The reborn Mini brand made its debut in 2002 with the two-door Mini Cooper hardtop. A two-door convertible followed in 2004 and the Clubman arrived in 2008, sporting a passenger-side second-row access door. Now the Countryman is set to hit U.S. streets in early 2011 with two full-size rear doors, a slightly elevated “semi-command” seating position, and available all-wheel drive. Bigger and more useful than other Minis, the Countryman could appeal to more consumers. But will making it bigger take away from the “go-kart” handling that has made Mini so successful? Is bigger too big? Let’s examine the Countryman and see if Mini got it right by going bigger.
Photos courtesy of MINI.