Which used Mini Countryman hatchback should I buy?
Choosing between Countryman engines isn’t all that easy. The lower-powered petrol Cooper is efficient and cheap to buy, but it isn’t very fast, and can get noisy when pressed hard – which you’ll have to do often. The Cooper S is quieter and faster, but thirstier and costlier on tax, and has an even firmer ride than the standard car.
You could choose one of the diesel models, which are certainly very efficient, but they’re noisy, too, and the Cooper SD is quite expensive to buy. The long and the short of it is that if you do more than around 15,000 miles a year, it’s probably worth sticking with petrol, in which case the Cooper S is the most pleasing to live with.
Unless you plan to drive on muddy surfaces on a regular basis, the All4 probably isn’t worth the extra outlay, in terms of both purchase and fuel costs, so we’d stick to the regular two-wheel-drive car. The automatic gearbox is decent enough, though, so if you prefer an auto, there’s no harm in choosing it.