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Is the Mini Countryman Expensive to Maintain?

The Mini Countryman is a stylish and fun-to-drive subcompact SUV that has gained popularity in Canada for its unique blend of British charm and practical utility. With its distinctive design, premium interior, and enjoyable driving dynamics, the Countryman seems like an appealing choice for Canadian drivers seeking a vehicle that stands out from the crowd. However, one question that often arises is whether the ownership experience is overshadowed by potentially high maintenance and repair costs.


As with any vehicle purchase, it’s crucial to understand the long-term financial implications beyond just the initial sticker price. Maintenance and repair expenses can add up quickly, especially for vehicles with a reputation for being less reliable or more expensive to service. This comprehensive guide aims to provide Canadian drivers with a detailed breakdown of the true costs associated with owning a Mini Countryman, empowering them to make an informed decision.


We’ll dive deep into scheduled maintenance costs, unscheduled repair expenses, and the overall long-term ownership costs, drawing insights from industry experts, consumer reports, and real-world ownership experiences. By examining factors such as reliability, warranty coverage, and potential cost-saving strategies, this guide will equip you with the knowledge necessary to determine whether the Mini Countryman aligns with your budget and lifestyle.

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What is the Mini Countryman?

The Mini Countryman is a subcompact crossover SUV that blends the iconic Mini styling with a larger, more practical body. Introduced in 2010, the Countryman was Mini’s first model to feature four doors and optional all-wheel drive. It’s aimed at drivers who want a taste of Mini’s fun driving dynamics and premium amenities but need more interior space and versatility than the smaller two-door Hardtop models can provide.

Under the hood, Countryman models can be equipped with a range of three- and four-cylinder turbocharged engines. The base Cooper Countryman comes with a 1.5L three-cylinder making 134 hp, while the Cooper S gets a 2.0L four-cylinder with 189 hp. The top John Cooper Works (JCW) trim packs a 301 hp 2.0L turbo-four for seriously sporty performance. All-wheel drive is available across the lineup.

Inside, the Countryman offers seating for five along with up to 47.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down. Premium materials, unique styling details, and the latest tech features give it an upscale feel despite its subcompact footprint. In Canada, the 2023 Mini Countryman carries an MSRP ranging from $33,990 for the base Cooper up to $46,490 for the JCW ALL4 model before taxes and fees.

 

Scheduled Maintenance Costs for Canadian Owners

One of the biggest advantages of owning a Mini Countryman in Canada is the free scheduled maintenance coverage provided by the manufacturer. For the first three years or 40,000 km (whichever comes first), all factory-recommended maintenance services are covered at no charge.

 

This complimentary scheduled maintenance program includes:

  • Engine oil and filter changes
  • Cabin air filter replacements
  • Inspections and fluid level checks
  • Brake system inspections
  • Tire rotations and adjustments

 

According to the Mini maintenance schedule, during this free period, you can expect the following major services:

  • At 16,000 km: Oil change, inspections, tire rotation
  • At 32,000 km: Oil change, inspections, air filters, tire rotation
  • At 40,000 km: Oil change, inspections, spark plugs, air filters, tire rotation

 

For the first three years, the only out-of-pocket expenses for routine maintenance should be an occasional tire rotation if you don’t reach the mileage intervals. This free scheduled maintenance perk makes budgeting simple and keeps costs exceptionally low during the initial ownership period.

 

Unscheduled Repair Costs to Budget For

While Mini provides excellent coverage for scheduled maintenance on the Countryman, unscheduled repairs are where costs can start to add up for Canadian owners. According to data from RepairPal, the industry average for annual repair and maintenance costs across all vehicle models is around $850. For the Mini Countryman specifically, owners should budget at least this amount, if not more, for unexpected repairs each year.

Some of the main culprits for unscheduled Countryman repairs include issues with the engine, electrical system, suspension components, and brakes. While no car is immune to the occasional repair need, the Countryman has developed a reputation for having more frequent problems in these areas compared to other subcompact SUV models.

Owners of older Countryman models, such as those from the 2011 model year, have reported multiple engine-related issues that resulted in expensive repair bills. Engine problems like these tend to become more common as the vehicle racks up higher mileage over time. For the 2011 Countryman in particular, issues with the N18 Prince engine were widespread and costly to remedy.

