Eric's Autos: Reviewing the 2018 Mini Countryman
At the Curb
The Countryman has four full-sized doors and nearly 8 inches more back-seat legroom than the regular Mini hatchback (37.6 inches versus 30.8 inches). It also has more than twice the cargo capacity behind its back seats (17.6 cubic feet versus 8.7 cubic feet).
The cozy, retro-themed cabin features classic '60s Mini styling flourishes, such as the chrome toggle switches for various functions, and a speedometer and tachometer that look like aftermarket gauges bolted to the steering column with radiator hose clamps. But they're not cheesy-looking.
The large central touch screen mimics the design of '60s Mini's, too, though they did not have LCD touch screens back then, of course.
All trims except the hybrid get a full-length panorama sunroof, run-flat tires and a heated windshield wiper system that will make you say, "Oh, behave!" come winter.
If you buy the optional ALL4 system, you also get three-stage heated seats.
The Bottom Line
Getting bigger without getting gawky isn't easy -- ask a Hollywood child star. But this Mini manages it!
Eric's new book, "Don't Get Taken for a Ride!" will be available soon. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate, Inc.