I often recommend the MINI Countryman to people interested in a small SUV. I do this because the Countryman is more exciting, and more luxurious, than most of the current small SUV crop — and it keeps some of the cool styling of the standard MINI Cooper Hardtop we all know and love. It is, perhaps, the most interesting choice in the subcompact SUV world. See the MINI Countryman models for sale near you
And it’s probably the most expensive, too.
While browsing for Autotrader Finds the other day, I came across this: a brand-new 2018 MINI Cooper Countryman, offered by MINI of Marin in the San Francisco Bay Area, with an asking price of $51,049. Fifty-one thousand dollars … for a MINI. And this price isn’t out of the realm: There are currently 20 different MINI Countryman models offered for over $50,000 at various dealerships around the country. Fifty-grand for a 4-cylinder subcompact SUV from a brand best known for creating a hatchback roughly the size of a pickup-truck bed.
So how does this happen? Well, the Countryman isn’t really that insanely expensive to start. The base price is $27,600, which is fairly reasonable, especially considering the fact that its interior is leagues better than that of most mainstream small SUVs. All-wheel drive will set you back another $2,000, meaning you’re at $29,600 with shipping. This is for a base model, which uses a turbocharged 3-cylinder that makes 134 horsepower; zero to 60 comes in something like 9.4 seconds.
Assuming you want your MINI to be a little sportier than that, you can upgrade to the Countryman "S," which starts at $32,200 and delivers 189 hp. In this case, all-wheel drive is only $500 extra, meaning the base price of an AWD model is $32,700 — though it’s worth noting that $32,700 base price is with a standard manual transmission, while the base-level "S" comes standard with an automatic. These do zero to 60 in 7 seconds, which is respectable. If I were getting a Countryman, I’d probably stop here.
But then there’s the JCW. This stands for "John Cooper Works," and it’s the high-performance Countryman for people who really want some speed in their subcompact crossover. The JCW offers 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and it does zero to 60 in 6.2 seconds, which makes it one of the quickest small SUVs. Pricing starts at $38,800.
So how do you get from $38,800 to $51,000? Options, apparently. MINI is famous for its wide range of options, and the $51,000 models must have every box checked — including a $500 exterior color, a $5,500 "Fully Loaded Package," upgraded wheels and far more. It’s not common to see a MINI Countryman priced over $50,000, to be sure, but it’s possible — and, apparently, they’re out there. Find a MINI Countryman for sale