Cost & verdict

Mini Countryman review

Manufacturer price from:£23,385
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Mini Countryman
Review continues below...
20 Jan 2017 12:39 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 16:18

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Mini Countryman hatchback running costs

Compared with premium rivals, the Countryman’s purchase price is on a par with the likes of the Audi Q2 and undercuts the Mercedes-Benz GLA. It’s worth remembering that bigger mainstream rivals are the same price if not cheaper, though. Equipment levels are fairly generous, but we suspect most buyers will want to add a couple of thousand pounds of toys and personalisation options. You do at least get the option of Mini’s fixed-price servicing (called TLC) and strong residual values.

Front-wheel-drive petrol Countryman models will be pretty frugal and are ideal if you’re not travelling too far every year. The diesels are the best bet if you’re planning on racking up the miles and the automatic gearboxes also improve economy and emissions. Four-wheel drive is optional, but we’d only recommend it if you find yourself dealing with mud and snow regularly. On road, buyers are best to save their money and enjoy the lowing running costs of the two-wheel-drive models.

Business users may be interested in the plug-in hybrid Cooper SE, thanks to emissions of just 49g/km. Even taking into account that model's high purchase price, and after you include the government grant, that should still mean affordable benefit-in-kind payments. That said, we would take the car’s official fuel economy figure of 134.5mpg with a pinch of salt. It might be achievable on a short journey with a fully charged battery, but once you’ve run out of electricity it’s not much more efficient than the regular Coopers. If you do lots of high-mileage journeys, then the Cooper D may be a better bet.

If you do go for the hybrid, an 80% charge takes three hours via a standard three-pin socket, or two hours using a public or wall charging point.

Mini Countryman hatchback equipment

The old Countryman had a pretty poor level of standard equipment – something that has been rectified in this new model. All versions get alloy wheels, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control, rear parking sensors and even sat-nav. Even so, there are plenty of tempting options, with many buyers expected to select the Chili pack. This is quite pricey, but does add LED headlights, keyless entry, climate control, a central armrest up front and a multi-function steering wheel.

The top-of-the-range JCW model could hardly be called good value, but you do get 18in wheels, a sporty bodykit, new LED headlights and what is essentially Mini’s full Chili pack as standard.

Mini Countryman

Mini Countryman hatchback reliability

The latest Countryman is far too new to appear in any reliability surveys. Mini as a brand acheived a mid-table ranking in our league of 32 manufacturers.

Mini offers a warranty that is three years, with unlimited mileage.

Mini Countryman hatchback safety and security

All Countryman models get an alarm, eight airbags, stability control, traction control, rear parking sensors and a tyre pressure monitor. Adaptive cruise control with emergency braking and traffic sign recognition are among the options.

Euro NCAP has crash tested the Countryman and it received a full five-star rating. However, seeing as all of the Countryman’s best rivals get five stars, too, it’s worth delving into the finer points of its score breakdown.

On closer inspection, both the Audi Q2 and Seat Ateca score more highly in their adult, child and pedestrian protection scores, meaning these rivals proved safer across the board.

NCAP has penalised the Countryman for not getting standard automatic emergency braking, which its rivals do.

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Verdict

The Mini Countryman is roomier than its predecessor, but there are still far better options out there

  • Decent boot
  • Keen handling
  • Good-quality interior
  • Unsettled ride
  • Awkward driving position
  • Poor refinement
There are 12 trims available for the Countryman hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Cooper Classic
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Cooper
Entry-level Cooper models get alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, air-con, a DAB radio, a 6.5in colour infotainment screen and sat-nav. You might want to add a couple of options, but the basics a...View trim
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Cooper S
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Cooper S E
The main thing you’re paying for here is the plug-in hybrid system complete with an automatic gearbox. You also get yellow accents inside and out, a bigger 8.8in infotainment system and switchable...View trim
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