If you’ve never driven in Germany, here’s a tip: The roads are small.
Yeah, that’s hard to visualize so think of it this way: We Americans tend towards largesse in everything from our houses to the size of our expressway lanes. No where is this more evident than in Germany, where the pencil-thin car lanes and radically sharp hairpin turns will test your driving skills in brand new ways.
No worries. The new four-door MINI Cooper Countryman will get you through Germany just fine. Don’t be fooled though. Not only will this crossover-styled MINI fit in the smallest German spaces, it also has enough room for the whole family, which is good news since the Countryman is coming to the States soon.
Actually, MINI’s first four-door vehicle seems almost tailor-made for Super-sizing American buyers, and it’s also packed with enough fun features to make a road trip in any country a joy. Far from typical, the Countryman offers some truly unique touches, like the MINI Center Rail storage system, a double railing between the seats that stretches from front of the car to the rear. This rail allows you to clip on interchangeable storage pods that slide, so you can hold and move whatever it is you need, from your Ray-Bans to your Big Gulp. And if that’s too mundane for you, the MINI Cooper folks claim you can actually fit a surfboard between the rails too. Another cool option is the factory installed GPS that you can detach and take with you outside of the car—you now have no excuse to ever get lost again.
Even with all of that, I have a feeling that when the infinitely customizable Countryman comes to the States late this year, the biggest draw will be the extra space. Here, finally, is a distinctively European car that can fit a family and a surfboard too (well, maybe not at the same time, but still).
And, no matter what size it comes in, MINI is a whole lot of fun.
2011 MINI Cooper Countryman
Available, winter 2011
Starts at $22,350
City/Highway MPG starts at 24/30
Find more about Sekou’s adventures on simplyrides.com