Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

MINI Countryman review

The not-so-little MINI Countryman offers family friendly space, with efficiency and an indomitable style

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£29,310 to £46,625
  • Mature driving experience
  • Spacious and practical
  • Upmarket interior
  • Can get expensive
  • Divisive styling
  • Ride is a bit firm
Find your MINI Countryman
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The MINI Countryman is the biggest car for sale in the MINI lineup. That makes it something of a contradiction to the original Mini ethos, but it has used the retro appeal of the classic car to attract SUV buyers wanting an upmarket family car with some clever packaging. 

Like the MINI Hatch and Clubman estate, the Countryman is bigger and more expensive than before. It’s also more spacious inside, now proving to be a truly practical family car, while interior quality has taken a significant step up. It drives well, too – sacrificing some of the enjoyment of smaller MINIs for a more grown-up and refined experience on the road.

About the MINI Countryman

Thanks to its somewhat inflated dimensions, the MINI Countryman is a car that enthusiasts of the original Mini love to hate, but buyers can’t get enough of them. It may be a little at odds with the spirit of the company, but the first generation sold well all its life, and this Mk2 version continues to be popular as the crossover boom intensifies.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Launched in 2017 and refreshed again in 2020, the Countryman line-up includes a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant as well as petrol options, but the diesel has been axed in the light of fading consumer interest. However, as well as offering an alternative powertrain choice and the additional space of a larger body, the MINI Countryman price tags have also risen inexorably over the years. They now start from around £29,000 for the basic Cooper, rising to around £39,000 for the high performance John Cooper Works (JCW).

This price range means the MINI Countryman goes up against a variety of rivals in the premium small SUV class. There's the Audi Q2 or slightly larger Q3, the Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40, while cars like the VW T-Roc and Mazda CX-30 offer something different for a little less outlay.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

As with the rest of the MINI range, the Countryman comes in Cooper and Cooper S versions, with two- and four-wheel-drive variants available. These are joined by the Cooper S E PHEV plug-in hybrid, and the range-topping JCW which packs a seriously powerful punch with its 302bhp engine.

The Cooper, Cooper S and PHEV come in Classic, Exclusive and Sport packages that bundle desirable kit together. Classic spec is effectively the standard trim level; Sport and Exclusive packs are the same price but the former gives you sports seats and racy detailing, while the later includes leather upholstery and a more refined ambience. Special edition models come and go from the price list, with the top-of-the-range JCW offering a spec all of its own. The price list currently includes a Untamed Edition which features unique 18-inch alloys, Momentum Grey paint, black exterior trim and Untamed badging.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Cooper features a 134bhp 1.5 three-cylinder turbo petrol that's found across the BMW and MINI line-ups, while the Cooper S now has a 176bhp turbo four-cylinder unit. Cooper and Cooper S models come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the PHEV has a six-speed automatic 'box, and the JCW an eight-speed auto.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

For the ultimate in efficiency, the PHEV offers a zero-emissions driving range of around 31 miles on electric power, although of course you're only going to reap the benefits by plugging the battery in to recharge as often as possible.

Used and nearly new

The MINI Countryman joined the MINI range in 2010, and it was quite an important car in the company’s history. As well as being the first ever MINI SUV, it was also the brand’s inaugural five-door model and its first car to be offered with all-wheel drive. Across both generations, the MINI Countryman recipe has remained very consistent: the characteristic rounded MINI looks have been retained inside and out, and the SUV handles quite nicely given its size and ride height. A variety of engine options were available, too, though only the second-gen models were offered with a hybrid powertrain.

MINI Countryman history

Best small 4x4s to buy

MINI Countryman Mk2: 2017-present

The Mk2 MINI Countryman arrived in 2017, and picked up where its predecessor left off. The characteristic rounded design inside and out was familiar to owners of the outgoing car, as was the decent practicality and sporty handling. In some areas, the two generations of MINI Countryman do differ: unlike the Mk1, the Mk2
could be specified with petrol-electric plug-in hybrid power, and the diesel engines available at launch would be dropped entirely on later models.

MINI Countryman Mk1

MINI Countryman Mk1: 2010-2017

The Mk1 MINI Countryman was the brand’s first foray into SUVs, and it was by and large a good inaugural attempt. The cabin was roomy, high quality and came decently equipped even on entry level models, and the car rode and handled nicely, too. Buyers could specify from a variety of engine options, ranging from frugal diesels to punchy petrols, and most models could be equipped with automatic gearboxes and all-wheel drive. Read our full Mk1 MINI Countryman buyer’s guide here…

For an alternative review of the MINI Countryman, visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk...

Skip advert
Advertisement

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 C Classic 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £29,310

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 C Classic 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £29,310

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 John Cooper Works ALL4 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £41,425
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

Skip advert
Advertisement

More on Countryman

Best electric SUVs to buy 2024
Best electric SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans
3 Jun 2024

Best electric SUVs to buy 2024

The electric SUV market is growing rapidly, so we’re here to help you pick the best ones to buy
Volvo XC40 vs MINI Countryman 2024 twin test: a small SUV skirmish
MINI Countryman and Volvo XC40 - front tracking
Car group tests
4 May 2024

Volvo XC40 vs MINI Countryman 2024 twin test: a small SUV skirmish

The MINI Countryman is now a big hitter in the premium compact SUV class, but can it beat the Volvo XC40?
New MINI Countryman 2024 review: stylish, practical and bigger than ever
New MINI Countryman Cooper Exclusive - front
Road tests
22 Mar 2024