Electrical gremlins are another thorn in the side of many Countryman owners. With the extensive use of electronics and computer systems in modern vehicles, diagnosing and repairing electrical faults often requires specialized labor that doesn’t come cheap. Suspension and brake work, while more straightforward, can still result in hefty invoices from the service department when components like shocks, struts, calipers, and rotors need replacing.

 

The Total 5-Year Cost of Countryman Ownership

To truly assess if the Mini Countryman is expensive to maintain for Canadian drivers, it’s important to look at the total 5-year cost of ownership. This takes into account not just scheduled maintenance and unscheduled repairs, but also fuel costs and insurance premiums over that period.

According to data from Edmunds, the estimated maintenance and repair costs for a Mini Countryman over the first 5 years of ownership total $14,724. This figure is based on an analysis of actual repair invoices from thousands of Countryman owners.

In addition to maintenance and repairs, Canadian drivers also need to budget for fuel costs. Edmunds estimates the 5-year fuel cost for a Countryman at around $15,600, based on an average of 15,000 km driven per year and fuel prices in major Canadian cities.

Insurance is another major ownership expense that can’t be overlooked. The average annual insurance premium for a Mini Countryman in Canada is approximately $1,400 according to InsuranceHotline.com. Over 5 years, that amounts to $7,000 in insurance costs.

When you combine the maintenance/repair costs of $14,724, fuel costs of $15,600, and insurance expenditures of $7,000, the total 5-year cost of owning a Mini Countryman in Canada comes out to $37,324. This figure excludes the initial purchase price, but provides a realistic estimate of the operating costs Canadian drivers can expect over a 5-year ownership period.

 

How Reliability Impacts Maintenance Expenses

A vehicle’s reliability is a major factor influencing how often repairs are needed and the associated maintenance costs over time. The Mini Countryman has seen improvements in reliability with each redesign, which directly impacts ownership expenses for Canadian drivers.

Older Countryman models from the early 2010s scored below average in reliability studies by organizations like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. Common problems included engine issues, electrical gremlins, and problems with the power equipment and suspension system. This led to more frequent trips to the mechanic and higher out-of-pocket costs.

However, the latest third generation Countryman released for 2017 has fared much better in reliability ratings. It now ranks among the top subcompact SUVs for predicted reliability. Only one recall has been issued since its debut related to the front seatbelt retractors.

With improved reliability, Countryman owners can expect fewer surprise repair bills and less maintenance needed outside of scheduled service visits. This helps make the overall ownership costs more manageable, even if the vehicle still has slightly higher-than-average repair costs when something does go wrong.

When shopping for a used Countryman, paying closer attention to the model year is recommended. More recent models will likely be more reliable and require less in unscheduled maintenance compared to high-mileage examples from the first couple generations. An extended warranty is also worth considering for older, less reliable Countrymans to cover unexpected repairs.

 

Tips to Keep Mini Countryman Maintenance Affordable

While the Mini Countryman does come with higher-than-average maintenance costs, there are several strategies Canadian drivers can employ to keep these expenses manageable:

 

Follow the Scheduled Maintenance Closely: Sticking to Mini’s recommended maintenance schedule is crucial. Skipping oil changes or neglecting other services can lead to much bigger repair bills down the road. Stay on top of routine maintenance to prevent premature wear and tear.

Consider an Extended Warranty: Especially for used or older Countryman models, purchasing an extended warranty from Mini or a third-party provider can protect you from expensive surprise repairs. The upfront cost is worth the peace of mind and potential savings.

Use Independent Mechanics for Some Services: While major repairs are best handled by a Mini dealer, you can save considerably by using an independent shop for basic maintenance like oil changes and brake work. Just be sure to find a reputable mechanic experienced with European vehicles.

Negotiate Service Costs: Don’t be afraid to get quotes from multiple Mini dealers or independent shops. Maintenance and repair costs can vary significantly. Use competition to your advantage in negotiating fair pricing.

 

Comparing the Countryman to Other Subcompact SUVs

While the Mini Countryman has a reputation for higher-than-average maintenance costs, it’s important to evaluate how it compares to other subcompact SUVs in the Canadian market. Looking at industry data can give us a better perspective on whether the Countryman’s costs are truly out of line.

