Avenue of the Giants Weekend Run - Sat. March 23, 2024

Saturday will be a very full day of cruising from Novato up through the Avenue of the Giants and ending at Eel River Brewing in Fortuna. Sun...

Business Standard Motoring Drives The MINI Countryman S

Aneesh Shivanekar writes for India's Business Standard Motoring about his first drive in the MINI Countryman S. His take:
It does a reasonably good job on dirt/country roads and is quite a lot of fun on the loose stuff, but the ride is on the stiffer side and you do feel the aberrations coming through, more so on the Cooper S version. It’s no dirt basher, mind you – ground clearance is good, though not excellent, as it’s got 150mm of clearance, 30mm down on the similarly positioned but way cheaper Skoda Yeti.
But here’s the bummer – because it’s a CBU (Completely Built Unit) import, our government would rather than you pay nearly twice of the car’s value abroad, coughing up incredible sums of money for taxes and duties. Which means that this Mini Cooper S Countryman exchanges hands at nearly Rs 31.99 lakhs, ex-showroom, Delhi. Truth be told, at this price, the plot is lost. Sure, for well-loaded families who truly value the Mini brand and want a four-seat runabout, it would work for them. We know it’s not a car that deserves to be judged purely objectively, but hey, when there are incredibly capable cars available at that price point and more practical alternatives that are much cheaper, if a bit less luxurious, it’s hard not to question the hefty premium.