This model has only been two months old in Brunei. The Mini Countryman model. It was launched early April at Mini Showroom at Mabohai Shopping Complex and I had the privilege to test drive it around to see what the Mini Countryman Cooper S has to offer to potential owners.
I have driven a Mini before but not the Countryman. Let me share the specs first on the Mini Countryman Cooper S has.
Key features and highlights.
• The new MINI Countryman is 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor.
• Electrical tailgate control as well as touchless opening and closing of the tailgate.
• Five fully-fledged seats, clear increase in space and versatility.
• MINI Picnic Bench: fold-out load loading sill cushion as a comfortable seat on the luggage compartment lid and for general outdoor use.
• Central instrument with touchscreen function for the first time.
• MINI Country Timer measures driving fun over demanding terrain.
The new MINI Cooper S Countryman Specifications.
Four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI Twin Power Turbo Technology (turbocharging, direct injection, VALVETRONIC).
Capacity: 1,998 cc.
Max output: 192 hp at 5,000 rpm.
Max torque: 280 Nm from 1,350–4,600 rpm.
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds.
Top speed: 222 km/h.
Average fuel consumption to the EU standard: 6.0 l/100 km.
Combined CO2 emissions to the EU standard: 141 g/km.
The Mini Connect. Love this 😀
Love the handling
How it looks at night
The Mini Countryman Cooper S is such a beauty
Five seats in the interior, two on the Picnic Bench.
An electric tailgate control is available as an option. This makes touchless opening and closing of the tailgate possible in conjunction with Comfort Access. The optional storage package comprises not only a variable load floor, lashing eyes and tension straps but also a stainless steel insert on the loading sill. One unique option is the Picnic Bench – a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people.
Powerful proportions, matured character.
The latest generation of the MINI Countryman goes even further in terms of the model’s versatility, agility and premium character. Thanks to its powerful proportions, the new MINI Countryman has a particularly distinctive presence. Its unmistakable aura is defined by an extended ground clearance and raised seating position, further emphasised by the MINI ALL4 exterior look (for Cooper S variant only) and high roof rails. The new MINI Countryman features design elements that are typical of the brand, including the clear three-way structure of the side view – broken down into roof, glass section and main corpus – as well as the short overhangs, large wheel arches and downward increase in width.
Precise contours on the generous surfaces create an attractive play of light and shade that underscores the car‘s athletic shaping and the vertical orientation of the body. The selection of body finishes includes the variants Island Blue metallic and Chestnut, which are now available for a MINI for the first time. Numerous model-specific design elements such as the striking helmet roof, the upright rear lights, the hexagonal radiator grille and the large headlamps have undergone evolutionary development. The side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles exhibit a new arrow-like shape. The roof rails in satin-finished aluminium are combined with silver-coloured side sill tops, thereby lending greater visual emphasis to the car’s height. Horizontal lines dominate at the rear, with the vertically arranged light units providing an appealing contrast.
LED headlamps with peripheral daytime driving light ring for the first time.
The striking profile of the headlamp units deviates from the circular shape that is otherwise typical of the brand. Their distinctive, slightly asymmetrically rounded contour goes together with the radiator grille to produce an unmistakable front view. The parking lights integrated in the air inlets are used for the daytime driving light as standard. In conjunction with the optional LED headlamps, the latter is generated for the first time by a band of light running entirely around each headlamp.
Distinctive cockpit design.
With a clear horizontal structure, stretched lines and generously sized surfaces, the distinctively designed cockpit emphasises the solid character of the new MINI Countryman. The profile of the air vents echoes the vertical orientation of the exterior design elements. In addition to the high-quality materials and precise finish, the modern, ergonomically optimised controls contribute to the car’s exclusive ambience. The hallmark central instrument is integrated in the instrument panel and is surrounded by an LED ring that provides a lighting display in response to driving situations by way of control feedback. This forms part of the MINI Excitement Package, which also comprises the LED ambient lighting and a projection of the MINI logo from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side when opening and closing the car.
