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What is it?
The Mini Countryman is a pumped-up hatchback with decent ground clearance and the option of four-wheel-drive. It’s clearly part of the stylish Mini family, yet is the brand’s most practical car. This means it goes up against the likes of the Audi Q3, Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti.
What is the Mini Countryman like to drive?
Like all Minis, the Countryman is a fun car to pilot around twisty roads. While it’s not as sharp as the regular Mini, it is still agile. It’s also good round town thanks to the higher suspension and driving position. The 4x4 versions also offer basic go-anywhere capability.
What engines are available?
There are five engine options. The One is powered by a 98hp 1.6-litre petrol, the One D uses a 90hp 1.6-litre diesel, the Cooper has a 122hp 1.6-litre petrol, the Cooper D uses a 112hp 1.6-litre diesel, the Cooper S has a 190hp 1.6-litre petrol and the Cooper SD has a 143hp 2.0-litre diesel. There’s also a John Cooper Works version of the 1.6-litre petrol that produces 218hp.
What are the key standard features of the Mini Countryman?
The trim levels run in parallel with the engines, which means the One is fitted with a digital radio, Bluetooth, USB socket, heated washer jets, roof rails, aircon and rear parking sensors.
- Cooper trim level adds alloys, front fog lights and chrome exterior trim.
- Cooper S adds sports front seats and sport mode.
- John Cooper Works version adds a rear spoiler, body kit, multi-function leather steering wheel and sports suspension.
What are the key options?
Rather than have lots of equipment with each trim level, everything is optioned as packs on the Mini Countryman. The Media pack adds items such as a trip computer, sat nav and voice control. The Chilli pack includes auto headlights and wipers, trip computer, xenon headlights and a storage compartment device.
How spacious is the Mini Countryman?
One of the Mini Countryman’s strengths is the cabin space. Not only is there good room up front, but there’s also plenty of rear leg and headroom for adults too. The rear seats also recline slightly and can be slid forward and back to vary the ratio of boot space and legroom. With a boot of 450 litres it’s one of the largest in the segment, although it’s at the expense of rear seat legroom. However, if you’re mainly carrying kids in the back seats then the boot is big.
What will it cost to run?
The good news for fleets and company car drivers is that that both the 90hp and the 112hp 1.6-litre diesels produce just 111g/km of CO2 (in manual front-drive forms) which put them both in the 20% benefit in kind tax band. Optioning four-wheel- drive bumps this to a still reasonable 22% thanks to a CO2 figure of 123g/km. The front-drive SD version comes in at 119g/km and 21%, but the 4x4 version is still only 22% for BIK.
What safety features does it have?
The Mini Countryman is a five-star EuroNCAP car and also scores well for pedestrian impact. Alongside this, six airbags, front passenger airbag deactivation switch and anti-skid control are all standard with the higher specification models offering more advanced anti-skid and traction control.
These include the Audi Q3, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Juke, Suzuki S-cross and the Skoda Yeti.