MINI Countryman hatchback

Price  £17,105 - £30,240

MINI Countryman hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Generous boot space
  • Economical engines
  • Still fun to drive
  • High-spec versions are expensive
  • Uncomfortable ride
  • Cheap-feeling interior

At a glance

The greenest
One D 5dr £18,105
The cheapest
One 5dr £17,105
The fastest
John Cooper Works ALL4 5dr £28,985
Top of the range
John Cooper Works ALL4 Auto 5dr £30,240

"The MINI Countryman isn't the most practical crossover in the world, but it's fun to drive and quite cheap to run."

The MINI hatchback has become something of an icon but if you have a family or want a more spacious interior, it's not a very practical choice. That's where the MINI Countryman comes in, offering buyers many of the selling points of the MINI hatchback along with a taller SUV-crossover body shape. The body of the Countryman means more space inside, more usable rear seats and better visibility. The usual MINI styling is somewhat diluted by the Countryman's proportions but for many it will be a tolerable compromise.

The crossover SUV class is a very competitive one and the MINI Countryman is up against popular alternatives like the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti. The five-door Audi A3 Sportback is another rival to the MINI Countryman, provided the upmarket cabin and extra space are what drew you to the Countryman, rather than the SUV-influenced styling.

The craze for personalising cars can be attributed in part to the launch of the MINI, as it was one of the first that offered buyers what seemed like an almost infinite number of combinations of paint finishes, graphics, alloy wheel designs and accessories to choose from. There are lots of optional packs to consider too, which bundle up popular options to make them cheaper and more appealing.

The MINI range is well known for providing plenty of fun for those behind the wheel and the Countryman doesn’t disappoint in that regard, despite its extra height and bulk compared to the normal MINI hatchback. The Countryman is available with MINI's ALL4 four-wheel drive system, which generates plenty of extra grip in corners and slippery conditions.

Despite the SUV-influenced styling and four-wheel drive on some models, the Countryman is best kept on the road rather than off it. The engines available offer reasonable economy and good performance, with range-topping John Cooper Work delivering a 0-62mph time of seven seconds. The MINI Countryman Cooper D has become the most economical in the range since the One D was withdrawn from sale in late 2015.

If a new car isn’t a pressing issue, you may decide to wait until 2016 when a new Countryman is set for launch. The current model is actually based on the previous MINI underpinnings, while the new one will use the ‘UKL1’ platform, which already forms the basis of the standard MINI hatchback and Clubman, as well as the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.

Want to know which we think are the best SUVs on the market? Check out our video below:

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

Efficient engines mean fairly low running costs across the MINI Countryman range

Engines, drive & performance

3 / 5

The MINI Countryman is surprisingly good fun to drive, but not as entertaining as the hatchback

Interior & comfort

3.3 / 5

Suspension in the MINI Countryman is firm compared to more comfortable rivals

Practicality & boot space

3.4 / 5

The MINI Countryman is the most practical MINI by far, but lags behind some rivals

Reliability & safety

3.1 / 5

High-quality interior not reflected in the MINI Countryman's poor Driver Power score

What the others say

3.7 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"Inside, there's MINI's trademark chrome toggle switches and huge central speedometer, plus the new Centre Rail which holds cups, sunglasses and phones. The interior isn’t perfect, though. Some plastics in out-of-the-way places feel a little cheap for a model that starts at £22,030, and the aircraft-inspired handbrake lever takes some getting used to."
3 / 5
"The Countryman blends the retro style that Mini buyers love with enough practicality for a small family. All versions are frugal and well equipped."
4 / 5
"MINI is the latest to jump on to the crossover bandwagon insisting that its new creation, the Countryman, is definitely not a 4x4 and absolutely not a hatchback. It's a 'crossover' and no argument. Of course, the motivation behind all this is the predicted sales that it might achieve."
"Your first impressions will match ours: it's big. Eye-rubbingly big; this is a MINI with remarkable height, prominent front end, bulbous rear; from the roofline to the lights, everything about it is, well, big."
What owners say 
4.1 /5 based on 70 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
24 Nov 2015
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