I drove it for a few days and I love it.
Ok, maybe I’m too “sakai” over this. This happens whenever I unlock the car.
Do visit the Mini Showroom to see other models or my highly recommended car – Countryman Cooper S
My thoughts after test driving: I am sold (If I only have enough resources). There is so much to love about the Mini Countryman Cooper S. It feels quirky, high quality or should I say a premium feel. The cockpit design does win my heart and loving how the colours are portrayed within the surroundings, making my driving experience a little more cheerful and colourful. It definitely lifts up my mood subconsciously.
Practically wise, this ranks quite high. Why? It’s pretty spacious for a Mini. The side bin compartment (by the door) are spacious even and I’m a person that brings many small things along with me. You should have seen my actual car (Just too many things but little places to put). Even the back is quite spacious. I can safely put my bag pack and my tennis bag and still have more room to play with. Ah, ideal when you are heading for a family picnic.
Now the driving experience. This could be the buying factor for potential Mini owners. It has power, speed, stability and most of all, comfort. Sometimes I have to remind myself to drive within the speed limit because once you’re in the “comfort” zone, you can’t even feel that you are driving that fast. I played around with different driving mode from Green (economical) to Sport and you can feel the difference on how the Countryman responds when you press on the accelerator. The Countryman handles cornering pretty good too (better than other continental cars I tell you) and it must be the progressive steering mechanism.
One thing I that annoys me is that the ergonomic seating and spacing make it tougher for me to place my phone. I know it’s a bad habit to even touch with your phone while driving but in the Mini, my phone has a mind of its own to fall into the gaps *lol* Most of the time, the driver (me) will have a tough time even reaching my phone through the gap. So I will give up instead and keep driving to my destination.
The price tag might also make you think twice about the Mini Countryman Cooper S. However, once you test drive the Countryman, you will understand why one person will be investing in this unique model. I will definitely be a proud owner if I have the resources and would be my priority. It’s so much fun and inspires me simply drive out for no reason.
You want to check out more, do visit their showroom at Mabohai Shopping Complex or visit their website www.mini.com.bn or their IG @mini_brunei for updates.
The launch of Proton Exora at Times Square last weekend
The new Proton Exora has finally arrived and it was launched last weekend at Times Square Shopping Centre. Hambali bin Pehin Orang Kaya Shahbandar Dato Seri Paduka Hj Mohd Salleh, Director of Pad Motors, shared with the media and the audience on the great features and qualities coming from the Proton Exora.
The first impression of the Proton Exora gave me is that this model aims the family segment. You can enjoy comfort, power and it packed with many advance features and impressively safety features.
You can choose two models – the Executive and the Executive Plus models.
The media was able to test drive the Proton Exora Executive Plus (powered by 1.6L Turbo Engine) and it felt like you are driving a 2.0L engine with a lower fuel consumption. The engine develops 103kW (138hp) of power & torque of 205Nm @ 2000-4000rpm.
The upscale upholstery was impressive, and the Executive Plus model came with a 8.5” Overhead LCD Monitor and DVD Player also equipped with SD and USB card slots, which many may find very handy.
You can check out the Proto Exora at Pad Motors Showroom or call 265 0074 / 239 2551
Representatives from Honey Carsmart Sdn Bhd with Malai Hj Abdullah Bin Malai Hj Othman, President of the Society for Management of Autism Related Issues (SMARTER Brunei), Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Abd Rahman, Head of Policy & Planning, Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam and Awg Samsudin Bin Hj Puasa, Secretariat of DANA Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah during the press conference yesterday at Honey Carsmart Sdn Bhd main office
Next weekend Honey Carsmart Sdn Bhd is inviting its valued customers and the public to visit its 3rd Grand Sale for 3 days only on 19th May 2017 – 21st May 2017 from 8.30AM to 4.30PM.