According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for subcompact SUVs is around $600. This puts the estimated $850 annual repair cost for the Countryman about 40% higher than the segment average. However, some competing models like the Jeep Renegade ($731 annual repair cost) and Buick Encore ($659) are not too far behind the Mini.

Where the Countryman seems to struggle is with more expensive, higher-severity repairs that can drive up costs significantly as the vehicle ages. Issues with the engine, electrical system, and suspension tend to be the biggest culprits. Brands like the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, and Subaru Crosstrek generally have lower-frequency of severe repair needs.

That said, the Countryman does have an advantage with its included scheduled maintenance for the first few years of ownership. Mainstream brands typically don’t include these services, which can run $100-300 annually for things like oil changes, inspections, and fluid flushes. This helps offset some of the Countryman’s higher unscheduled repair costs early on.

Ultimately, most subcompact SUV owners can expect to pay $5,000-7,000 in total maintenance and repair costs over a 5-year ownership period. While the Countryman may land on the higher end of that range, it doesn’t necessarily make it an outlier or significantly more expensive than many other models in this competitive segment.

 

Are Countryman Repair Costs Higher in Canada?

One concern for Canadian Mini Countryman owners is whether they face higher repair costs compared to their American counterparts. While the vehicles themselves are largely identical, there are a few potential factors that could drive up maintenance expenses north of the border.

Firstly, the pricing of parts and labor can vary between countries due to differences in supply chains, import duties, and operational costs for automakers and dealers. Some Countryman components may cost more to source in Canada, which could then be passed onto consumers through higher repair bills.

Additionally, the exchange rate between Canadian and US dollars can impact affordability. If the Canadian dollar is weaker relative to the US dollar, it makes imported American parts and services comparatively more expensive for Canadian buyers. Currency fluctuations are an ongoing variable that Countryman owners in Canada need to account for.

There are also potential regulatory and environmental policy differences that could factor into maintenance pricing disparities. Varying emissions standards, safety regulations, or sustainability initiatives between Canada and the US may necessitate different parts or procedures for the same repair job on the Countryman.

However, it’s worth noting that many major repair chains and automakers aim for pricing parity across North American markets when possible. The costs of ownership could theoretically be quite similar for Canadians and Americans. Ultimately, owners should inquire about localized pricing and be aware of the potential for higher expenses in some regions or situations.

 

Weighing Maintenance vs Purchase Price and Features

While maintenance and repair costs for the Mini Countryman may be higher than some competitors, it’s important to weigh those expenses against the vehicle’s purchase price and premium features. The Countryman starts around $30,000 CAD for base models, which is relatively affordable for a stylish subcompact luxury SUV.

For that price, Canadian drivers get a fun-to-drive vehicle with nimble handling, a premium interior with lots of tech features, and iconic Mini styling that helps it stand out from the crowd. The Countryman also offers available all-wheel-drive for improved traction and capability.

So while the ownership costs may be higher, you are getting a more premium vehicle and driving experience compared to mainstream subcompact SUVs like the Honda HR-V or Hyundai Kona. It comes down to priorities – are you willing to pay a bit more long-term for a more upscale, engaging vehicle?

The higher maintenance costs could be a worthwhile tradeoff for many buyers who want a taste of luxury and European driving dynamics without the price tag of larger premium SUVs. Just be sure to budget accordingly and perhaps consider an extended warranty to cover unexpected repairs down the road.

 

Owner Reviews on Countryman Maintenance in Canada

To truly understand the maintenance costs of the Mini Countryman for Canadian drivers, it’s valuable to hear directly from owners themselves. While industry data provides helpful estimates, real-world experiences often reveal the full picture of operating expenses.

On the popular Canadian automotive forum AutoGuide.com, Countryman owners have shared a range of maintenance stories. Montrealer “QCMiniGuy” owns a 2015 Countryman S and has been pleased with the costs so far, stating: “I’ve had my Countryman for 4 years now and the only major repair was replacing the water pump at around 80,000 km which ran me $900. Otherwise it’s just been regular maintenance like brakes, oil changes, etc. Not too bad overall.”

