Enthusiasts can't stop looking at the stylish MINI Countryman
The Countryman has six-way adjustable seats for premium ergonomics and seven airbags and is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick.
“Driving a unique vehicle like the MINI Countryman definitely gets heads turning your way," said Troy Snyder, director of product development at NADAguides.
"The rugged-looking Countryman is eye-catching, performance-ready, fun to drive and practical as well. ... Our analysts were thoroughly impressed by the MINI Countryman; car shoppers will be as well.”
A well-equipped Countryman (all-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine, heated seats, adaptive xenon headlamps and performance suspension) starts at $26,950. Base price for the base model is $21,650.
The Countryman is a compact crossover that offers MINI Cooper styling but as a sedan with more space inside the cabin. NADAguides analysts said the Countryman delivers a "rugged, competent" body style that delivers comfort and space (as well as soothing ambient lighting) while maintaining the MINI Cooper's stylish tone.
Jim McDowell, vice president of MINI USA, said the car will just keep getting better.
"MINI is very proud of the success that the MINI Countryman has achieved (and) this recognition from NADAguides reinforces that as the brand grows into new vehicle segments, MINI will continue to deliver on its promises for a premium small car experience," McDowell said. "The MINI Countryman has ... quickly become a core part of the MINI lineup. We are looking forward to seeing its full potential."
NADAguides has seen public interest in the Countryman swell, with Web-site traffic showing interest in the car on NADAguides.com growing 106% from October to November 2010 and continually growing since then, including a 101% boost in consumer interest from the first quarter of 2010 to this year.
The Countryman is available in three 16-valve, 4-cylinder aluminum alloy engines. One offers 121 horsepower and the other two, 181 horsepower. The ALL4 is one of the 181 horsepower cars and it adds all-wheel drive. All of the Countrymen get 35 miles per gallon in expressway driving and 31 mpg in the city.
The Car of the Month is chosen based on test drives, the quality of the engineering, fuel efficiency, safety equipment and ratings, pricing, overall value, sales trends and consumer market interest on NADAguides.com.
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Image source: NADAguides, with permission