Mini has a set style for its vehicles – whether that be for a hatchback, an estate or a compact SUV. Each of them has a similar face with extended dimensions to suit the different market segments Mini wants to have a stake in.
The brand’s largest offering is this, the Countryman, which comes with the same familiar face but more room than any other Mini models.
Based on the same platform as the BMW X1, 2 Series Active Tourer and latest Clubman, this latest Countryman is larger than before.
But with it now in the tightly packed and incredibly competitive C-segment, can it stand out against other crossovers? We take a look…
Under the bonnet of our Cooper S All4 model was the top-end 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which in this case developed 192bhp and 280Nm of torque. Mated to the All4 all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Cooper S engine can get the Countryman from 0-60mph in seven seconds flat and can take the crossover up to a top speed of 138mph.
Even with that pace off the line, it never feels that fast – something even Sport mode doesn’t rectify. Four other units are available with the Countryman in the form of the 1.5-litre Cooper petrol that develops 134bhp, the diesel 2.0-litre Cooper D that produces 148bhp, the 221bhp petrol-hybrid Cooper S E and a John Cooper Works version that uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine to develop 228bhp.
Ride & Handling
Despite being larger than its predecessor, the second generation Countryman feels relatively small to drive and it handles rather well when you get onto twistier sections of road. The steering feels of a good weight with decent levels of feedback – giving you more confidence on the go.
The Countryman also feels stable when on longer stretches of road thanks to well-balanced suspension that doesn’t fidget around. Although road noise does permeate into the cabin at higher speeds, the Mini feels refined enough for most people and with parking sensors as standard, maneuvering it around narrower streets and car parks won’t be too difficult either.See Available Countrman deals
Interior & Equipment
With the extended chassis over the last generation, interior space is now on the same level as other crossover and hatchback options in the segment – making it a great family car option. There’s more head and legroom than before in the back as well, as Mini has added 100 litres to the boot space too – with that area now offering 450 litres. When the the rear seats are folded flat, customers can access 1,390 litres of loading room.
After Mini restructured its trim offerings across the entire range, the Countryman only comes in three specifications – Classic, Sport and Exclusive. On the entry-level Classic, the Countryman comes with a 6.5-inch colour infotainment screen with satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, DAB radio, air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel, Mini driving modes and keyless start with start/stop button.
If customers choose to go for the Sport and Exclusive options, the Countryman comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, exterior upgrades, sports seats and cruise control with brake function.
Prices for the Countryman start from £23,385, which gets you the Classic model with the entry level Cooper petrol engine and six-speed manual transmission. With the Cooper S powertrain, prices for the crossover start from £28,885 – which is on the higher end of the compact SUV segment.
Mini claims that the Countryman Cooper S can achieve a quoted 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 146g/km – which for a petrol crossover of this size isn’t too bad a return.
This version of the Countryman is a big improvement over the first thanks to additional space and better driving dynamics than before. It can get quite pricey depending on which model you choose and other models in the competitive C-segment can offer a better package – but with plenty of kit as standard, a well-balanced setup and more than enough space for family life, those wanting a stylish SUV should consider it.