Great turbocharged engine; solid fuel economy; capable handling; choice of backseat styles; available all-wheel drive; better crash-test scores than a regular Mini Cooper
Weak base engine; pricey options; limited cargo space
The Mini Cooper Countryman receives minor changes for the 2014 model year. Heated mirrors and washer jets are now standard on all models, while John Cooper Works interior and exterior packages are newly available for the standard Cooper and mid-level Cooper S.
If you're going to buy a Countryman instead of the smaller Clubman, we say go all out and get the S ALL4 model. As the only Mini model with all-wheel drive, the S ALL4 could be a stretch worth making.
Like all Mini models, the Countryman comes in three trim levels. Base models are called simply the Countryman (or, technically, the Cooper Countryman). If you want more performance, you can step up to the Cooper S Countryman. At the top of the range is the John Cooper Works trim.
The base-level Mini Cooper Countryman ($23,100) offers 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, air conditioning, keyless entry, vinyl upholstery, HD radio, Bluetooth, vinyl upholstery and an AM/FM stereo with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary jack. It also comes with the car's 121-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive.
Step up to the Cooper S Countryman ($26,700) and you get a turbocharged version of the base model's engine that's good for 181 hp. You also get fog lights, a rear spoiler, sport seats and an upgraded exterior trim. All-wheel drive is optional on the Cooper S Countryman.
At the top of the Mini Cooper Countryman lineup is the sporty John Cooper Works trim ($36,000), which boosts power to 208 hp. It also includes 18-in wheels and a sport-tuned suspension.
The Cooper Countryman lineup is full of optional extras, as Mini is famous for letting drivers customize their cars any way they want. Options include adaptive headlights, heated seats, automatic climate control, a navigation system, a dual-pane sunroof, park assist, a keyless starting system, satellite radio and a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system. Drivers can also choose from dozens of wheel combinations, paint colors and interior schemes.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
Kia Sportage -- The stylish Sportage lacks the Countryman's cool interior vibe, but it compensates with an available 260-hp turbocharged inline 4-cylinder that'll blow even the Cooper S Countryman into the weeds.
Subaru Impreza -- The Impreza hatchback has standard all-wheel drive, good cargo space and a loyal following. It lacks the Countryman's customizability and cool factor, though.
Volkswagen Tiguan -- With strong performance and a more capacious interior with a similarly premium feel, the Tiguan is an intriguing alternative from the conventional crossover ranks.