The Mini Countryman is a subcompact SUV and the largest model offered by this BMW-owned, British manufacturer. Introduced for 2011, the Countryman has four doors, offers room for four or five and is available in front- and all-wheel drive configurations.
Mini Countryman Overview
The Mini Cooper Countryman solves a problem that has long beset some Mini Cooper owners: interior space. Although it’s a diminutive SUV, the Countryman offers expanded passenger space and more than double the standard storage space found in the iconic Mini Cooper.
The Countryman’s layout is a familiar one, paralleling the design of other Mini products. This model’s front fascia is marked by a horizontal ribbed grille that’s hemmed in by oversized oval headlamp assemblies. A narrow lower grille opening is offset by pockets containing fog lamps.
Its rectangular profile includes pronounced wheel well flairs, distinctive wheels and upright roof pillars, as well as a straight roofline and beltline. Character lines add definition to the silhouette. From the rear you’ll find a spoiler and vertical combination lights. Body sculpting across the rear bumper completes this model’s expression.
The Countryman offers space for four or five people. Full bucket seats are up front, while rear bucket seats or a rear bench seat is available, depending on the model year. Beginning in 2014 the rear bucket seats were dropped, increasing standard passenger capacity to five in all models. Despite the change, the back seat is best suited for two people.
If spheres are your thing, the Countryman’s cabin does not disappoint. Circular vents, gauges, door inlays and handles advance that theme. Even the pedals have rounded edges.
Starting with the 2013 model year, features like Bluetooth and a USB port became standard on the Mini Countryman. Interior upgrades bring in leather seats, heated front seats, a sunroof and navigation. Mini also introduced a John Cooper Works All4 edition for 2013, which includes performance upgrades and unique exterior styling.
All Mini Cooper Countryman models are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 121 horsepower. Cooper S and John Cooper Works models get a turbocharged version of the same engine. It delivers 181 horsepower in the Cooper S and 208 horsepower in the John Cooper Works model. A six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic are offered.
Operating in the smallest SUV segment, the Mini Countryman faces a growing list of competitors. Buyers might also consider the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek, Fiat 500X and Chevrolet Trax.