Davenport Run - Saturday July 13, 2024

Join the Norcal Minis club for an epic drive from San Jose through the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains! Enjoy stunning vistas and wine tasting a...

Car And Driver Updates Its 2011 Countryman Long Term Test

Car and Driver updates its review of the 2011 MCS Countryman All4 at 27,454 miles and 11 months. While they seem to like the vehicle, they have several complaints:
But, while winter has provided us with the opportunity to enjoy the Mini’s four driven wheels, plenty of complaints are emerging. In addition to the squeaks and rattles we mentioned in our previous update—a frequent criticism for this Countryman and every other Mini we’ve put through a long-term test—logbook entries frequently bash the ergonomics. Few buttons or switches are where you might find them in any other vehicle. Put something in one of the cup holders, and it blocks the window switches at the bottom of the center stack. The iPod/iPhone cable is located in the Mini’s center-rail storage system, but there’s nowhere within the standard cable’s meager length to securely stow a device. A holder is one of several accessories we have for the rail, but when it’s installed, it doesn’t allow the armrest to fully lower. And setting airplane-throttle-style parking brake handle causes your hand to bang into the armrest when the latter is fully down. Then again, appearance and, er, “unique” ergonomics are part of the Mini ownership experience. As one staffer mentioned, many of these complaints are “things that a regular Mini driver knows going in.” It doesn’t, however, make them any less annoying.

While driving in northern Michigan, one staffer got a message in the IP warning him of low oil pressure and ordering him to shut off the engine immediately or risk “catastrophic engine damage.” As he prepared to pull over, the warning disappeared. He did a quick systems check through the Mini Connected onboard computer, which reported no issues. To be safe, he checked the oil level and found it fine. The rest of his trip continued in (uneasy) peace. After another staffer experienced the same problem a little while later, we took the car to the dealer, where technicians found a leaking timing-chain tensioner and replaced a sealing ring. During that visit, a rear brake-pad sensor also was replaced, quieting the car’s intermittent (and premature) requests for new pads. Both repairs were covered under warranty.