Mini Countryman review

Category: Small SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:hybrid, diesel, petrol
Available colours:
Mini Countryman 2020 infotainment
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  • Mini Countryman 2020 front cornering
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  • Mini Countryman 2020 front cornering
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  • Mini Countryman 2020 LHD dashboard
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  • Mini Countryman 2020 infotainment
  • Mini Countryman 2020 wide tracking
  • Mini Countryman 2020 front static
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RRP £24,495What Car? Target Price from£22,882
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Countryman's starting price is quite a bit higher than even well-equipped versions of the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Skoda Kamiq; it also nudges past the Volkswagen T-Roc. That's for our favourite Cooper engine, but if you want the PHEV then you're looking at the kind of money that would get you a larger plug-in SUV, like the Kia Niro PHEV

That's not made up for with very strong residual values, either. After three years, the Countryman (including the PHEV) is expected to depreciate faster than its non-premium rivals, like the Puma, Kamiq and T-Roc. Poorer resale values tend to make PCP finance payments higher, but you can find out the latest PCP and cash deals buy checking out our New Car Buying service

There are also more efficient cars, like the Puma 1.0 Ecoboost Hybrid 125, which uses mild-hybrid tech to beat the Countryman Cooper on CO2 emissions and average fuel economy. If you're a company car driver, though, the Cooper SE PHEV takes advantage of the tax breaks to smash its petrol and diesel rivals, including the Puma, when it comes to low company car tax. That said, the Renault Captur PHEV sneaks into an even lower tax band. The Countryman PHEV's battery takes around 2.5hrs to charge from a 7kW home wall box.

Equipment, options and extras

We'd stick to the Classic trim because otherwise, the Countryman's price starts to match those of larger family SUVs, such as the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq. And besides, the Classic trim comes with all the infotainment and parking aids we've already covered, along with keyless start, auto lights and wipers, cruise control, air-con and 16in or 17in alloy wheels, depending on which engine option you choose. 

If you're going to spend more money, spend it in some of the useful option packs, of which we'd point you towards the Activity Pack, which adds sliding rear seats, a powered tailgate and picnic tables, or the expensive but feature-laden Comfort Pack Plus, which includes climate control, heated front seats and power-folding door mirrors. Adding option packs can make your car easier to sell on, but they don't guarantee it'll be worth more. 

Mini Countryman 2020 infotainment

Reliability

Mini deserves praise for finishing in 4th place out of the 31 manufacturers sampled in our in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, and the Countryman came top for reliability in the small SUV class.

Hopefully, that means you won't need to call upon the three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. Three years is par for the course, with Kia offering seven years' cover, and both Hyundai and Renault coming with five years'.

Safety and security

Euro NCAP gave the Countryman five stars overall for crash safety in 2017, but the tests back then weren't as stringent as they are today. Even so, the Countryman still didn't perform brilliantly for adult or child occupancy crash protection, and while the results aren't directly comparable with today’s, we'd expect newer cars, like the Puma and T-Roc, tested under the tougher rules, to be far safer options.

Every Countryman comes with automatic emergency braking (AEB) and an emergency call function (e-Call) as standard. 

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Overview

The Mini Countryman offers a good combination of space, style and desirability, with a beautifully finished interior and an excellent infotainment system among its virtues. But many rivals are cheaper and better equipped, while the Ford Puma is much more fun to drive and the Volkswagen T-Roc a lot quieter and more comfortable. Our advice is stick to the cheaper versions for the best value for money, although the plug-in PHEV is a cheap company car.

  • PHEV's low benefit-in-kind tax
  • Flexible rear seats
  • Excellent interior quality
  • Annoying ride
  • Newer rivals offer better safety
  • Expensive to buy and so-so resale values

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