The base Cooper Countryman comes with a normally-aspirated engine rated at 121 horsepower. The Cooper S Countryman adds a turbocharger and a rating of 181 horsepower, while the Countryman John Cooper Works, due to be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, is expected to generate up to 225 horsepower. The Cooper S Countryman ALL4 gets the 181-horsepower engine and all-wheel drive--the others drive the front wheels only. The S Countryman is good for a 7.5-second 0-60 mph dash. Both six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are available.
Like all MINIs, however, the Countryman is surprisingly nimble, thanks in part to its relatively light weight. Steering isn't sports-car sharp, of course, and there's more body lean due to the higher ride height, but it's still filled with MINI-ness.
While the Countryman isn't intended as a real off-roader, and in front-drive trim, isn't particularly suited for more than mild unpaved roads and trails, the ALL4 model at least offers improved all-weather capability.