Originally Posted by ScienceOfDirt
I like the Mini, but I'd miss the all wheel drive of the Audi. I'm going to check out the new countryman that has all wheel drive when the wife wants a new car. Not sure it's going to be big enough coming from the outback wagon she drives now.
It went rather well in the snow, never had any issues but we always keep a 4WD SUV around for when it gets really bad. Almost bought an A4 Ultrasport used at one point. Wanted AWD, but zero dealer support down here for Audi... Ended up getting a Mazdaspeed6 AWD - It was a lot roomier inside than the Audi, very reliable over the 5 years / 90k that I owned it.
The Countryman is pretty cool, small inside for sure. If you strongly consider getting one, take a look at Autoblog.com - they had a long-term test review Countryman and wrote a few good articles about their experience with it.