Cute and fun but expensive and quirky
We had a Mini Cooper S before we bought this car, and we basically liked it but wanted more room, so the Countryman S was our choice. We love the looks and the interior room: e test-drove virtually every other car in this class before deciding, and Mini is so far ahead of other manufacturers in terms of space utilization it's amazing. The car feels solid and doesn't squeak or rattle, and even with the A/C on the idle is very smooth, so it seems to be a quality vehicle. But then, there are the reflective surfaces on the dash that seem to catch the light from any angle, and the silly design of the rear hatch that makes washing the car more difficult, and the on-board computer system that is so obtuse you must dig out the owner's manual (or call the dealer) for anything but the most basic task, and the auxiliary input jack to the stereo system that could not be more flakey, and the near-impossibility of upgrading the stock audio system head unit, etc. Then there's the steering. It seems as though each year, Mini completely re-specifies the steering on these vehicles. Our 2014 model is very darty on the freeway, where other years are much more stable. And then there's the suspension adjustment, which not only was wrong from the factory, but also designed without enough adjustment to make it right. All in all, I think we're going to buy a Honda next time, and give up some of the cuteness in exchange for more utility.