Used test: Mini Countryman vs Nissan Juke vs Skoda Yeti

Mini is about to replace its Countryman SUV, but how does the outgoing model stack up against its rivals as a used buy?

Words By What Car? team

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Skoda Yeti front

Our Verdict

Each of these cars combines a funky image with a dash of practicality and a healthy dose of fun. All three represent an interesting alternative to a traditional supermini or hatchback, but one stands out as the most appealing – the Skoda Yeti.

Its big, well-shaped boot, spacious interior and hard-wearing dashboard make it the most child-friendly option here, and what's more, it's good to drive, with a quiet, responsive engine and a fine balance of ride and handling. True, the Yeti is best-served as a diesel or with a smaller petrol engine; this 1.8-litre version is rather expensive to run in this company. However, its low price does go some way toward mitigating the high fuel bills.

The Nissan Juke comes second. It's pretty fun to drive, and its interior looks funky, plus the Juke manages to combine reasonable used prices with respectable running costs. However, its dashboard is made from some pretty low-rent plastics, so it's likely to have stood the test of time the least well out of all these cars; combined with cramped rear seats, a small boot and a firm ride, that means the Juke just isn't as good a family car as the Yeti.

The Mini Countryman is cheaper to run than any of the other cars here, but that isn't enough to save it, and neither is its funky styling. It's still very expensive to buy, which means you might have to plump for an older or higher-mileage example for your budget than you will with the other two. Throw in its unsettled ride and heavy steering, and it's a tough sell.

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1st – Skoda Yeti

For Fine ride and handling; flexible engine; most practical; low purchase prices

Against Highest running costs; bland interior; least well equipped

Verdict A solid, practical all-rounder, and a great used buy

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full Skoda Yeti review

2nd – Nissan Juke

For Loads of kit; hot hatch pace; not too costly to buy and run

Against Firm ride; turbo surge can cause wheelspin; cramped in the back

Verdict Appealing in some respects, but makes a poor family car

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Nissan Juke review

3rd – Mini Countryman

For Strong engine; affordable running costs; should hold its value well

Against Expensive to buy; stiff ride; heavy steering

Verdict High price counts against it in this company

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Mini Countryman review

Specifications: Mini Countryman Cooper S All4

Engine size 1.6-litre petrol

List price when new Β£22,030

Price today Β£6,000-Β£30,000

Power 181bhp

Torque 177lb ft

0-60mph 8.2sec

Top speed 130mph

Fuel economy 42.2mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 157g/km

Specifications: Nissan Juke 1.6 DiG-T Tekna

Engine size 1.6-litre petrol

List price when new Β£17,395

Price today Β£5,500-Β£21,000

Power 188bhp

Torque 177lb ft

0-60mph 8.1sec

Top speed 133mph

Fuel economy 40.9mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 159g/km

Specifications: Skoda Yeti 1.8 TSI SE 4x4

Engine size 1.8-litre petrol

List price when new Β£19,515

Price today Β£6,000-Β£13,500

Power 158bhp

Torque 184lb ft

0-60mph 8.7sec

Top speed 124mph

Fuel economy 35.3mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 189g/km

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