A couple of the TCH Leasing sales team we lucky enough to be invited along to road test of a number of vehicles from both BMW and Mini. The event took place at Bartle Hall near Preston, with the New Mini Countryman and All-New BMW 5 Series being the main attractions.
First up was the Mini Countryman, Mini's take it's retro-classic styling and applies it to the SUV mould. Building on the strength of its predecessor, it puts a rugged spin on the fun Mini formula. The new model adds 200mm in length and 30mm in width, making it larger than bit the Nissan Juke and the Mazda CX-3. The new model is packed with technology including a SIM card reader, for real-time traffic updates, along with an optional 8.8-inch combined entertainment and information display that really dominates the centre console.
The extra dimensions mean rear legroom and headspace are greatly improved whilst front seat passengers benefit from slightly more room and a less cluttered display. It also means boot capacity is 100 litres more than it's predecessor and almost 70 litres bigger than the current VW Golf.
Engines run in line with the rest of the mini range, with the range-topping Cooper S with an 8-speed automatic gearbox coupled with Mini's ALL4 all-wheel system probably being the engine of choose for anyone is remotely serious about testing the Countryman's SUV credentials. Unfortunately, the demo vehicle was a 1.5 Diesel engined car, but none the less this was a very capable and smooth engine, perfect for both inner city driving and longer motorways journeys.
Here's what Mark Proudfoot from our Sales team thought on the drive; "The first drive was in the Mini Countryman 1.5 Diesel. My 1st impressions of this car were it was very nippy, great round corners, solid and had plenty of space inside the car. We were told in the presentation that it sat within the Audi Q2, Nissan Qashqai, VW Tiquan sector, which really surprised me. But once I got inside the car I could see why. I would have never suggested the Mini Countryman as an alternative to these vehicles but after driving one I would."
Next up was BMW's uber-saloon the All-New BMW 5 Series. The All-New BMW 5 Series has a very tough act to follow, it's predecessor has sold nearly 2 million units worldwide since it's launch in 2010, which is a tough act to follow. The new model, codenamed G30, is the seventh generation of BMW's flagship executive saloon and to help match the previous generations worldwide success, is packed to the brim with all the latest technology, both inside and under the bonnet.
The new BMW 5 Series comes with tonnes of leather and high-gloss wood trim, features a huge 10.5" Infotainment screen, wireless Apple Carplay (the first manufacturer to offer this wirelessly) and built in wi-fi hotspot for up to 10 different devices.
Here's what Mark Proudfoot from our Sales team thought on the drive "Then it was out in the New BMW 5 Series. This car has plenty of room inside and is just what you would expect from a car in this segment. Heated leather seats are really comfy and the instruments are clear and easy to work. When I got to drive the car what really became clear was the smooth gear changes. I was driving the auto and the gear change was really smooth, even when you put your foot down. I really enjoyable car to drive, made especially comfortable by the amount of tech within the car. It's feels very 21st century, without being some sort of over-complicated spaceship you can't fathom out how to use. All the important information is served up neatly in front of you, with many of the secondary features being availble instantly through voice commands."
For more information on ordering either of these vehicles please contact our sales team to discuss your requirements.