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2019 Mini Countryman Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader June 2019

Unlike some other models among this brand's lineup, the 2019 Mini Countryman is anything but mini. Still smaller than its key rivals, the Countryman is much larger than the Hardtop or even the wagon-size Clubman. In Countryman, Mini provides a vehicle for those of us wanting more elbow room and cargo space.

Its cabin is upscale and user-friendly without totally abandoning the quirkiness that is a hallmark of the Mini brand. With all the opportunities for choosing colors and materials, buyers have the chance to not only make the Countryman their own, but to make it even more luxurious. But this all comes at a price. No one will ever call the Countryman a bargain. It is pricey, and simply adding on a few available options and packages can really drive the purchase price up there. But, hey, it's also an image and lifestyle buggy that you won't see at every intersection.

What's New for 2019?

Mini hasn't changed much for 2019. As with other Mini models, it sports a new logo. And, the Mini Telematics/Mini Connected Services is available on all grades. Included are vehicle diagnostics, lock/unlock, SOS to emergency responders, automatic collision notice to emergency responders and concierge services. Mini has also arranged several features into three new, convenient trim levels. See the 2019 Mini Countryman models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Big interior given its exterior dimensions
  • Fun to drive
  • Quirky style
  • Highly customizable

What We Don't

  • Slow base engine
  • Pricey for an SUV of its size
  • Advanced safety tech restricted to an expensive package
  • Plug-in hybrid's uber-short all-electric range

How Much?

$27,750-$47,250

Fuel Economy

Each 2019 Mini Countryman model is tied to a different engine.

The base Cooper is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder (134 horsepower, 162 lb-ft of torque). A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, distributing power for either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (dubbed ALL4). A 6-speed automatic is optional with FWD, and an 8-speed automatic is optional with ALL4. Fuel economy is 24 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in combined driving with the automatic and FWD. The manual loses one mpg combined, while ALL4 loses two mpg combined relative the transmission paired.

The Cooper S has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque). A 6-speed manual is standard with ALL4, with the 8-speed automatic optional. All FWD Cooper S models come only with the automatic. With the automatic, fuel economy stands at 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/27 mpg combined with FWD. ALL4 is one mpg combined worse, and the manual Cooper S is two mpg lower than that.

The John Cooper Works Countryman also has a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, but it produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. ALL4 and the manual are standard. Its fuel economy is 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

On the other end of the spectrum, the confusingly named Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is a plug-in hybrid. It produces a total output of 221 hp and can travel up to 12 miles on electricity alone. When that's depleted, it gets 27 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Countryman is available in four powertrains arranged into models: Cooper, Cooper S, John Cooper Works and the Cooper S E plug-in hybrid, all of which used to be the Countryman trim levels. For 2019, Mini has created three consistent trim levels (Classic, Signature and Iconic) for each powertain model. To streamline this section, we have opted to display pricing for the base Classic trim on each engine model. Then we show the added cost and content of the Signature and Iconic trim levels. AWD (ALL4) on the Cooper models adds $2,000 to the posted price. AWD for the Cooper S is a $500 bump in price. It is standard in the Cooper S E hybrid and the John Cooper Works. All prices include the $850 factory delivery fee.

The Cooper Classic ($27,750) comes with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, 16-in alloy wheels, run-flat tires, automatic headlamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, SensaTec vinyl seating, air conditioning, roof rails, rear parking sensors, a backup camera, heated outboard mirrors, push-button start, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio capability and a USB port.

The Cooper S Classic ($31,750) has the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The John Cooper Works Classic ($38,750) comes with the high-output 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The Cooper S E Classic ($37,750) uses the hybrid powertrain.

To the Classic's features, Signature ($4,000) adds the 8-speed automatic transmission (or no-charge 6-speed manual), 17-in wheels, remote keyless entry, a panoramic moonroof, heated front seats, automatic climate control, Mini Connected Media System with a 6.5-in touchscreen, and Active Driving Assistant with adaptive cruise control, speed-limit information, automatic high beams and frontal-crash warning.

