The MINI Countryman caught the eye with its funky looks when it was launched back in 2010. It was certainly a fresh idea from the BMW-owned brand, being the first MINI to have 4 doors and a wide-opening rear hatch. It, therefore, enabled MINI to reach a new type of customer – those who want that classic driving experience and MINI personalisation but are in need of more space and flexibility, such as young couples with kids.
The second generation was released in 2017, and is the biggest model launched in MINI’s history, sneaking into the SUV market. The unusual styling was made sleeker too, so it’s well worth getting one of these more recent models if you can.
Whichever model you go for, it’s sure to stand out. Some of the first-generation models won’t suit everyone’s tastes thanks to some unusually shaped grilles, but those from the latest generation look great with their cleaner, more modern look. The distinctive headlights and wide grille make it a very sharp-looking car indeed.
There’s plenty of room for 4, and you can squeeze in 5 if needed. Boot space is excellent, being even more sizeable than some cars in the class above. There’s the option of a storage compartment pack too, which gives you a variable height boot floor, netting, and load straps. The dashboard is as neat and quirky as you’d expect from a MINI, with a large circular display and chrome toggle switches. The materials in the cabin are good quality too and the seats are comfortable.
The Countryman may be bigger than other MINIs, but it doesn’t sacrifice the brand’s trademark agility and fun driving experience. The steering is super-quick, and the handling and grip are great, making it a particularly enjoyable ride on country roads, and it even copes well on some off-road surfaces. If you go for the Chili pack you get the choice of different driving modes. Refinement is very good too, while good damping means the Countryman is a comfortable cruiser too.
The size and interior space mean this is a genuine family SUV. It’s even strong enough to act as a towing car, with between 1500kg and 1800kg towing capacity depending on which model you go for. The safety equipment you get adds extra plus points to this as a family car, with standard kit including collision warning and autonomous braking. Economy is very good too, particularly with diesel versions.
As usual with MINI, there are a wide range of trim levels and personalisation options. Standard equipment is good, including MP3 Connection, Bluetooth, and rear parking sensors. More premium trim levels have features such as sport seats and MINI’s Connected System. Manual models are more popular but plenty of automatics are available too.
As usual with MINI, there are a wide range of trim levels and personalisation options. Standard equipment is good, including sat nav, Bluetooth, and 6.5-inch infotainment system. More premium trim levels have features such as heated seats and climate control. Manual models are more popular but plenty of automatics are available too.
Diesels are more powerful and more popular, though plenty of petrol engines are available too, as well as manual and automatic versions in both petrol or diesel. 2WD and 4WD versions are available too.Search MINI Countryman