MINI Countryman SUV (2010-2016) - Engines, drive & performance

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

Carbuyer Rating

3.0 out of 5

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Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.0 out of 5

With its raised suspension, the MINI Countryman gives you a better view of the road than you get in the standard MINI, but it’s a long way off the towering bodies of some large SUVs such as the Range Rover. On the road, the car’s firm seats can get uncomfortable and the interior is also quite noisy, so long journeys can get tiring.

The Countryman has precise steering and suspension that does a good job of minimising body lean when cornering, but it still doesn’t feel as agile as the standard MINI.

Four-wheel drive is available as an option on some models, and it’s standard on the John Cooper Works and ALL4 Business editions. It costs around £1,100 and could prove useful when it snows or when the roads are slippery. The car can be taken off-road, although this is not an area where the Countryman excels.

MINI Countryman petrol engines

The basic MINI Countryman One feels quite slow, taking 11.9 seconds to get from 0-62mph. Go for the more powerful Cooper model and that time drops to 10.5 seconds, while the 187bhp MINI Cooper S is quite fast, managing 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds.

The very rapid MINI Countryman John Cooper Works, meanwhile, does it in just seven seconds. Any of the petrol models can have a six-speed automatic gearbox fitted instead of the manual. 

MINI Countryman diesel engines

There are now two diesel options – the One D has been withdrawn from sale because the majoirty of buyers were opting for the higher-spec Cooper D and Cooper SD. The 2.0-litre SD is the fastest, providing a good blend of performance and economy – 0-62mph takes less than 10 seconds and it can manage 61mpg.

However, the significantly cheaper 1.6-litre Cooper D is a great compromise that will work for most buyers. It’s not much slower off the mark and is 3mpg more efficient. Like the petrol models, the diesels can be configured with an automatic gearbox.

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