Mini Countryman Review: Everything You Need To Know About Mini’s Versatile SUV

Date Posted 14th July 2021
Read Time 8 min read
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The iconic Mini – it’s without a doubt the cutest little fashion statement car out there. And that has always been its biggest selling point. But it’s always been its biggest problem too. 

The Mini was never going to appeal to a family of five. It was never going to be practical for weekend jaunts and adventures off the beaten track. In short, it never measured up to a real-world family car.

Up for a challenge, the designers at Mini took out a fresh sheet of paper and created – from the wheels up – the biggest Mini so far – the Mini countryman. It’s longer, wider and more capable than any of its predecessors. Its aim: to be the perfect family car in all conditions.

It made those who would previously sneer at the thought of juggling all of the luggage of family life in the small car, take a second look. And when they did, not only did they realise it had grown up – it looked pretty good too.

Design & Styling

At first glance, the Countryman looks just like its iconic younger sibling, only taller and longer. However, it has its own unique style with rugged good looks.

A longer face and larger front grille give it a more imposing look to the smaller Cooper, with skirts made of matte black plastic giving it more of a quality allure. And with a nod to their roots, the Union Jack LED rear lights are stylishly encased in their Piano Black Frame.

The Piano Black theme continues throughout the Cooper S, SD and SE, too, with all featuring it as standard inside. 

Of course, some things stay the same. The distinctive rounded headlights for instance. And as ever, Mini offers a range of personalisation options, so you can customise your ride to suit you.

Speaking of which, there’s an immensely diverse line-up when it comes to the Countryman. Six different models and all come with three levels of trim – the Classic, Signature and Iconic. 

So, on the plus side, you can find one to suit your needs. On the other hand, with so much choice, it may be overwhelming.

While the Classic trim comes in a choice of four colours, by the time you get to the Iconic you have the option of having the Mini Yours Enigmatic Black Metallic paint. 

The Signature trim steps things up a little with 18-inch alloy wheels, while Iconic sees 19-inch edged spoke wheels or 19-inch Mini Yours masterpiece wheels being added to the mix.

MPG, running costs & environmental impact

The Mini Countryman comes with four engine options – a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol, a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol, a plug-in hybrid petrol-electric mix, and the hardcore John Cooper Works turbocharged 2.0-litre. 

The entry-level 1.5-litre offers a handy blend of power and economy, producing 136bhp and recording 38.7 to 44.8mpg, depending on if you choose manual or automatic, as well as if it’s two or four-wheel-drive. 

The 2.0-litre meanwhile packs a bigger punch, giving you 178bhp and returning between 39.2 and 42.2mpg.

Next sits the plug-in hybrid, which combines a 125bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a 70kW e-motor offering 95bhp to produce a feisty 220bhp powertrain that returns up to 166.2mpg. 

And at the top of the power rankings is the John Cooper Works, which offers a huge 306bhp and returns 34-37mpg. 

Insurance costs aren’t too heavy with the Countryman either and, depending on which model you choose, you’re looking at an insurance group range of 8-25, with the John Cooper Works model taking that up to group 33-34.

Engines, drive & performance

Mini has built its reputation on fun cars to drive. And the Countryman soaks up some of the agility of its smaller sibling, ensuring, despite its bigger stature, there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had.

Even with its lengthier wheelbase, this is a sharp car to drive thanks to the quick steering and efficient grip. You can also choose between various different driving modes to give you total control over the road. 

Engine-wise, you’ll find the basic Countryman models use the 1.5-litre, three cylinder turbo petrol engine. With 134bhp and 22Nm of torque, it provides a nimble experience that we’ve come to expect from the Mini hatch. 

With an official 0-62mph time of 9.7 seconds, it’s quick, but bear in mind when laden down with children and shopping, this larger vehicle may struggle to be quite so nippy.

For better power distribution, you may want to look at the 2.0-litre petrol, which covers 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds. 

Although if performance is what you’re after, the John Cooper Works ALL4, which has a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine under the bonnet and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, gives you 306bhp and will complete the 0-60mph sprint in a smidge over five seconds. 

The best all-rounder though is the plug-in hybrid. One of the best hybrid SUVs to drive on sale, the instant boost from the electric motor can see it get from 0-62mph in just 6.8 seconds.

While the batteries add to the car’s weight, making it less agile, it’s still the second-fastest in the Countryman range. The All4 system means the electric motor powers the rear wheels while the engine powers the front. The result is a superb four-wheel drive.