New MINI Countryman 2024 review: stylish, practical and bigger than ever

We put the biggest ever MINI through its paces on UK roads to see if its a winner
New MINI Countryman JCW 2024 review: fails to live up to its potential
MINI Countryman JCW UK - front
Road tests
15 Mar 2024

New MINI Countryman JCW 2024 review: fails to live up to its potential

The bigger MINI Countryman SUV is now a genuine family car, and we try the hot JCW version for the first time
New MINI Countryman SE 2024 review: a spacious and refined electric SUV
MINI Countryman SE - front
Road tests
5 Mar 2024

New MINI Countryman SE 2024 review: a spacious and refined electric SUV

The new all-electric MINI Countryman SE isn’t cheap, but is the brand’s most convincing SUV in the modern era
New MINI Countryman is on sale now: EV versions, advanced tech and MINI’s quirky charm
MINI Countryman at 2023 Munich Motor Show - front
News
15 Dec 2023

New MINI Countryman is on sale now: EV versions, advanced tech and MINI’s quirky charm

The 2024 MINI Countryman SUV has officially landed with pricing from £29,325
New MINI Countryman JCW aims to deliver performance and practicality
MINI Countryman JCW - front
News
10 Nov 2023

New MINI Countryman JCW aims to deliver performance and practicality

The new MINI Countryman JCW gets 296bhp and four-wheel drive
New MINI Countryman ride review
MINI Countryman prototype - front
Road tests
4 Apr 2023

New MINI Countryman ride review

We jump in the passenger seat as the new electric MINI Countryman hits the road
MINI leasing deals 2022
MINI hatchback
Best cars & vans
14 Sep 2022

MINI leasing deals 2022

The best MINI leasing deals available right now
New MINI Countryman Cooper S plug-in hybrid 2022 review
MINI Countryman S PHEV
Road tests
18 Jan 2022

New MINI Countryman Cooper S plug-in hybrid 2022 review

In sporty Cooper S guise, can the latest plug-in hybrid MINI Countryman offer frugality and fun?
Used MINI Countryman (Mk1, 2010-2017) review
Used MINI Countryman Mk1
Used car tests
7 Dec 2021

Used MINI Countryman (Mk1, 2010-2017) review

The MINI Countryman Mk1 is an eye-catching, fun-to-drive and handily versatile small SUV, if not exactly the most practical option out there
Skip advert
Advertisement
Used MINI Countryman (Mk2, 2017-date) review
Used MINI Countryman - front
Used car tests
2 Jun 2021

Used MINI Countryman (Mk2, 2017-date) review

A full used buyer’s guide on the MINI Countryman covering the Countryman Mk2 (2017-date)
New MINI Countryman JCW 2021 review
MINI Countryman JCW - front
Road tests
23 Apr 2021

New MINI Countryman JCW 2021 review

The beefed-up MINI Countryman JCW SUV gets all the sporty touches, but it has its limitations
MINI Clubman and Countryman gain new Shadow Edition trim
MINI Shadow Edition
News
10 Feb 2021

MINI Clubman and Countryman gain new Shadow Edition trim

MINI Shadow Edition specification is unique to the UK and adds a range of equipment upgrades and darkened styling features
New MINI Countryman Boardwalk Edition arrives with styling upgrades
MINI Countryman
News
8 Dec 2020

New MINI Countryman Boardwalk Edition arrives with styling upgrades

The MINI Countryman Boardwalk Edition will be limited to just 325 units, gets unique paint finish, new wheels and is priced from £31,600
MINI Countryman production set to move to Germany in 2023
News
19 Nov 2020

MINI Countryman production set to move to Germany in 2023

Next-generation MINI Countryman will be built at BMW’s plant in Leipzig – and it’ll be available with a pure-electric drivetrain
New MINI Countryman PHEV 2020 review
Road tests
23 Sep 2020

New MINI Countryman PHEV 2020 review

The MINI Countryman PHEV gets a mild facelift and an interior tech boost
New 2020 MINI Countryman JCW joins facelifted line-up with 302bhp
News
22 Jul 2020

New 2020 MINI Countryman JCW joins facelifted line-up with 302bhp

Revised version of the MINI Countryman John Cooper Works crossover features tweaked styling and new technology
New 2020 MINI Countryman facelift: prices, spces and pics
Best small 4x4s to buy
News
20 Jul 2020

New 2020 MINI Countryman facelift: prices, spces and pics

The facelifted MINI Countryman features tweaked styling, improved technology and an subtly updated powertrain line-up
Kia Niro PHEV vs MINI Countryman PHEV
Car group tests
30 May 2020

Kia Niro PHEV vs MINI Countryman PHEV

The Kia Niro PHEV and MINI Countryman PHEV Cooper S E plug-in electric models focus on efficient running and family fun, but which is best?
DS 3 Crossback vs MINI Countryman
DS 3 Crossback vs MINI Countryman - header
Car group tests
11 Jun 2019

DS 3 Crossback vs MINI Countryman

The classy new DS 3 Crossback has the MINI Countryman in its sights, but can it win the posh small SUV battle?
MINI JCW Clubman and JCW Countryman updated
MINI JCW Clubman - front
News
14 May 2019

MINI JCW Clubman and JCW Countryman updated

Updated MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman get huge power bumps and extra kit
Long-term test review: MINI Countryman PHEV
MINI Countryman PHEV - long term final report header
Road tests
4 Apr 2018

Long-term test review: MINI Countryman PHEV

Final report: Electric tailgate has a mind of its own, but we’ll still miss our MINI Countryman PHEV