However, other owners have had more expensive experiences. “CowTown_JCW” from Calgary reports: “The maintenance light came on my 2012 Countryman JCW at 100,000 km for its first major service. Dealer quoted me $2,200! I found an independent Mini specialist that did it for $1,400 which was still pretty steep but better than the stealership.” This underscores the importance of finding an affordable, trustworthy mechanic.

Even with careful maintenance, some issues are unavoidable as these vehicles age. “MiniYYCGal” shared: “I loved my 2011 Countryman but it ended up being a money pit after 120,000 km. Ignition coils needed replacing ($800), sunroof drain issues ($500 repair), multiple gas cap sensors failing, and a few other electrical glitches. I finally sold it and got a Subaru after the repairs just kept adding up.”

While anecdotal, these real owner reviews from across Canada illustrate that Countryman maintenance costs can vary significantly based on driving conditions, individual vehicle issues, and access to affordable, trustworthy mechanics. Being proactive about maintenance and budgeting appropriately for repairs appears to be key for Countryman owners to keep operating costs manageable.

 

Expectations for Future Countryman Models

As Mini prepares to release updated versions of the Countryman, Canadian drivers can expect some changes that may impact maintenance costs. One of the most significant developments is the planned introduction of electrified powertrains, including both hybrid and fully electric variants.

While electric vehicles generally require less maintenance due to fewer moving parts and fluids, the battery packs can be expensive to replace down the road. However, with proper care and usage within specified parameters, EV batteries can last well over 8-10 years before degradation becomes an issue.

Mini is also expected to incorporate more advanced driver assistance technologies and infotainment systems into future Countryman models. While convenient, these high-tech features often mean increased complexity and potential repair costs if components fail. Diligent software updates and careful usage will be key to minimizing issues.

On the upside, Mini’s increased focus on reliability and quality control could lead to fewer mechanical problems and unscheduled repairs for the Countryman lineup. New models tend to benefit from lessons learned and engineering improvements over previous generations.

Ultimately, only time will tell how the maintenance costs shape up for future Countryman variants. But Canadian drivers should keep an eye on reviews, ownership reports, and cost-of-ownership estimates as new models are released and real-world data becomes available.

 

Extended Warranties and Service Plans for Peace of Mind

For Canadian drivers concerned about the potential for higher-than-average repair costs on a Mini Countryman, extended warranties and service plans can provide valuable peace of mind. Mini offers several coverage options to consider when purchasing a new Countryman.

The MINI No-Charge Scheduled Maintenance plan covers many common services for the first 3 years or 40,000 km, whichever comes first. This includes engine oil changes, inspections, brake fluid service, and more based on the maintenance schedule. While it doesn’t cover repairs, it eliminates some routine costs.

The MINI Certified Prepaid Maintenance plan extends coverage for scheduled maintenance up to 6 years or 80,000 km. Pricing depends on the specific Countryman model but expect to pay around $1,000-$1,500 at time of purchase. It provides a bit more long-term budgeting certainty.

For repair coverage, Mini offers the MINI Certified Protection Plan which can extend the original 4-year/80,000 km warranty up to 8 years with no mileage limits. Prices range from roughly $2,000 for a 5-year plan to around $4,000 for the full 8 years of maximum coverage. While pricey upfront, this cushions against unexpected repair bills down the road.

Whether these extended warranties and service plans are worth it depends on how long you plan to keep the Countryman and your overall repair risk tolerance. For drivers committed to keeping their Mini long-term, they offer a way to cap maintenance expenses and provide more cost certainty.

 

Certified Pre-Owned Countrymans – A More Affordable Option?

For Canadian drivers looking to mitigate the potential higher repair costs associated with the Mini Countryman, a certified pre-owned (CPO) model could be an attractive option. CPO programs from automakers like Mini provide added benefits and peace of mind compared to purchasing a regular used vehicle.

Mini’s CPO program requires vehicles to meet strict age and mileage limits, undergo a comprehensive multi-point inspection, and have a clean vehicle history report. CPO Countrymans also come with extended warranty coverage, typically for 6 years or 80,000 km from the original in-service date. This can provide valuable protection against unexpected repair bills during the ownership period.

