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.
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.