Driving Me Crazy: My Affair with Bruce (the MINI Countryman S ALL4)

MINI COUNTRYMAN S ALL4

Test driving the MINI Countryman S ALL4 from BMW Sydney

MINI COUNTRYMAN S ALL4
MINI Countryman S ALL4

Driving Me Crazy: My Affair with Bruce (the MINI Countryman S ALL4)

I can’t believe what I’m about to tell you. BUT I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE.

With a car, no less!

Yes, as a woman, I know the stuff of stereotypes pegs us as indifferent to cars, caring only about the colour—guilty as charged. I like my cars small but not too small, perhaps ‘substantially small’. And anyway, I’ve named him Bruce.

This love affair began thanks to Monique. She’s the first female car salesperson I’ve ever dealt with, and let me tell you, she was a revelation. Monique spent an hour dazzling me with Bruce’s features, and that was just for a test drive! Compare that to the Mercedes salesperson who whisked through my car’s features in a third of the time after I bought it. If only I had met Monique sooner; I would have bought a Countryman.

The MINI Countryman S ALL4 is like the Tardis

MINI COUNTRYMAN S ALL4
MINI Countryman S ALL4

But it’s not just about Monique. Bruce is like the Tardis—compact on the outside but remarkably spacious inside. He’s got headroom galore, ample space in the backseat and the boot, and he’s comfy too. I can even see over those towering SUVs, which is a thrill for me.

The crème de la crème of the screens is big and round—yes, round, not square. It’s so intuitive, making everything easy to find. Add in Harman Kardon speakers, a heated steering wheel, and heated seats, and winter drives become a cosy delight. But the feature that truly stole my heart? The massager. Yes, Bruce has a massager in the driver’s seat. It’s pure bliss.

Mini Countryman
MINI Countryman S ALL4

A car with a seat that massages!

Monique was as enthusiastic about it as I was. There are two speeds, relaxing and active, each lasting 20 minutes. They’re a godsend in traffic or on long drives.

But Bruce’s charms don’t end there. The high beams are automatic; switching on and off as needed. Imagine driving up a dark mountain road and not having to fiddle with the lights every time a car approaches from the opposite direction. It’s the little things that make Bruce the best companion on the road.

The Mini Countryman S ALL4’s keyless magic trick

I must confess, there’s another reason Bruce has captured my heart—his keyless magic trick. When I’m staggering back from the supermarket or Louis Vuitton with my hands full, the door unlocks as I approach. No fumbling for keys, just smooth, effortless access. Honestly, it’s better than any husband, let me tell you.

MINI COUNTRYMAN S ALL4
MINI Countryman S ALL4

And then there’s the night-time charm—when Bruce unlocks, he projects a Mini logo onto the ground, lighting up the darkness with style. It’s such a neat touch.

The eight moods of Bruce (the MINI Countryman S ALL4)

But Bruce isn’t just about practicalities. He’s got moods, eight of them to be precise: Core, Green, Go-Kart, Balance, Timeless, Personal, Trail, and Vivid. Each mode changes the ambiance with its own set of sounds, colours, and patterns displayed throughout the cabin and on the 240mm circular OLED display. In the racing-inspired Go-Kart Mode, the lighting turns red, and the suspension, steering, and throttle response tighten up for a dynamic drive. Meanwhile, Green Mode makes economical driving fun with gamified visuals.

MINI Countryman C
MINI Countryman C

You can even personalise the front and rear LED lights with three unique lighting signatures. Bruce bids you farewell and goodbye with a choreographed light show, adding a touch of magic to every journey.

The upholstery in Bruce is a combination of Cloth/Vescin vegan leather, which I absolutely adore. No dead animal skins for me, thank you very much.

A panoramic glass roof and wireless smart phone compatibility

Bruce also boasts a panoramic glass roof, letting in plenty of natural light, and wireless smartphone compatibility through the new MINI Operating System 9. You can control it by touch or voice—though I’m not thrilled with “Hey MINI” as the wake word. I’ll have to see if I can change it to “Hello Bruce, darling.”

MINI COUNTRYMAN S ALL4
MINI Countryman S ALL4

The MINI Intelligent Personal Assistant is a clever little thing too, learning and adapting to my routines, like closing the windows when entering a car park or tunnel.

Bruce and I only had a week together, but there’s a deep longing within me to see him again. If not for all his dazzling features, then definitely for that heavenly massage.

MINI COUNTRYMAN S ALL4
MINI Countryman S ALL4

The new Countryman model is manufactured at the BMW Group Plant in Leipzig, one of the most advanced and sustainable automotive factories in the world. One significant aspect of this investment is the decarbonization of production by  replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen.  

Pricing for Countryman C Core from $49,990 (Manufacturers Recommended List Pricing is shown and includes GST, but excludes on-road and delivery costs. Customers are advised to contact their nearest MINI dealer for all pricing enquiries.)

For more information, visit https://www.mini.com.au/models/ newminifamily/countryman  

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