It’s been well over a decade since MINI first debuted, and took the automotive world by storm. And while MINI started with only one body – a hardtop two-door hatchback – they slowly evolved, and introduced myriad variations of their popular base model. In the years since MINI’s introduction, a coupe, convertible, and roadster have all been introduced, which set the table for MINI’s first four-door iteration, the rugged (yet handsome) Countryman. The result is that drivers who desire a MINI now have a lot of options. Of course, those options go far beyond how many doors are on the vehicle; there’s a lot to love about each unique MINI. But let’s take a look at MINI’s two best-selling vehicles, one big (the Countryman), and one small (the traditional Hardtop), to help you find the best MINI for you.
The Hardtop was wildly popular when MINI first started producing vehicles, and it’s still wildly popular now, for good reason: with stunning styling, great handling, efficient fuel consumption, great safety ratings, and a fair amount of pop under the hood, the Hardtop is the ideal car for a lot of people.
The first noticeable thing about the Hardtop is that it’s a little bit more fun than its larger brother. Though hardly a measure of performance, the more vibrant color options available in the Hardtop let you know that it is all about having a good time. The smaller size and lighter weight make it a car that’s a little more enjoyable around the turns (though both the small and big MINIs all handle extremely well), while the 101 kW of power is more than ample given the size. One of the biggest strengths of the Hardtop, however, is the EPA estimated 12.8 city and 17.9 highway km/L. Add it all up and you’ve got a fun, convenient, and practical car; it’s no wonder that this is one of the most commonly purchased cars for teenage and college age drivers.
With extra doors comes extra space, and with extra space comes increased practicality. The Countryman is the most practical car to ever roll off the MINI assembly line: its seven airbags help make it an IIHS Top Safety Pick, its increased space means the whole family (and equipment for a camping trip) can fit in it, it has strong power (90 kW for the base model, 135 for the S ), and its mileage of 11.9/14.9 km/L, while a step below its little sibling, is still very impressive.
For drivers in Abbotsford, BC, the Countryman offers a very important option: the ALL4 trim, an all-wheel drive iteration. Owning a Countryman ALL4 means that you don’t need to worry about having a specific vehicle for the winter months.
Both MINIs are affordable, with the Hardtop starting at $20,450 USD, and the Countryman at $22,750 USD. While clearly coming from the same family, they each are unique vehicles. The Hardtop is an ideal car for a young driver, or a grown up who also owns a larger car for family and winter occasions. The Countryman, on the other hand, is the perfect family vehicle, fit for leisure, work, and tough weather.
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