Any Mini Countryman review you’ll read – this one included – will make a reference to the Countryman not being so Mini. It’s an easy joke to make, but the British brand has really embraced the supersized look. So, the Countryman offers all the benefits of the chic, retro Mini hatchback but with enough space and practicality for everyday family life.
Now into its second generation, the latest Mini Countryman has a bigger body, plusher interior and more standard kit than before, in an effort to upstage rival SUVs such as the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q2 and Seat Ateca. Unlike them, the Mini is available as a plug-in hybrid as well.
As is traditional with Mini, the Countryman offers dozens of personalisation options, helping to ensure that yours reflects your personality. Rivals also offer a degree of personalisation, but it was arguably Mini that got the personalisation ball moving.
Perhaps the biggest question – Minis having always been known for their good handling – can the bigger Countryman live up to the standards set by its Mini hatch and Clubman estate sisters? And, crucially; is the Mini Countryman more enjoyable to drive than a Seat Ateca?