Having posted the original user review on this car, I feel obliged to reveal my ownership experience since. In short, a nightmare.
I have had a water ingress issue that required the whole interior to be stripped, countless rattles, faulty fuses always blowing for auto lights etc, oil leaks, coolant leaks, water pump failures, drivetrain failures, etc etc.
This is the worst quality car I have ever owned. What's worse? My clutch is now gone at 60,000km. I had reported an inconsistent feeling clutch from day one of ownership but no help from BMW service or Mini Australia and now it has failed and I'm being asked to foot the bill for a $5000 replacement.
I only do highway driving and have only had three oil changes in my time with the car. Further, I still have the original rear tyres and brake pads.
The issue is globally well publicised with Mini upgrading the clutch in the MY13 model versus my MY12, however, they failed to help existing customers.
For any warranty related matter, I've had to resort to the NSW CTTT/NCAT tribunal process with Mini Australia flat out refusing to perform warranty work unless I go to the effort of a tribunal hearing. In my first tribunal hearing, I should have asked for a complete refund. Now I'm going back to address the matter of my clutch. It's such a hassle for what should be standard service.
I now see why only a few hundred of these Countryman models are sold and barely 2000 total Minis per year. Steer clear!
I am a car enthusiast and have owned cars from most Euro badges. This car was a great niche to meet my needs: AWD for those occasional camping/ski trips, yet a fuel efficient getabout town car at the same time.
I also wanted a weekend driver that would give me a few thrills around a twisty mountain. It also has the typical standout Mini appeal: well designed, built and finished. The power delivery is quick, but you wouldn't put it on even terms with say a [Golf] GTI. Handling is superb and ride comfort is a real surprise.
Very comfy yet will hold up around the corners with minimal body roll. I ordered the car fully optioned and the accessories make the car. The leather is really high quality and seats are sporty firm. The nav system is awesome, just a shame it doesn't overlay google maps, then it would be perfect.
10 speaker Harmon Kardon is awesome. No complaints there. Anyhow, very happy with the car, glad they are expensive so not many on the road, but on the flip side, very cheap to run with fuel, servicing and tyres (computer tells you when brake pads/brake oil/engine oil etc etc need replacing - condition based servicing) and am sure this will be a car I keep longer than the usual 1-2 year turnaround.