Mini Countryman JCW review

Category: Sports SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Star rating
Mini Countryman JCW 2020 dashboard RHD
Add to shortlist
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 rear cornering RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 dashboard RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 rear seats RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 dashboard RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering wide RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering rear RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front seats RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 boot open RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 rear cornering RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 dashboard RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 rear seats RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 dashboard RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering wide RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering rear RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front seats RHD
  • Mini Countryman JCW 2020 boot open RHD

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

In terms of price, the Mini Countryman JCW sits just below the more expensive Volkswagen T-Roc R and Cupra Ateca in the Sports SUV field. It’s still a huge financial leap from the entry-level Countryman, though, and the price starts to creep up if you tick the boxes for extras like the upgraded infotainment system, the adaptive suspension or go-faster stripes. 

Fortunately, the Mini also proves cheaper to run than those rivals – not that you’ll be focused on fuel economy if you’re considering a 300bhp-plus SUV. The JCW officially returns 34.4mpg, with the T-Roc R and Ateca claimed to achieve 32.1mpg and 31.7mpg respectively. CO2 emissions important for business users – are also the lowest, with 156g/km versus 176g/km and 168g/km. Although good luck trying to convince your boss to let you run a Countryman JCW as a company car. 

The JCW sits at the top of the Countryman price list and is as comprehensively equipped as you’d hope, with sports suspension and those 18in wheels, plus the Comfort Plus Pack with its rear-view camera and front parking sensors, and the Navigation Pack with sat-nav and smartphone mirroring. 

The regular Countryman performed especially well in our 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing top of the small SUV category. Mini performed well as a brand, finishing 8th out of 31 manufacturers in the same survey, beating Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda. For further peace of mind, Mini offers a selection of fixed-price servicing packages that can also be paid for monthly. 

Adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and traffic sign recognition are standard equipment on every Countryman. There's also an alarm, eight airbags, stability control, traction control, rear parking sensors and a tyre pressure monitor.

Euro NCAP has safety-tested the regular Countryman and it received a full five-star rating. However, seeing as all of the Countryman’s best rivals have been awarded five stars, too, it’s worth delving into the finer points of its score breakdown to find that both the non-sports-focused Audi Q2 and Volkswagen T-Roc score more highly in their adult, child and pedestrian protection scores.

Mini Countryman JCW 2020 dashboard RHD
Mini Countryman JCW 2020 front cornering RHD
Open Gallery9 Images

Overview

While its typical Mini handling and responsive sports gearbox give it that sports SUV feel, the Countryman JCW’s large size and weight hold it back on the road. Heavy steering and a lacklustre real-world performance make it less nimble than rivals such as the Volkswagen T-Roc R, and despite its dimensions, it can’t match the space or practicality of the Cupra Ateca. Optional extras and personalisation can cost a lot, too.

  • Solid body control
  • Responsive automatic gearbox
  • Smart interior
  • Feels heavy around bends
  • Tight rear space
  • Lacks that high SUV stance

Also consider

Audi SQ2

2019 - present

Audi SQ2 is beautifully built, but can't match the Cupra Ateca...

Cupra Ateca

2018 - present

No other SUV offers as much performance for the money. Just be...

Volkswagen T-Roc R

2019 - present

Blends the decent practicality of the regular T-Roc...

BMW X2 M35i

2019 - present

BMW X2 M35i