While living in northern Michigan has its perks, it also has idiots that don't buy snow tires. Long story short, our 2005 BMW X5 just got totaled. It was an incredible purchase 8-years ago: 4.4, sports & luxury packages, towing, and more. At 127,000 miles, we felt it was just getting broken in.

I've had my eye on a MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 for some time. I've heard nothing but praise from those I've asked in parking lots whether or not they've enjoyed owning it. Our daughter owned a wonderful 2003 MINI Cooper S (until it was totaled). So a Countryman ALL4 is on our short list.

Our only ‘must have’ requirements are: AWD/4WD, room for two big dogs, and the ability to tow a small trailer (short distances).

My questions are:
[1] Are there any model years to stay away from? (e.g. problematic issues)
[2] Are there any common issues/problems with any year? (e.g. transmission)
[3] What should I look for (or look out for) when buying a used ALL4?

Many thanks for any insights you can provide us.