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Test Drive: Is the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman a Manly Mini?

Nate says the Mini Countryman is manly.

My brother likes the Mini Cooper, but he said he’d never buy one because it’s too girly. When I told Nate I had the Countryman S with All4, he begged me to drive to Richmond, Va.

Nate drooled over the Countryman. It’s big. It has all-wheel drive and a sport button. It’s made by BMW. “This is a car I’d see in the parking lot and think, ‘Yeah, that’s my car,’” Nate said.

I don’t understand why he dislikes the Mini Cooper Hardtop. It’s little and zippy. What’s not to like? Apparently, that’s exactly why Nate doesn’t drool over the original.

“The Mini Cooper Hardtop is small and cute,” he said. “It doesn’t rage with testosterone. It’s not a Toyota Tundra. It doesn’t have a snorkel on it. You can’t take it off-roading.”

The Countryman’s not that capable, but it should get you through rough weather. You see, Nate really wants a Toyota FJ Cruiser, but, he says, “If it didn’t guzzle gas I would get it.” The Countryman allows Nate to drive something small, practical and fuel-efficient without settling for a bland and wimpy Honda Civic.

“When it snows in Richmond, I want to be able to keep up with my buddies driving their trucks. That’s why the Mini Cooper Hardtop is a girl’s car. You can’t do anything with it.”

According to TrueCar.com, my brother shops like a girl. In a study on how gender affects vehicle purchases, TrueCar found that women prioritize fuel-efficiency and cost, while men want cars that are expensive and fast.

Perhaps the Countryman isn’t as manly as Nate says. It’s fuel efficient, looks good and is functional, which are aspects that make me want one. What do you think? Is the Countryman a manly Mini? Let us know in the comment section below.

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