The modelRead full review
The Mini Countryman offers a good combination of space, style and desirability, with a beautifully finished interior and an excellent infotainment system among its virtues. But many rivals are cheaper and better equipped, while the Ford Puma is much more fun to drive and the Volkswagen T-Roc a lot quieter and more comfortable. Our advice is stick to the cheaper versions for the best value for money, although the plug-in PHEV is a cheap company car.
The trimSee full equipment
We'd stick to the Classic trim (although this isn't our favourite engine) because otherwise, the Countryman's price starts to match those of larger family SUVs, such as the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq. And besides, the Classic trim comes with an 8.8in infotainment screen with sat-nav, a DAB radio and Apple CarPlay, plus rear parking sensors, LED headlights, digital instruments, 16in or 17in alloy wheel (depending on the engine choice), keyless start, auto lights and wipers, cruise control and air-con. It's worth looking at optional packs, such as the Activity Pack, which adds sliding rear seats, a powered tailgate and picnic tables, or the expensive but feature-laden Comfort Pack Plus, which includes climate control, heated front seats and power-folding door mirrors.
The engineSee full engine specs
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder Cooper S is smoother than the 1,5-litre Cooper engine, sounds sportier and it's quite a bit quicker, hitting 0-62mph in 7.6sec. We still don't think it's worth the extra cash and worse efficiency, though, unless you really value sprinting away from the lights. The JCW performance model is even more powerful and faster still.
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Almost unstoppable off road, but rather crude on it