Building on the Signature features, the Iconic ($10,000) also includes 18-in alloy wheels, power folding outboard mirrors, Comfort Access keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview and outboard mirrors, power front sport seats, LED headlights with cornering lights, Harman Kardon Premium Sound System, Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, an 8.8-in Touchscreen Navigation Package and leather seating.

Like every Mini, the Countryman is highly customizable, and you can order it however you'd like. It takes between one and two months depending on where you live in the country to get one, but take our word for it -- when you take a gander at the long, involved list of options and packages, you will probably agree that it makes sense to order exactly what you want.

Here's a small sampling of available packages (not all are available on every trim): The Touchscreen Navigation Package has BMW Teleservices, real-time traffic info, Apple CarPlay, wireless charging and a navigation system. The Driver Assistance Package includes park distance control, adaptive cruise control, parking assistant and a head-up display. And the list of factory packages and stand-alone options goes on and on.

The dealer also has a parts department bristling with customizing elements to further tailor your Countryman.

Safety

The 2019 Countryman comes standard with anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, front-knee airbags, front-side airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags. A forward-collision warning and automatic braking system can be added to the Fully Loaded package. Blind spot monitoring is not available.

The non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Countryman the best-possible ratings of Good in every crash test performed. Its headlights scored a second-worst Marginal, preventing a Top Safety Pick award.

Behind the Wheel

The current Mini Countryman is far more comfortable and refined than the previous generation. The ride in particular sees massive improvement, going from flat-out harsh to firm yet comfortable. It's in keeping with the rest of the small luxury SUV segment in this regard, although as a Mini, it's also one of the sharpest and most enjoyable to drive.

In terms of engines, we'd highly recommend paying extra for the Cooper S. Unless you almost exclusively drive in a city, the base 3-cylinder turbo just doesn't have the guts to deal with the Countryman's added weight, plus that of passengers and cargo. The 4-cylinder turbo in the Cooper S is far more in keeping with the segment and provides energetic acceleration. We also like that Mini retains the no-charge option of a manual transmission. We don't like that the plug-in hybrid model only goes 12 miles on electricity.

Inside, the back seat offers legitimate space for someone taller than six feet, as well as sliding and reclining for added comfort and cargo versatility. Apart from the mechanically related BMW X1, no other vehicle in its class can match its interior space. Cargo space isn't enormous, but those sliding and folding seats plus the Countryman's boxy shape make it more versatile than most.

The cabin feels fairly luxurious, but it does help to opt for one of the many upgraded upholstery fabrics or leathers available. We'd also consider opting for the upgraded 8.8-in infotainment system. It, too, features a console-mounted controller that's awkward to reach, but it stands out from the base 6.5-in system with a welcome touchscreen interface.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 BMW X1 -- The X1 is mechanically related to the Countryman. It's a bit bigger, more powerful and has a more conventionally designed interior, but it's also pricier.

2019 Mazda CX-5 -- If you're mostly considering the Countryman for its fun-to-drive character, try the stylish CX-5. You could easily find it to be more fun. Plus, it comes with more space and a lower price.

2019 Mini Clubman -- If you want a bigger Mini but don't need it to be SUV-big, consider the Clubman, which is pretty much a compact hatchback (albeit with two barn doors instead of a hatch).

Used Range Rover Evoque -- It, too, is British, and a high-style choice that offers compelling design and distinctive color schemes. It's much pricier, though, so a used model could be worth considering.

Autotrader's Advice

Order your car. Don't get stuck paying for stuff you don't want or a color combination that's not exactly your cup of tea. In one to two months, you can have the exact Mini Countryman you like. And you should even be able to get a similar price to one that's just sitting on a dealer lot. Either way, though, we would recommend getting the Cooper S due to its sufficiently powerful engine. Find a Mini Countryman for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Mini Countryman Review - Autotrader