Considering Mini Countryman All4

I've had my Mini Cooper S for two years now and I still like it a lot. It's been a really good car and it's a blast to drive, still. There are however some issues.

  1. There is no way that all four of us can fit into the Cooper. We could maybe squeeze into it if we were attempting to imitate a troop of clowns.
  2. The Mini is a stick (as a Mini should be) and Tammy can't drive a stick. She was going to learn, and she tried one time and found it ridiculous. So she can't drive it.
  3. The front wheel drive results in a lot of torque steering and while it does okay on the snow, it's not great.

Those are actually bigger problems than they would seem since it means if Tammy does stuff on her own she needs to take the van and then I'm stuck at home with no car to take the kids anywhere.

I've eyed the new Countryman All4 and think we are going to take one for a test drive and see what we think. I'm hoping it maintains enough of the Mini spirit to still feel like a Mini while solving all the problems above.

Anybody drove one of these?