Additionally, CPO Countrymans may be more affordable upfront compared to a brand-new model. The depreciation hit is already absorbed by the first owner, allowing you to potentially get a like-new vehicle at a discounted price point. However, it’s important to factor in the remaining costs of the CPO warranty and any dealer fees when calculating the overall value.

That said, even with a CPO warranty, repair costs for the Countryman could still be higher than average once that coverage expires. And while the CPO inspection process is rigorous, it doesn’t eliminate all risk of inheriting a problematic vehicle. Carefully reviewing the maintenance records and having an independent inspection performed are wise precautions.

Ultimately, a CPO Mini Countryman presents a balanced compromise for cost-conscious buyers – providing upfront savings over a new model, added warranty protection during the highest-risk ownership years, and the backing of the manufacturer’s CPO program. For those willing to take on potential long-term repair costs in exchange for short-term affordability, it could be an appealing choice.

 

Conclusion: Are Mini Countrymans Worth the Maintenance Costs?

After examining the data on scheduled maintenance requirements, typical repair costs, and overall 5-year ownership expenses, it’s clear that the Mini Countryman does demand higher upkeep than many other subcompact SUV models. However, this doesn’t necessarily make it an impractical choice for Canadian drivers.

For those who deeply appreciate the Countryman’s stylish design, premium interior, and fun driving dynamics, the added maintenance costs may be justifiable – especially if the vehicle is kept for 3-4 years before the repair bills start to escalate. Younger buyers and those prioritizing affordable motoring above all else may want to look at lower-cost alternatives.

Prospective Countryman buyers should carefully assess their budget and long-term ownership plans. Those intending to keep the vehicle for 5+ years will likely need to set aside $2,000-$3,000 annually for maintenance and repairs on average. This figure can increase substantially for higher mileage driving or if major issues arise.

To offset expenses, smart shoppers should pursue certified pre-owned Countrymans with remaining factory warranty coverage. Extended warranty plans from Mini can also provide financial protection. Diligent owners who follow all scheduled services and quickly address minor issues can prevent costlier repairs down the road.

Ultimately, the Mini Countryman’s higher maintenance requirements are unlikely to be a dealbreaker for drivers who love the car. With prudent budgeting and care, this premium subcompact SUV can still prove an affordable long-term companion for Canadian motorists seeking small car practicality with a hefty dose of driving fun.

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Questions About Mini Countryman Maintenance

The Mini Countryman is more expensive to maintain in Canada compared to many other compact SUVs. On average, Canadian Countryman owners pay around $1,200 CAD per year for maintenance and repairs. The initial purchase price is also higher than other vehicles in its class. However, the Countryman offers a fun driving experience and stylish design that make it worth considering if you budget for higher ownership costs.

The Mini Countryman is more expensive to maintain in Canada compared to many other compact SUVs. OWhat are common maintenance costs for a Mini Countryman in Canada?

Some typical maintenance costs for a Mini Countryman in Canada include:

 

– Oil changes – $80-$120 CAD

– Brake pads and rotor replacement – $800-$1,200 CAD

– Tire rotation – $30-$60 CAD

– Air filter replacement – $60-$90 CAD

– Spark plug replacement – $300-$500 CAD

– Coolant flush – $150-$250 CAD

 

Mini also recommends more frequent maintenance intervals compared to other brands. Plan to visit the dealership around every 12,000 km.


n average, Canadian Countryman owners pay around $1,200 CAD per year for maintenance and repairs. The initial purchase price is also higher than other vehicles in its class. However, the Countryman offers a fun driving experience and stylish design that make it worth considering if you budget for higher ownership costs.

Yes, Mini recommends using premium 91 octane gasoline or higher in all Countryman models sold in Canada. Using regular 87 octane fuel can cause knocking, reduced performance and engine damage over time. The fuel economy difference between regular and premium gas in the Countryman is fairly small, so it’s best to follow Mini’s fuel recommendations.



Yes, the Mini Countryman tends to have higher parts and labor costs for repairs compared to other compact SUVs in Canada. As a European luxury brand, Mini dealers tend to charge higher hourly labor rates. And since Mini is not as common in Canada, some replacement parts need to be special ordered from Europe which also increases costs.

Yes, any authorized Mini dealership in Canada can perform factory scheduled maintenance and repairs on used Countryman models. However, complimentary maintenance plans only come with new Mini purchases or leases. Used Mini owners will need to pay out-of-pocket for any required maintenance or repairs at the time of service.

