MINI Countryman - best small 4x4s
Don’t let the MINI purists deter you - the Countryman is a solid 4x4 with plenty of style and practicality
The Countryman might be far removed from MINI’s hatchback beginnings in terms of size, but it’s still great to drive. This is because the Countryman shares a platform with the BMW X1 - one of the best handling SUVs you can buy.
The Countryman should be capable off-road thanks to MINI’s ‘ALL4’ all-wheel drive system which is available on the base-spec Cooper, Cooper S and the diesel Cooper D. The plug-in hybrid version and 306bhp John Cooper Works models come with ALL4 as standard. On the road, the Countryman is slightly firm due to the stiff suspension but the off-set of this is little body roll and engaging handling overall.
Given how the Countryman’s exterior is bold and divisive, the interior is typical MINI and is full of classy design touches. The quality is among the best in its segment with plenty of customization thanks to a long options list. If you’re looking to take your Countryman into the wilderness, it might be best unticking the ‘Sport’ package box so as not to scrape the 18” John Cooper Works ‘Thrill Spoke’ alloy wheels.
- 1IntroductionNeed 4x4 capability without big SUV fuel bills? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s instead
- 21. Skoda KaroqFour-wheel drive versions of the Skoda Karoq add to the car’s all-round appeal
- 32. Volvo XC40The Volvo XC40 benefits from some clever interior packaging, refined engines and four-wheel drive gives it some off-road prowess
- 43. Dacia Duster Entry into the 4x4 segment needn’t be bank-breaking, as proved with the Dacia Duster.
- 54. MINI Countryman - currently readingDon’t let the MINI purists deter you - the Countryman is a solid 4x4 with plenty of style and practicality
- 65. Mazda CX-3Mazda’s smallest SUV comes in the shape of the CX-3 and it’s a tempting offering
- 76. Jeep RenegadeJeep has an image built on iconic 4x4s and the Renegade does the brand proud
- 87. Fiat Panda 4x4A city car with four-wheel drive, the Fiat Panda 4x4 is a niche option but a good one
- 98. Suzuki JimnyThe new Suzuki Jimny is a talented off-roader which oozes personality
- 109. BMW X1The BMW X1 is one of the best all-round small 4x4s on sale
- 1110. SEAT AtecaThe SEAT Ateca is not only a great 4x4, it’s also a practical family car