So... MINI has an SUV. Who would have thought such a thing was possible? Well, why not? This car is up against the likes of the Peugeot 2008 and the Nissan Juke. It's a quirky small SUV and because it's a mini, it is a bit of a head turner.
The entry-level MINI Cooper Countryman comes with a 4-cylinder 1.6 litre petrol engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox. It gives 98 bhp and will bring you from 0-100km/h in 11.9 seconds. The other petrol options include the same engine, but with a power output of 190 bhp and 0-100km/h in a more respectable 7.9 seconds. Another petrol option offers 122 bhp and 0-100km/h in 10.5 seconds Diesel engines are also available and they range between 112 bhp and 143 bhp. Of course, there is also a John Cooper Works version. This offers 218 bhp and drives you from 0-100 in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 228km/h. All of these cars are available with a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox.
On the road, this little big car is fun. Like the Clubman, it's not as much fun as a normal MINI, but it does try very hard. You see, this car has extra bulk to think about. However, this is excellent in cities. It corners well and if you drive an AWD version, you will feel plenty of grip. The ride is a bit on the firm side too and it can be felt over uneven surfaces.
This does suffer from road noise - especially on rough surfaces or on the motorway. The diesel engines are loud too and that can be heard easily inside the cabin. Wind noise also creeps in when you're driving at higher speeds on the motorway.
We really like the build quality in all new MINIs. You can certainly see where being owned by BMW is advantageous. The seats are very comfortable and it’s hard to find a more interesting (if not entertaining) dash.
This car did better than the MINI Clubman when it came to the Euro NCAP. It scored a full five stars. this car is available with Automatic Stability Control, which prevent the front wheels from sinning and it increases traction depending on road conditions. The car is also available with Dynamic Stability Control.
In terms of space, the back seat is good for two adults. A third could be squeezed in, but I wouldn't thank you for it. It certainly feels more spacious than the claustrophobic Nissan Juke. The boot offers 350 litres of boot space.