Why I Said Yes to a Mini Cooper Countryman

Sarah wanted a sensible car, but her heart chose the Mini Cooper Countryman instead. Here's why the bold decision was a great choice for this pragmatic buyer.

Mr Friend Sarah With Her Mini Cooper Countryman. Photo: Cindy Stagg
Mr friend Sarah with her Mini Cooper Countryman. Photo: Cindy Stagg

Sense and Sensibility: Why Buy a Mini Cooper Countryman?

Mini. That name alone is synonymous with fun, which is exactly how I would describe my friend, Sarah. She’s also cute, so the Mini Cooper Countryman is the perfect car for her. Sarah is an avid bookworm who has a deep love for Jane Austen novels. She has never steered me wrong regarding book recommendations, so I was happy to offer a few suggestions when she came to me for a car recommendation.

Sarah never considered herself a “car person.” She needed a new car but didn’t really know what she wanted or required. She’s in that phase of life where her four kids are older and starting to leave home, so she knew she didn’t need another minivan. She actually came to me about a year ago when she was starting to look. She was considering a compact SUV like the Toyota RAV4 or the Honda CR-V. She also kept using the word “sensible” to describe what she was looking for, which is why going the Honda/Toyota route made, well, sense. I had mentioned to her that she might want to consider looking at the, perhaps less sensible, Mini Cooper Countryman.

Related: Why is the Mini Cooper a Perfect Fit for the City?

The Ignition Switch In The Mini Cooper Countryman Has An Aviation Instrument Look. Photo: Cindy Stagg

The ignition switch in the Mini Cooper Countryman has an aviation instrument look. Photo: Cindy Stagg

The Mini Cooper Countryman Quest Begins

Sarah and her husband went to the Utah Auto Expo to get a feel for what she might be looking for. That led them to the famous section of State Street in Murray, UT, known as Auto Row, where you can find a dealership for pretty much any make or model of automobile. This was during that post-Covid phase when everything was in short supply. The Honda dealership didn’t have anything for her to test drive. But the Toyota dealership had a RAV4, which she did test and very much liked. She was told she would have to order one. So she started thinking, Yes, this is it. It’s practical and sensible.

But like I said, they were on Auto Row, and just down the street was a Mini dealership. Sarah says that just walking into the store made her feel happy. It had a completely different vibe from the other places she had visited that day. The salesman was a passionate Mini enthusiast who happened to own five of them himself. He had one Countryman on the lot for her to drive, and she said the minute she got in, it felt different – from the way it looked down to the way you start it. She took it on the freeway and said, “I could not wipe the smile from my face. It was different, fun, zippy, and full of great features.”

My Friend Loves The Beautiful Quilted Leather Seats In The Mini Cooper Countryman. Photo: Cindy Stagg

My friend loves the quilted leather seats and trim in the Mini Cooper Countryman. Photo: Cindy Stagg

Enchantment Leads to Action

The next thing you know, Sarah threw all sensibility out the window and placed an order. That’s how she became the proud owner of a very cute, very fun sage green Mini Cooper Countryman. The interior has beautiful, camel-colored leather seats with quilted stitching and white contrast piping. She especially loves the puddle lamps that illuminate the ground with the Mini insignia. It’s this attention to detail that really sold her on the car.

I asked her if there was anything she wished was different about it. Having owned it for about three months now, she said that it’s so full of tech and gadgetry she really needs to take the time to read the owner’s manual, which I find ironic coming from such a bookworm. So maybe not everything is intuitive, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a blast to drive.

The Mini Cooper Countryman Was The Perfect Practical Automobile Fit For My Friend Sarah. Photo: Cindy Stagg

The Mini Cooper Countryman was a perfect and practical automobile fit for my friend Sarah. Photo: Cindy Stagg

The Takeaway on the Mini Cooper Countryman

When I asked her what she would want other people to know about her Countryman, Sarah said she was actually quite surprised by the amount of interior space. She can fit four teenage passengers, and none of them seem “squished.” She also bragged that she took it to the lake recently and successfully fit four camp chairs, a rolled-up inflatable paddleboard, and a cooler in the rear cargo area. 

Ah. So there’s that sensible, practical side after all.

Finally, Sarah wanted me to mention that she named her car Elizabeth Bennet, the classic Austen character, who is spirited, sassy, and full of fun.

Need I say more? 

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Cindy is a life-long car enthusiast who began writing about cars in 2001 for Car-Data.com. As a kid, she... More about Cindy Stagg