The agency is organizing its 3rd Hari Raya Grand Sale event as gratitude of appreciation to the continuous support, loyalty and trust from the customers over the years. Light refreshments will be served and goodie bags will be given to every visitor who register themselves at the event. On these limited three days, the company will also be giving out a 3 months free installment and 3 times free general servicing to customers who register themselves and also purchase a used car during this weekend only.
As part of giving back to community, the management has agreed that for every car that is sold between these 3 days, a contribution of $300 will be distributed into a charity pool that will be equally distributed for donation purposes to Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam, SMARTER Brunei & DANA Pengiran Muda Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah. The heads of department that were present were Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Abd Rahman, Head of Policy & Planning, Malai Hj Abdullah Bin Malai Hj Othman, President of the Society for Management of Autism Related Issues and Awg Samsudin Bin Hj Puasa, Secretariat respectively.
The total proceeds donated to Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam and SMARTER Brunei last year was $7,500. With the support of its loyal customers, the company is looking forward for a higher sales target this year to be contributing to the 3 charity bodies.
Representatives from one of the financing institutions to be on duty for the convenience for customers should they need to apply for financing on the spot. A motor insurance agency will also be available to customers, who wish to renew their motor insurance.
Due to customers’ demand and positive response, this year the company has extended the promotion duration to 3 days and has confirmed to display over 80 selected units and these selection also include makes such as, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Jeep, Lexus and other popular Japanese and Korean makes. However, these units shall be based on a first come first serve basis in order to be fair to all customers.
The company would also like to take this event to inform the public that any customer who bought cars from them between 19th May 2017 – 30th September 2017, are eligible to participate in their Lucky Draw promotion, which will be held on 13th October 2017. Prizes will include popular smart phones, house equipment, flat screen television set and many others.
Honey Carsmart Sdn Bhd encourages its customers and followers to check out their social activities at their Facebook page and Instagram @honeycarsmartbrunei for weekly updates on their announcements and promotions.
The soft introduction of the Nissan NV350 Urban Wide Wide Version at Boustead Showroom
Check them out at the showroom until 31st May 2017
The long wait for an all new Nissan NV350 Urvan Wide Version finally comes to an end in Nissan Showroom, Beribi. The previous version of this vehicle has been very popular in the car industry and this Nissan NV350 Urvan Wide Version is bound to bring a more satisfying ride for customers.
The new Nissan NV350 Urvan wide Version endowed a 2488cc in-line 4 cylinder engine that runs on petrol instead of the normal diesel. This new QR25DE petrol engine delivering a 108kw/5600rpm ensures a smoother and cleaner ride for customers. Not just that, petrol engines are known to be at a lower maintenance cost compared to diesel engines.
This vehicle tends to idle at a lower than normal RPM which improves fuel efficiency and cost-saving. The size of this vehicle is one of its strongest points that made it able to transport large, bulky items from one place to another. The high-roof and wide body of this Nissan NV350 Urvan Wide Version composes convenience for users to enter and exit the car with ease.
This new vehicle has rear independent air-conditioning that is controllable with a central control switch. One of the purchasing reasons of this vehicle will be its flexibility in handling different types of situations that range from travelling to working. Most will find this vehicle useful as due to its 9-seater competency especially for large families. Equipped with a rear leaf spring, the vehicle is known to sustain heavier loads. Together with its acknowledgeable huge luggage capacity of 3000L, this vehicle serves as a very strong transportation tool especially for business owners and private entrepreneurs.
In terms of safety, Nissan’s concept of ‘the vehicle that helps protect people’ has always been the priority for the Japan manufacturer when producing a vehicle. This new vehicle consists of VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control), a system that uses various sensors to monitor driver inputs and vehicle motion. Nissan’s top-notch Anti Braking System (ABS) helps to avoid skidding especially in emergency braking. Added new features to this new Nissan NV350 Urvan Wide Version include existence of a foot brake, a factory fitted centre hand rest and storage compartment and a headlamp zer.