There’s also an eBoost function and an Auto eDrive mode saving on fuel or adding a little extra push – whatever you require.

However, whichever Countryman model you choose and whichever engine, running costs are fairly reasonable across the range, albeit you’re going to notice the benefit in the hybrid.

Interior

The Countryman’s interior screams Mini. Splashed with lots of aluminium and chrome, the retro dials give you that true Mini feel.

The iconic LED-surrounded central circular infotainment display still takes pride of place on the dashboard, which, in the Countryman, is a high-definition 8.8-inch touchscreen that comes with plenty of handy features and tech, no matter what spec you choose. 

This includes sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, real-time traffic information and connected services, including web browsing. 

It’s not gone as far as plush, but the interior of the Countryman is cushioned with soft-touch plastics, and for added luxury, and at a price, you can get hold of a high-grade leather version. 

There’s more seat cushioning than you’d get with the standard Mini Cooper for added comfort, although you may need to take your time adjusting the driving seat to get over the enormous dashboard.

The trim level you choose will dictate what features the Countryman sports. However, again, the entry-level spec is impressive, with a five-inch digital driver’s display, keyless go, cruise control, heated windscreen washers and rear parking sensors. 

You can choose to upgrade that equipment of course, which will introduce features such as sportier seats, performance handling and nicer finishes. 

And as with any Mini, the options list is extensive, with six different packs to choose from – ranging from the Comfort Pack, which adds features such as automatic air-con and heated seats, up to the Navigation Plus Pack; offering Amazon’s Alexa, wireless charging and a digital cockpit.  

Practicality & boot space

When it launched, Mini promised the Countryman would be practical. And it is. It comes with 450 litres of boot space, which can be extended to 1,390 litres by folding the rear seats.

Thinking country wellies and picnics, there’s also a cushion that folds out from under the boot floor and tailgate for you to rest on when you’re out and about.

The Countryman is also packed full of storage spots in the cabin. Although there’s no glovebox, there’s a cubbyhole stashed away above, cupholders and good-sized door storage, too.

It’s done much to improve the spaciousness inside and there’s plenty of head and legroom both in the front and back.

Reliability & safety

The Countryman is reassuringly safe, boasting a five-star Euro NCAP rating. 

The SUV comes with multiple airbags and automatic emergency braking as standard. There’s also a Driving Assistant pack that you can add for a little more protection. The pack includes adaptive cruise control and a camera-based driving assistant system, too.

And on top of all of that, there’s a three-year warranty, although this is fairly standard for the class.

Models

Classic

  • 8.8” colour screen
  • Mini navigation system
  • Real-time traffic information
  • Mini Connected Services
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Intelligent Emergency Call
  • DAB radio
  • Bluetooth

Sport

  • Anthracite headlining
  • Mini driving modes
  • 18” John Cooper Works grip spoke alloys
  • Sports suspension (adaptative suspension available at no cost)
  • John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit
  • John Cooper Works Nappa Leather steering wheel
  • John Cooper Works entry sills
  • Piano Black exterior pack
  • Chilli Red Paint (£0 Cost Standard, Other Colours Available)
  • Black roof and mirror caps

Exclusive

  • Mini driving modes
  • Anthracite headlining
  • Enigmatic Black metallic paint (£0 cost standard, other colours available)
  • Silver roof and mirror caps
  • Mini Yours leather lounge (satellite grey, indigo blue, malt brown available at no cost)
  • 19” Mini Yours British spoke alloys
  • Mini Yours exterior badging
  • Mini Yours Nappa Leather steering wheel
  • Mini Yours floor mats

John Cooper Works

  • Anthracite headlining
  • Mini driving modes
  • 18” John Cooper Works grip spoke alloys
  • Sports suspension (adaptative suspension available at no cost)
  • John Cooper Works aerodynamic kit
  • John Cooper Works Nappa Leather steering wheel
  • John Cooper Works entry sills
  • Piano Black exterior pack
  • Rebel Green paint (£0 cost standard, other colours available)

Cost & deals

The Mini Countryman starts at around £25,410 and rises to £36,985, depending on which model you choose. You can also choose to personalise your Countryman with Packs and optional extras. 

However, here at Hippo Leasing, we have a wide selection of great lease and financing offers available on the Countryman, meaning you can pick one up for just £226 a month. Click the button below to find your perfect lease. 

However, if you’d rather secure your finance first, so you can get a quote that’s personalised to your acceptance, you can use our quick and easy online application.