2013 MINI Cooper Countryman Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The biggest MINI, the Countryman adds crossover flexibility to the lineup without diluting the fun-to-drive factor too much.

Though it may be brand's largest vehicle, the MINI Countryman is still compact in absolute terms. Whether that clouds the message or not, the MINI Countryman does two things unexpected--it hangs on to plenty of the MINI driving essence, while lifting its roof to give four adults lots of space and comfort.

At a distance totally MINI, the Countryman goes soft-focus close up, losing some of the distinctly MINI proportions in the sacrifice for interior room and a more palatable package. It's bigger, taller, and has a front end made for being recognized at a distance, which is to say, it's pronounced. The details can still evoke the old Minis with some success, from the chrome-surrounded marker lights to the contrast-color roof, but it's clear in the family of MINI vehicles this is a cousin, not a firstborn son. That's a little less obvious from the inside out, though, as the Countryman's dash has almost all the chaotic layout of the smaller Cooper hatchbacks without their all-black plastic unity.

The Countryman is not so much a Cooper under the skin, either. It's a new architecture that brings with it ALL4 all-wheel drive capability, but the usual range of four-cylinders, turbo or no, and six-speed transmissions. Power is not quite abundant with the 121-horsepower Countryman; it's much better in the 181-hp Cooper S trim, but it's a sporty ride for a crossover nonetheless--even before you opt for the John Cooper Works edition and its max output of 221 hp. Acceleration peaks in about 7 seconds, 0-60 mph, with the JCW, while gas mileage hits its stride in the base car and its 35-mpg highway ratings.

It's a bit of a shock how much MINI there is in the Countryman's handling, but no surprise that in the end, it's more sporty crossover than real sports vehicle. There's a more refined ride than in any of the smaller Coopers, thanks to more weight and a longer wheelbase, but the difference from a typical MINI is measured in small degrees, not in a major paradigm shift.

Despite its MINI package, the Countryman offers impressive space for passengers in all positions, but it lacks a bit in cargo space. The 2013 model also has a redesigned armrest with relocated power-window controls and a larger console storage area. Also, the second row seat is now a three-person bench, with a two-person bucket arrangement now a no-cost option.

The NHTSA hasn't yet rated the Countryman, but the IIHS gives the nearly identical 2012 model a rating of "good" and a Top Safety Pick. Standard stability and traction control, corner brake control, anti-lock brakes, seven airbags, and more are all baked right in, helping it earn its top marks.

Also, like its MINI family, the Countryman is almost infinitely configurable, with many color-customizable paint elements, interior options, and equipment packages. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth or vinyl upholstery, ambient lighting, HD Radio, and power accessories. Available options include leather upholstery, MINI Connected with navigation, a Premium package with automatic climate control, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlights, a Cold Weather package, a pair of Sport packages, and a Technology package.

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April 2, 2016
2015 MINI Cooper Countryman FWD 4-Door S

Fun vehicle to drive

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We have the Countryman over a year. Meets expectation and great purchase
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February 17, 2016
2015 MINI Cooper Countryman FWD 4-Door

A good looking and adaptable vehicle

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We have had the countryman for six months and it has fulfilled all our needs. It is an all- purpose vehicle.
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November 18, 2015
2015 MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 4-Door S

This car has exceeded my expectations in terms of reliability and has been so much fun to drive... I smile every time I get in.

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Great car. Love driving it, and think it has more style than most cars on the road. Wish I had gotten the complete communications package, but do enjoy being able to connect my iPhone. Some of the instrument... + More »
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July 28, 2015
2015 MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 4-Door S

Fun, Safe Ride with manual Shift.

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I Love my mini countryman. it's fun to drive, good mileage and safe. The car handles exceptionally well with good visibility and accessible controls throughout. This is my second mini and it gives me lots of... + More »
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June 14, 2015
2015 MINI Cooper Countryman FWD 4-Door S

I love my Mini!

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This car is fun to drive! I get 28 MPG no matter if I'm in the city or the hi way. It's comfortable, has great amenities like seat warmers, steering wheel controls, blue tooth for the phone, a great sound... + More »
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July 9, 2016
2014 MINI Cooper Countryman FWD 4-Door

Great car but spring for the S

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We love our Countryman. As a base model it has a lot of nice features and build quality is excellent. Great seats, materials and after 2 years it still looks great. We are a family of 5 and for trips under an... + More »
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April 29, 2015
2011 MINI Cooper Countryman AWD 4-Door S ALL4

Think Twice!!!

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I loved the price and everything else about my 2nd mini. Then one thing went out, causing another, then another, so on and so on........... It is now fixed, thankfully it was something easy and cheap. But for... + More »
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November 1, 2015
2012 MINI Cooper Countryman FWD 4-Door S

Great but expensive car

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I loved this Mini Cooper sad countryman it had great style,ample power and the build quality was really good.the only problem was that it went through three sets of front tyres having only done 15,000 miles.i... + More »
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June 16, 2015
2012 MINI Cooper Countryman AWD 4-Door S ALL4

Its a MINI SUV and so its for the sports car driver to haul stuff faster

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My 2012 Countryman All4 is perfect for me as a larger man in my 60s. I have more leg room than a Taurus an the handling and safety of a Mercedes. It hauls 4 adults or a unch of yard good too. I love it.
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April 28, 2015
2012 MINI Cooper Countryman AWD 4-Door S ALL4

Finally found a car I want to keep!

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I had been jumping from car to car for at least the last 10 years. Always found some flaw or got bored with the cars I'd chosen and traded them in. But after 3 years of ownership, I still love my CountrymanS... + More »
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