We all know that when it comes to all these new crossovers being launched by all automakers all around the world, people aren’t really buying their off-road capabilities but instead a slightly bigger car for urban environments. It’s the same with the MINI Countryman which is not necessarily viewed as a capable car on rough terrain but more like a safer alternative in bad weather to be used around town.
Well, the guys from The Fast Lane Car wanted to test its ALL4 all-wheel drive system on their own terms and, finding themselves in the Rocky Mountains, near an abandoned mine, decided to go up a trail with it. Along the way they would go through a small stream of water and rather gentle hill which proved to be more problematic than you’d imagine. The stream was crossed easily not only by the Countryman but also by their camera car, an older Discovery with a lift kit and some other goodies thrown in for good measure.
Some would call the Discovery a proper offroader thanks to its low range gearbox and manually locking diff but without those, the guys might’ve ended up stranded. That’s because when they arrived at a bit of a rougher patch of road and tried tackling it without the aforementioned goodies enabled on the car, the SUV couldn’t make it up. Of course, after turning both of those on, things were a lot easy but the Countryman managed the same feat without too much hassle in the first place. 1-0 for the MINI.
While that seemed impressive at first, later on the guys found an older MINI Cooper hardtop at their destination, making the whole thing seem rather redundant. I mean, if that older Cooper could make it that far, the fact that the ALL4 Countryman or the Discovery did doesn’t seem all that impressive anymore, now does it?