Mini Countryman vs Audi Q2 and Seat Ateca

Mini has boosted practicality in the latest version of the Countryman. So does it now mix function and looks better than its small SUV rivals from Audi and Seat?

Words By What Car? team

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Mini Countryman side

Our verdict

The Ateca is an easy winner here. Sure, it perhaps doesn’t have the badge appeal of the others, but it’s no fuddy-duddy, and objectively it’s hard to fault. It’s the most spacious and functional, easiest to see out of, cheapest to buy and run, most comfy and, in many ways, the most enjoyable to drive. It remains our favourite small SUV, although we do prefer the quieter 1.4 EcoTSI petrol to this 1.6 TDI diesel version.

The Q2 is more of a mixed bag, with its slightly pokey rear passenger space, stingy standard kit list and disappointing real-world fuel economy all counting against it. However, it has a great driving position and a user-friendly dashboard, and it goes around corners more like a conventional hatchback than a high-riding SUV, so it will definitely put a smile on your face. Attractive finance costs also help it to clinch second place.

That leaves the Countryman. Its biggest problem is that almost all of the reasons you’d buy one can be summed up with: β€œI just like it”. That’s fair enough, and it isn’t an uncommon or unworthy reason to choose a car, but in more tangible respects it lags behind. Yes, it’s practical inside and has some great infotainment options, but for every pro the Countryman notches up, a con isn’t far behind. Its driving position and dash layout are a bit awkward, its ride very unsettled, its handling nervous and its gearbox notchy. Factor in relatively pricey PCP deals and it can only finish last.

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1st – Seat Ateca

For Best space and practicality; cheapest to own; most comfortable

Against So-so performance; drab-looking dashboard

Verdict The best all-rounder here

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Seat Ateca review

Find great Seat Ateca deals

2nd – Audi Q2

For Keen handling; smart dash; low monthly PCP costs

Against Pokey in the back; smallest boot; firm ride

Verdict A pleasure to drive and sit in, but small inside

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Audi Q2 review

Find great Audi Q2 deals

3rd – Mini Countryman

For Strong performance; functional interior

Against Brittle ride; awkward driving position; nervous handling

Verdict Practical enough, but not very good to drive

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Mini Countryman review

Find great Mini Countryman deals

Also consider:

Specifications: Audi Q2 1.6 TDI Sport

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

List price Β£24,500

Target Price Β£23,738

Power 114bhp

Torque 184lb ft

0-60mph 10.4sec

Top speed 122mph

True MPG 37.0mpg

Official fuel economy 64.2mpg

CO2 emissions 114g/km

Specifications: Mini Countryman Cooper D

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£24,425

Target Price Β£23,054

Power 148bhp

Torque 243lb ft

0-60mph 9.4sec

Top speed 129mph

True MPG 41.9mpg

Official fuel economy 65.7mpg

CO2 emissions 113g/km

Specifications: Seat Ateca 1.6 TDI Ecomotive SE Technology

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

List price Β£24,170

Target Price Β£23,235

Power 114bhp

Torque 184lb ft

0-60mph 10.8sec

Top speed 114mph

True MPG 50.2mpg

Official fuel economy 64.2mpg

CO2 emissions 114g/km

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