Buried deep within the Mini Countryman’s labyrinthine infotainment menu is an option intriguingly titled Minimalism Analyser.
It’s not something you’d probably bother with, as you need to switch the car into ‘Green’ mode to access it, something that only communists, school teachers and me would ever do.
Nevertheless, a long freeway drive saw me shuffling through a few of the car’s different driving modes and it was then that I discovered the green fish.
There it sits in a goldfish bowl beneath a meter which measures both anticipation and acceleration. The five stars for each of these attributes are greyed out. Challenge accepted.
Gain a star and the fish does a backflip and looks slightly happier. After three stars he beams this earnest, gormless grin and you’re hooked.
At this point, you begin to realise that earning stars is turning you into a complete horror scene of a driver. Accelerate to keep up with the traffic flow and the fish docks you an acceleration star.
As a result, you pick up speed like a darted sloth while spittle-flecked Falcons fill your rear view, the drivers flashing, gesticulating and mouthing obscenities. One drew level and went berserk, his frenzied interjection only interrupted when his durry fell into his crotch/seat fabric junction.
If traffic backs up and you need to brake, the fish deletes all of your anticipation stars. The first time this happened, I was frothing too.
I’d just spent the previous hour and a half forensically managing my throttle and braking inputs like Sandra Bullock in Speed and then that gooby-eyed freak just took away all of my stars.
I stop for a drink and a Filet-O-Fish and vow never to switch the thing on again. Yes, I’d saved 10km worth of fuel over my 150km stint, but the stress of trying to ignore furious drivers, treating the throttle like a detonator and desperately willing the fish to flip just to save 82 cents worth of fuel has taken its toll. Hypermiling is just too hardcore for me. I have new respect for communists and schoolteachers.
Other than that, the Countryman has performed brilliantly this month: 8/10 – would recommend. Just don’t fall for its fishing scam.
Offered for sale in Europe is this fetching Autohome rooftop tent for the F60 Countryman. As far as I can establish, the unit weighs 58kg and the roof rails are rated to a maximum load of 75kg. Last time I checked I was tipping the scales somewhere north of 17kg...
Read part three of our 2017 Mini Countryman Cooper SD All4 long-term review here!