The factory scheduled maintenance for a Mini Countryman in Canada includes:

 

– Oil service – Every 12,000 km or 12 months

– Brake fluid flush – Every 2 years

– Coolant flush – At 6 years or 96,000 km

– Spark plug replacement – At 6 years or 96,000 km

– Transmission fluid change – Not required under normal conditions

 

Mini also recommends more frequent inspections of brake pads, tires, engine air filter and other wear items.

Yes, winter weather can negatively impact reliability for Mini Countrymans driven year-round in Canada. Issues like road salt corrosion, cold start problems, snow/ice build up and low temperature coolant problems happen more often. Frequent undercarriage washing is highly recommended to prevent rust and deterioration to the subframe or suspension components.

Some common Mini Countryman problems reported in Canada include:

 

– Oil leaks

– Faulty thermostats

– Turbocharger failures

– Electrical glitches

– Suspension noise issues

– Excessive brake and tire wear

 

It’s a good idea to purchase an extended warranty if buying a used Countryman out of the new car warranty period.

Purchasing an extended warranty (or vehicle service contract) is highly recommended if you own a Mini Countryman in Canada beyond the 4 year / 80,000 km factory coverage. It provides protection against expensive repairs. Mini models tend to have higher than average repair costs once the factory warranty expires. Extended warranties can pay for themselves with just one major repair bill.

The best prices on extended warranty plans for Mini Countryman models are usually available from third-party providers in Canada rather than the Mini dealership. Leading third-party providers offer similar coverage levels at lower costs by streamlining processes and eliminating overhead expenses. Get quotes from several providers before deciding on the best extended warranty for your needs and budget.



Some leading independent auto shops specializing in Mini Cooper and Countryman repairs in Canada include:

 

– Escentric Motorworks (Ontario)

– Motorkars Limited (Ontario)

– Auto Haus (Alberta, Nova Scotia)

– Speedwerks (Manitoba)

– Skene Design (Quebec)

 

An independent European auto specialist is a good option once the factory warranty expires on a Mini. They tend to be more affordable while offering expert Mini repair services.

Yes, the Mini Countryman is generally more expensive to insure annually in Canada compared to other compact SUVs. Typical factors that increase yearly insurance costs include:

 

– High vehicle purchase price

– Status as a luxury/performance brand

– Low repairability ratings

– High collision claim severity

 

However, factors like a good driving record and low mileage can help offset some of these additional insurance costs. Get quotes from several providers.

The Mini Countryman has a relatively small 36-litre (9.6 gallon) gas tank in Canada. With premium 91 octane gasoline currently averaging $1.25 CAD per litre nationally, it costs approximately $45 CAD for a full tank fill up. The total fill up cost can vary somewhat by region. Owners need to refuel this small tank fairly frequently.

The Mini Countryman earns good marks for winter driving capability and reliability in Canada thanks to available all-wheel drive on most trim levels. The ALL4 all-wheel drive system actively splits torque between front and rear axles to maintain traction. Winter tires are still recommended for maximum grip on snow and ice. Cold weather testing ensures reliable cold weather operation.

The front-wheel drive Mini Countryman models with the base 1.5L 3-cylinder turbo engine achieve the best fuel economy in Canada, averaging 7.9L/100 km (30 MPG) combined city/highway driving. The all-wheel drive Cooper S and John Cooper Works trims with the 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine score slightly lower at 8.7L/100 km (27 MPG) combined with premium gasoline.

Yes, Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel drive system is available as an option on most Countryman trim levels in Canada. The 2023 model year makes ALL4 standard on the top Cooper S and John Cooper Works trims. ALL4 actively distributes torque between the front and rear axles using an electrohydraulically regulated multi-plate clutch packed inside the rear axle drive.

The 2023 Mini Countryman starts at an MSRP of $36,090 CAD for the front-wheel drive Cooper Classic trim in Canada. The mid-range Cooper ALL4 model begins at $39,990 CAD. Top trims like the Cooper S ALL4 and John Cooper Works ALL4 are priced from the mid-$40,000s up to around $53,000 CAD before options, fees and taxes.

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