost by living at altitude, but both are about as practical up here as, say, that pushback tractor when the precipitation freezes with fair regularity. The BMW X1 doesn’t have the style (plus it reeks of “I had to stretch to get into a BMW, but I’M HERE!!!) and the Nissan Juke doesn’t offer a manual transmission, whereas I am blessed with the Getrag 6-speed in the MINI. There simply isn’t anything else relevant in the AWD, manual, fuel efficient and reasonably sporting realm at the price, with the style that MINI offers. And since wifey won’t agree to the Gallardo LP570-4 despite my best efforts, we takes what we can gets.

    Is this an LA car? Absolutely not. Scottsdale? They’ll all laugh at you! But far more practical in, say, Mr. Dyer’s home state of Maine, or my own little spot in the Oregon mountains, than anything wearing the badge prior.

    Who the heck quarter miles either a Sienna or a MINI anyway? That’s not what either is about. If I may be so bold as to suggest it; Mr. Dyer should spend more time with the Lysol Pontiac if the quarter mile is, in fact, where his interests lie (if you’ve missed the allusion, and I must hold your hand through this, google “Ezra Dyer Lysol Pontiac”). I was with him in spirit when he rallied the Subaru through his parents’ property in NH (I’m a former WRX owner as well) but on this one, he’s off target entirely.


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