Feel free to drop by to the Nissan showroom, Beribi to have a closer look at the all new Nissan NV 350 Urvan Wide Version which will runs till 31st May 2017. Images courtesy of @kurapak
Grand Motors Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in the country is inviting you to a world of dynamic driving and more through the 2017 Kia On Tour & Test Drive. The first leg of this year-long event will be from 10 – 14 May at The Mall, Gadong and the test drive event on 14 May at the SEAMEO-VOCTECH Regional Centre from 9:00AM – 3:00PM.
Kia On Tour & Test Drive is on its 4th year now of bringing Kia vehicles closer to its market. This nationwide tour will commence from May until October 2017. Kia will be visiting different districts in Brunei Darussalam – Brunei-Muara, Tutong and Kuala Belait. Customers will have the chance to explore Kia’s fun-to-drive vehicles and experience a dynamic driving adventure. Exclusive Kia Smartphone Speaker will be given to those who will test drive during the tour.
The 2017 Kia on Tour & Test Drive is part of the larger global roadshow project initiated by Kia Motors Corporation in Korea to enable the population in its network of dealers covering countries in the US, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia and the Pacific to see, feel and experience Kia. It is part of Kia’s global commitment to surpass customer expectations through continuous automotive innovation.
Check out the Kia on Tour at the Mall from today till Sunday. Image courtesy of Mantuka.com
It’s open to public from 10am to 10pm at The Mall
Kia Smartphone Speaker (minus the phone hehe) will be given to those who will test drive during the tour
Coming live tonight by 8pm 5th May 2017
First when I thought of the new car ride app, will this actually work since it’s our culture that we drive our own cars or either be driven by families and friends. I mean, that’s how hospitable our culture in Brunei.
Then come to think of it, there is a demand when it comes to reaching to destinations even for the locals. It just that we are not used to a fact of using taxis here in Brunei. Even I haven’t been in one. Surprisingly my mom has been in one before back in the 70s *lol*
So this is where Dart (Brunei) comes in to help improve the business of taxi services in Brunei rather than relying on calls or walk-in guests. We all are mostly familiar with Uber or Grab Taxi when we travel. So the same applies here for Brunei and it is made possible by Dart, Brunei’s first car ride booking app which will go live tonight by 8pm after the official launch by the Minister of Communications.
I had a quick chat with Zul’ Amali Idris, the CEO and founder of Dart and he was quite excited for the fact that it is really happening. Furthermore, their company became the first startup company to be accepted by Progresif Cellular and they just practically moved in a few days ago before the launch. So everything is darting in a quick pace and I believe Zul’s team of six are capable to run a good launch tonight.
I have downloaded the app and hopefully I shall try it in days to come. Congratulations on this initiative. It has finally happen. I’m pretty sure the Minister will be more than happy for such technology to take place in Brunei Darussalam.
With the team behind Dart (Brunei).
Their office space at Progresif Cellular
Mr, Minoru Amano, General Manager of Asia Automobile Division, Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan delivering his welcoming remarks during the Suzuki Ignis launch
Boustead Sdn Bhd unveiled its latest line of Suzuki, the all new Suzuki Ignis at the their showroom last night. Present during the launch was Dato Paduka Lim Being Thai, Managing Director of Boustead Sdn Bhd, Mr, Minoru Amano, General Manager of Asia Automobile Division, Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan, Mr. Takaaki Kurihara, Assistant Manager of Asia Automobile Division, Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan and Lim Jin Lee, Executive Manager of Boustead Sdn Bhd.
The event also welcomed esteemed guests from the public and associate companies to the launch.
So the Suzuki Ignis is a huge revamp from the previous model indeed. Many reasons to invest in the latest Suzuki Ignis and I guarantee that it will be a huge hit in Brunei due to its new looks and affordability.
