The reason we wanted to test the 2012 Mini Countryman with an automatic transmission is our Four Seasons Countryman with a manual transmission hasn't won a lot of friends. Not only does the clutch suffer from less-than-ideal engagement point and a lack of feel, but our long-term test vehicle went through a clutch in less than 15,000 miles. How come? The clutch disc is too small to handle the torque of the 1.6-liter engine under boost and the engine doesn't have enough torque off boost to get the Mini off the line quickly. Even if you don't intend to abuse the clutch, it's very difficult to launch the car without slipping the clutch excessively when you're trying to move off from a stop faster than the stereotypical Prius driver.
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