Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
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 – in other words, it’s one of the pricier Small SUVs you can buy.
Equipment levels are fairly generous, but we suspect most buyers will still want to add a couple of thousand pounds' worth 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 suit those who cover a relatively low annual mileage, but the diesels are the best bet for those who expect to rack up the miles. Automatic models are officially more economical, as well as having lower CO2 emissions.
The plug-in hybrid Cooper S E will work particularly well as a company car, thanks to CO2 emissions of just 55g/km which – Even taking into account this model's high purchase price – makes for reasonable Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) payments. However, while private buyers will be impressed by its official fuel economy of 97.4mpg, that figure won’t be achieved on every journey you make – it depends on how much use you make of the car’s electric-driving mode. On a long motorway journey, or if the hybrid battery is flat, it won’t be any more economical than a regular petrol Cooper.
Equipment, options and extras
The Countryman comes in three trim levels: Classic, Sport and Executive. Classic gets you alloy wheels, Bluetooth, cruise control, rear parking sensors and sat-nav. Sport adds a racy bodykit, 17in wheels, sports seats and cruise control, while Exclusive is more luxurious, with different 17in wheels, leather seats and more chrome.
Whichever version you go for, we’d advise forking out a bit extra on one of the optional packs, which round up certain desirable extras for less money than you'd pay to add them individually. The majority of Mini buyers add at least one pack, and to do otherwise could make your Countryman harder to sell on in the future.
The Comfort Pack is well worth considering: it isn’t too pricey and adds rear parking sensors, climate control, heated front seats and a central armrest. The larger touchscreen and live traffic alerts that come with the Navigation Plus Pack are also well worth considering. You can add individual options if you prefer, and there are countless ways to make your Mini stand out from the crowd visually, too.
The Countryman was near the bottom in the small car class in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Mini as a brand achieved a mid-table ranking in our league of 31 manufacturers.
In terms of warranty, Mini offers three years, with unlimited mileage.
Safety and security
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 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 Audi Q2 and Seat Ateca score more highly in their adult, child and pedestrian protection scores.
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