Specs of the Suzuki Ignis:
Ignis is a compact urban runabout with stance and space of a small crossover styling. The Suzuki Ignis is powered by K12M with 1,197 cc displacement, in-line 4-cylinder and 16-valve engine. The multi-point fuel injected power plant has variable value technology and produces 62kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm.
The model comes in different colour choices, ranging from Single Tone to Dual Tone.
With a ground clearance of 180 mm (7 inches), the new Ignis will be able to tackle difficult roads while the raised driving position will provide great visibility for the the driver.
It has an Android powered panel for your audio needs and the Suzuki model only comes in auto transmission.
All I can say is that Suzuki Ignis has a more vibrant and dynamic feel and it does feel like a mini SUV too. Do drop by at Suzuki Showroom.
According to Lim Jin Lee, Executive Manager of Boustead Sdn Bhd, during the press conference, the Suzuki Ignis will be available something in mid-May. Bookings already can be made through the sales agent at Suzuki showroom. What are you waiting for?
Dato Paduka Lim Being Thai, Managing Director of Boustead Sdn Bhd (second from the right) giving a token of appreciation to the Suzuki Motor Corporation Japan principals.
Check out the Suzuki Ignis
Dato Paduka Lim Being Thai and Mr. Minoru Amano checking out the Suzuki Ignis
This colour looks solid 😀
Associates of Boustead Sdn Bhd with invited guests
The crowd last night at Suzuki Ignis launch
The press conference after the launch
Nadzri the host of the night
During the launch of BETTER Car Expo at The Mall last weekend
They listened, they delivered. This is what Better Sdn Bhd hopes to aspire. To give what the customers want with the best deal in town when it comes to renting a car. Currently Better Sdn Bhd is the leading local car rental company in Brunei Darussalam and recently they launched a new package deal for costumers – the unlimited package deals with lower security deposit depending on the models you choose.
This was announced by Mubashar Khokhar, Chairman of the Better Sdn Bhd cum Managing Director of BIBD during the launch of the BETTER Car Expo held at the Atrium of The Mall.
In his welcoming remarks, he thanked the Minister of Communication for their forward vision to allow BETTER to play a small role in the development of the Brunei’s economy and also to provide consumers with alternative to car financing and ultimately to make the lives of customers “Better”.
He added that with the BETTER Car Expo, it will provide customers value-for-money and greater flexibility to both to private as well as their corporate clients. With their all-inclusive packages, customers only pay one fixed price which also covers road tax, insurance, maintenance and part replacements in the contract.
Mubashar Khokhar, Chairman of the Better Sdn Bhd cum Managing Director of BIBD during his welcoming remarks
The official launch of BETTER Car Expo
Check out the awesome deals from BETTER Car Expo
Wanna enjoy a good package deal from BETTER to drive a Audi?
It’s more cost efficient than a hire purchase
Attending the launch was Dr Haji Supry bin Haji Awang Ladi, Director of Land Transport who was the guest of honour.
So far the responses have been overwhelming since BETTER was introduced last November. Their numbers are expecting to increase with the current expo at The Mall and hopes the roadshow can educate potential consumers on the value they can get for renting their cars and also give them a new concept of “ownership” when it comes to BETTER.
Did you know that the BETTER app won the Silver winner award in Singapore Mobile Excellence Award for the Best Campaign and Direct Response and also in the informative use of mobile technology, outshining other banks in that category. Do download the popular app now in Brunei and they have already more than 30,000 downloads as of now. Amazing!!
Do drop by The Mall and check out BETTER Car Expo which will be until 7th May 2017.
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
Ms Pong Bee Thing receiving the key of her new car from Alfred So, the General Manager of Jati Transport
Ms Pong Bee Thing was the first customer to drive home her new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet last Friday. She’s proud to be the first one to receive the striking cabriolet right after the model launch. She chose a C 180 Cabriolet in Designo Diamond White with the rood in red. This vehicle has also included an extensive range of optional extras such as the Burmester Surround sound system and a 19-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels. She has been waiting for her order since 2015 and now she has the privileged to drive one.
