Cars.com reviews the 2011 MINI Countryman and has this to say:
My issues with the handling are twofold: The main one is the steering. Mini cars have had their issues with torque steer, especially in the turbo and supercharged versions, and the steering in front-wheel-drive cars is seldom something to get excited about, but overall I’m a fan of how well they match the Mini cars’ character. The Countryman’s steering is the proverbial sore thumb. It feels dead, especially on center, and though the Sport button reduces the electric power assist, all that seemed to do was make it a heavier kind of dead. Feedback is terribly inconsistent, depending on speed.
Well, that’s not exactly an encouraging review. In fact, it sounds very un-MINI like. No one expected the Countryman to handle as well as the cooper. While still small, this is a bigger, taller MINI, and it’s going to drive that way. That said, steering feel is a concern. Hopefully we can get a few more reviews to see if this is a widespread issue.
Read more about the 2011 Countryman.