2013 MINI Countryman review | Expert and user reviews | carwow.co.uk

13 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2013 MINI Countryman review | Expert and user reviews | carwow.co.uk
Mini Countryman

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Fun to drive


Unsure about its looks

Not very practical

Small boot

The MINI Countryman is a ‘crossover’-type car that jumps on the Nissan Qashqai bandwagon – with mixed success. Reviewers aren’t convinced that it’s looks are as convincing and appealing as the regular MINI, although they do all agree that it is a much more practical proposition.

The five-seat, four-door bodyshell will appeal to families who need a practical car that is fun to drive and fashionable – and the Countryman should meet their needs rather well!


It’s standard MINI fare inside the Countryman, which means that it’s well-designed and beautifully executed, even if one tester did find the buttons and controls confusing and another called it “insanely over-styled.”

The driving position is lofty but comfortable and there is a decent amount of space for three kids in the back – and even three adults if they’re slim and good friends. The boot is big enough for most people’s needs too.

The Countryman is available with either 2, or 3, seats in the back. We’d recommend going for the 3 seater option as it makes the car more practical and should make the car worth slightly more when it comes to selling it.


Testers say that the ride is fairly comfortable, but the biggest issue when driving is wind and road noise, which are quite intrusive.

The sharp steering is at odds with the stilt-like stance according to some, but it’s a competent performer otherwise that loses out a bit thanks to that raised suspension. The sportier versions have come in for some criticism with journalists saying that the suspension can be “fussy”.


There are a range of petrol and diesel engines available in the Countryman, be careful which you pick though. The general view is that the petrol engines are free revving but do need to be “stoked into action” and lack pull low down. The Cooper S is fairly fast and fun, and the basic One is very economical, though a bit underpowered for such a heavy car.

The diesel engines have a wall of torque – except the ‘One D’ version that everyone suggests should be avoided – and are economical and good fun to drive. However they are all quite noisy. One said that the diesel MINI is “a stunningly entertaining, free-revving, non-diesely car that inexplicably copes with what ought to be excessive power calmly through its front wheels and on its dinky chassis.”

Mini Countryman

Value for money

Well, the MINI is expensive compared to its rivals, but it’s a great drive that will attract wistful glances from non-owners. The residual values should be very good too, which will help to ease the pain when the time comes to sell. Just avoid the extensive, and expensive, options list!

Worth noting

The optional four-wheel drive option, called ALL4, will help to keep you mobile when the going gets tough, but it blunts performance a little and drinks a bit more fuel. The ALL4 system is front-wheel drive mode on dry roads and can switch power to the rear wheels if it becomes necessary, with 100 per cent of the power going to either end if appropriate. It’s a clever system and works well, though doesn’t come cheap.

Don’t think that the four-wheel drive and chunky looks mean that the MINI can challenge a proper off-roader, because it can’t; although some critics were pleasantly surprised at how competent it was in the rough.

You may also want to consider the MINI Paceman. It has two less doors, is a similar size and is more sporty.


The Countryman fills a niche in the MINI range for a practical, five-seater, four-door hatchback and is, according to most, full of “panache” and “another winner for MINI.” Compared to many rivals it looks expensive, but remember that it will likely depreciate less, and few have the same desirability.

Key Details

Price range: £16,615 – £32,380 MPG: 35 – 64 Safety rating (NCAP): Date released: 2010 Replacement due: Not for many years Model history: There haven’t been any significant updates so far Engine to go for: The Cooper S is fun, though running costs are relatively high Engine to avoid: The One D is noisy, expensive compared to the petrol One and very slow. Options to go for: The big panoramic sunroof Options to avoid: The ALL4 (4WD system), unless you actually go off-road! Other variants: If you don’t mind have two less doors, then check out the MINI Paceman. There’s also the smaller MINI Clubman Engine naming: Engines ending in ‘D’ are diesel Read MINI Countryman reviews

Mini Countryman
Mini Countryman
Mini Countryman
Mini Countryman
Mini Countryman
Mini Countryman
Mini Countryman
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