Reader Clinic

2017 Mini Countryman - reader test team review

Mini's second-generation Countryman SUV promises to be more practical, and although it's more expensive, it does get more standard kit. What do What Car? readers think of it?

Words ByKris Culmer

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Barry Joinson

Age: 40 Job: Leadership coach Drives: Smart Forfour

β€˜I absolutely love the exterior styling of the new Countryman. I like the stance of the car – it looks a bit more grown-up and sturdier, but it hasn’t lost its quirkiness or personality. I love the creases along the bottom of the doors that rise up above the rear wheel arches; they look like muscular haunches.

β€˜From behind, the car looks much more planted on the road than the previous model, too, because it’s broader and lower.

β€˜The interior is glorious; the materials are all very luxurious. The seats in the previous Countryman were quite wide, and I didn’t think they were supportive enough. The seats in this car are very comfortable and a big improvement, however.

β€˜I was comfortable in the driver’s seat with someone behind me, who was six feet five inches tall, yet he still had enough head and leg room.

β€˜The optional head-up display that projects useful info such as the car’s speed onto the windscreen in front of you is a useful safety aid because you hardly have to take your eyes off the road to look at it.’

Rated 5 out of 5

Brendan Fleming

Age: 44 Job: Accounts manager Drives: Mini Countryman

β€˜The most striking exterior feature of this car is the rear end. It’s probably 20cm longer than before, so the boot is a lot bigger. In my car, the boot floor is quite low and there’s a large load lip. However, the new model has no lip and a flat floor, so it’s much more practical.

β€˜It also feels like the seats are lower, both in the front and rear, than those of the previous Countryman. There’s a lot more rear leg room as well.

β€˜The windscreen of the current Countryman is rather shallow and wide; it’s almost the shape of a letterbox. However, this car’s windscreen is a lot bigger, so forward visibility is much better.

β€˜At first glance, some people might wonder if it really is a new model, but when you look at the lines on the bodywork and the wheel arches, you slowly start to spot the differences. The whole appearance of the new Countryman is more rugged, and it also seems more family-oriented. I like the new, more pronounced roof rails; on the old model, they looked like chrome strips on the roof.

β€˜It’s just a shame that this car costs more than its predecessor.’

Rated 4 out of 5

Read more - our full Mini Countryman review

Read more - the best (and worst) small SUVs


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