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2013 MINI Cooper Countryman Photo
8.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
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Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE
INVOICE
$20,240
BASE
MSRP
$22,000
Quick Take
The biggest MINI, the Countryman adds crossover flexibility to the lineup without diluting the fun-to-drive factor too much. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

The front fascia ditches the cutesy appeal of the current Cooper in favor of a more aggressive, bulgy stance. Yes, it's snarling at you.

Autoblog »

If Mini's first crossover -- the Countryman -- succeeds, it will be due more to its style and versatility than for the driving experience

Los Angeles Times »

Is it a bit ugly? From some angles it seems odd, and its unprecedented size and ride height play havoc with your Mini preconceptions.

Top Gear »

The retro-looking dashboard, with its large central speedometer and toggle switches, will be familiar to anyone who has spent time in more recent Mini models.

Inside Line »

Like its predecessors, the Countryman is a two-box design with a happy face consisting of through-the-hood headlamp eyes and upper and lower grilles.

Automobile »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$22,000 $34,850
MSRP $22,000
INVOICE $20,240 Browse used listings in your area
FWD 4-Door
Gas Mileage 27 mpg City/35 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas I4, 1.6L
EPA Class Compact
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 5
Passenger Doors 4
Body Style 4dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.0 out of 10
Browse MINI Cooper Countryman inventory in your area.

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The Basics:

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.


 

Likes:

  • Uniquely MINI
  • Better interior trim
  • Rear seat is more than usable
  • Custom-build options galore
  • Connectivity features

Dislikes:

  • Electric steering feel
  • Automatic lacks paddles
  • Amorphous rear end
  • Cluttered dash and controls
Next: Interior / Exterior »
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