Review

MINI Countryman hatchback

Price  £16,990 - £30,125

MINI Countryman hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

At a glance

The greenest
One D 5dr £17,990
The cheapest
One 5dr £16,990
The fastest
John Cooper Works ALL4 5dr £28,870
Top of the range
John Cooper Works ALL4 Auto 5dr £30,125

"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 Countryman gives you traditional three-door MINI looks in a larger five-door body, which means there's a lot more space inside and a much larger boot than you’ll get in the normal MINI hatchback. The Countryman's looks are stretched over a longer body, so the five-door can’t quite match the three-door's cheeky style.

For 2014, the model had a light facelift. That brought with it new-style alloy wheels and a Jungle Green paint finish. The black exterior pack is another new addition, adding black surrounds to the front and rear lights.

You can personalise the MINI Countryman to your heart's content, with plenty of colours on offer and graphics to distinguish your car from other examples. Lots of optional extras are available, although as ever with MINI, they’re quite pricey. Buying them in packs can mitigate this somewhat.

MINIs are known for being fun to drive, and the Countryman continues that theme. It's a lot taller than a MINI hatchback, which means there's more body lean in corners, but it's not too bad. The Countryman is also available with four-wheel drive (when it's known as the MINI Countryman ALL4), which gives a level of grip on slippery roads that the smaller MINI can’t match.

However, the Countryman is better suited to road driving than off-roading and its range of engines offers a choice of peppy performance or cheap running costs. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman is particularly rapid, while the MINI One D Countryman is the most economical model.

Rivals include the Skoda Yeti and Nissan Qashqai, or even the Audi A3 Sportback if you’re prepared to consider a premium hatchback instead of a crossover-style SUV.

 

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."

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What owners say

4.2459374964237
4.2 /5 based on 64 reviews
63%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
21 Nov 2014
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