Ok. Now that I've decided to get a new car, the real fun part begins... deciding which car will steal my waller! Well... we already know what car that is, do we not? Yup. The new 2011 MINI Cooper S Countryman! So, I will skip the part on test driving and looking at other candidates and just focus on our superstar MINI Countryman.
First thing I did when I thought of Countryman was going to MINI website and playing with the configurator. The 'Build&Design your MINI' is very comprehensive and you really can spend a few hours clicking on different colors and options creating your very own custom MINI. One thing to be careful though.. the body colors displayed are not to be trusted. You really do have to check out the color in flesh as the CG rendered car you see on the site just are not accurate. If going to the dealership to look at the color is not an option for you, you should at least try to look for as many photos as possible online. (I will be putting up a gallery displaying Countryman in all colors) Even the photos, depending on lighting situation, can trick your eyes. There simply is no substitute for checking out the colors in flesh. Also, note that interior colorline choices are dependent on the exterior color. So play with as many combination as possible to find your preference. I also highly recommend creating an account and saving your configurations so that you can retrieve it easily later.
Once you narrow down the colors and options, it's time to find out the inventories at your local MINI dealerships for potential test drive and color check. The easiest way to search the inventory at multiple dealerships is using autotrader.com website. Simply choose MINI and type in your zip code, then chose couple additional search options. It will give you a listing of available, in stock MINI Countryman that fits your search criteria. However, vehicle specific details (package and options) are sometime not listed at autotrader.com. So you should then move over to dealer's own website and look at the inventory list there. Dealer websites list installed options better.
This will give you a good idea which dealership you should visit to check out the yourself.
Then, then in the mean time.. it's time to find out what press and other people are saying about the car - The story behind the car, how it drives, quality issues, etc....
To be continued.
Here is PART 1 in case you've missed it.