Introduced for 2011, the Mini Cooper Countryman serves as the brand’s entry into the small-crossover segment. It has a taller stance and, unlike other Coopers, four conventional side doors and available all-wheel drive. Buyers have a choice of a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine or a turbo four-cylinder (S versions). It competes against the Volkswagen Tiguan and Nissan Juke.
Bluetooth connectivity is now standard, while the previously standard satellite radio feature is now optional.
The Countryman is instantly recognizable as a Mini, but it loses some of the “cuteness” that’s been a defining element of the regular Cooper. The grille is larger and more upright, and the headlights aren’t circular like they are on the Cooper. Overall, the Countryman’s front-end styling is more aggressive and serious. Roof rails are standard.
The addition of rear side doors does wonders for backseat ease of entry, which is a problem in the Cooper. The Countryman’s roof can be finished in black or white instead of body color, and S models feature unique styling cues like a roof spoiler and a rear diffuser. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch wheels with run-flat tires
- Optional 18-inch wheels
- Standard rear-window wiper
- Optional sport suspension
- Optional dual-panel panoramic moonroof
- Optional adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
- Optional heated side mirrors
The Countryman’s cabin draws heavily on the regular Cooper for inspiration, with a tachometer in front of the steering wheel and a large center-mounted speedometer. However, its styling makes a departure from the Cooper’s with the Center Rail system, which consists of two rails that go from the front of the cabin to the backseat, separating the standard bucket seats in each row. The system provides owners another way to customize their Mini by adding various attachments to the rails, such as cupholders and storage bins.
For enhanced passenger space and comfort, the Countryman’s rear bucket seats can slide, and they also recline. The cargo area measures 12.2 cubic feet, which is similar to what a compact sedan offers, but it increases to 41 cubic feet after folding the rear seats. Interior features include:
- Standard simulated leather seats; leather optional
- Optional heated seats
- Standard CD stereo with MP3 jack
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- Standard configurable ambient lighting
- Optional navigation system
- Optional Mini Connected iPhone integration system
- Optional Harman/Kardon premium stereo
The Cooper Countryman has a 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder while the Cooper S Countryman is powered by a 181-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Mechanical features include:
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic
- Standard front-wheel drive; Cooper S Countryman can be fitted with Mini’s All4 all-wheel-drive system
- Optional electronically controlled limited-slip front differential
Safety features include:
- Antilock brakes
- Side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Side curtain airbags for both rows
- Electronic stability system
- Optional rear parking sensors