For your info, the new C-Class Cabriolet is the first of its kind in the C-Class segment. The Cabriolet craves out a distinctive niche in Mercedes-Benz. The 2017 C-Class Cabriolet is a true four-seat convertible that comest with the latest technology to ensure driving comfort and safety. It is exquisitely built with the roof down and one of the most affordable luxury and spacious convertibles.
Ms Pong, the owner of the new C Cabriolet said, “I felt in love the very instant I saw the sneak pictures of the vehicle from Mr. Ho (Jati Transport Sales Manager). I was so confident with Mercedes-Benz that I had booked the vehicle without any test drive.”
“I have been driving Mercedes-Benz for almost 10 years and this cabriolet is my third Mercedes-Benz. I am really satisfied with the customer service provided by Jati Transport and now I’m looking forward to enjoy my new cabriolet for the first time.”
Enjoying her first taste of the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
The new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Cabriolet
Stephan Winkelmann, former boss of Lamborghini, is now the new CEO of Audi Sport GmbH (Audi Sport GmbH: based in Neckarsulm, built on four business areas). Its core business is the manufacturing of the Audi R8 and RS models.
quattro GmbH, established in Neckarsulm in 1983, has been operating as Audi Sport GmbH since the end of 2016. With Stephan Winkelmann at the helm, this fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG currently has around 1,200 employees.
Since 1983 quattro GmbH, with its headquarters in Neckarsulm, has been building high-performance sports cars and delivering high-tech automotive concepts. And now the Audi subsidiary has changed its name to Audi Sport GmbH. It is built on four business areas. In addition to developing and manufacturing the Audi R8 and Audi RS models, it is responsible for customer motorsport – Audi Sport customer racing. Other areas of business include car customization options via the Audi exclusive program, plus lifestyle articles marketed as the Audi Sport collection.
The name Audi Sport is inspired by a long and successful tradition of motorsport. As far back as the 1930s, the legendary “Silver Arrow” models of Auto Union were the ultimate benchmark on racing circuits worldwide. In the 1980s, the Audi quattro with permanent all-wheel drive proved outstandingly successful in rally competition. Today the brand with the four rings is involved in the World RX, DTM, Formula E, GT racing and in the TCR category. Young racing talent is being fostered in the Audi Sport TT Cup. The production models benefit from developments and technologies first used in motorsport. The Audi R8 and the Audi RS models represent the sporty vanguard of the brand, combining superlative performance with exclusiveness and prestige.
The abbreviation RS stands for the most powerful engine version within a particular Audi model series, for impressive dynamic performance, for understated sophistication coupled with comprehensive everyday usability, and for quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The brand’s RS tradition started in 1994 with the appearance of the Audi RS 2 Avant.
It was a trendsetter – a genuine high-performance sports car with five seats and a large luggage compartment. Since then, quattro GmbH has steadily expanded the portfolio of RS models, which now range from the compact Audi RS 3 Sportback to superior cars such as the Audi RS 6 Avant or Audi RS 7 Sportback. The subsidiary’s focus is to create the most prestigious models in the portfolio of AUDI AG.
The Audi R8 is the pinnacle of the product range. The first generation appeared on the market in 2007 with an innovative vehicle concept: mid-engine, systematic lightweight construction featuring Audi Space Frame technology, and quattro drive. The high-performance sports car provides a typical driving experience, but is also perfectly suited to the racetrack thanks to its optimum power-to-weight ratio.
The Audi subsidiary doubled its sales over the past five years. Over the next 18 months, Audi Sport GmbH will be launching eight new models, which will further consolidate the company’s position in the market. The number of specialized Audi Sport dealers will increase from 370 at present to around 600 by the end of 2017.
Stephan Winkelmann has been Managing Director of the company since March 15, 2016. Audi Sport GmbH has around 1,200 employees at locations in Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt.