The MINI Countryman is a practical, high-quality, fun-to-drive small family SUV with a spacious interior and premium looks.
Rivals to the MINI Countryman include the BMW X1, Audi Q2, Nissan Qashqai, and Volvo XC40.
Our MINI Countryman review covers:
On the outside, the MINI Countryman has a distinctive style with its bulky front-end design, gaping front grille and bulbous headlamps. Unique union flag-branded tail lights, which look fantastic from the rear, help the Countryman to stand out on the road. There's also plenty of personalisation options, with contrasting roof and mirror colours available, as well as bonnet stripes and exterior themes.
Inside, the Countryman's interior is well built and feels classier than some of its rivals, with enough room for the whole family. MINI has extended the new model's wheelbase by 75mm, providing excellent leg and headroom space to put it on a par with rivals like the Audi Q2. Its higher ground clearance also allows for a great driving position on the road.
At the rear, the Countryman has an impressive 450-litre boot, which is 20 litres more than the larger Nissan Qashqai. This extends to 1,390 litres with the seats folded, which can be split into 40/20/40 configuration for increased versatility and practicality.
With a higher price tag than other family SUVs on the market, the Countryman boasts a premium feel inside its cabin. The interior looks great, with easy to use buttons and functions and soft-touch plastics, which give the Countryman the same quality feel as the BMW X1.
A broad range of trims is available, including the entry-level Cooper Classic and Cooper S Classic, which come with rear parking sensors, a 6.5-inch infotainment display with built-in satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring.
The Sport trim comes with upgraded bumpers and a rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels and cruise control as standard, alongside a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a dark grey headlining in the Cooper Sport trim. You can also choose to have an optional sports suspension fitted at no extra cost.
The Cooper Exclusive trim shares the same features as the Cooper Sport trim, with the only real difference being the chrome trim for the front grille and air intakes and chrome on the air vents and door handles.
The top-of-the-range John Cooper Works models are the sportiest and come with red highlights and JCW badges, a sporty-looking body kit and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, you get body-hugging sports seats and a JCW specific steering wheel, instrument binnacle and gear shifter.
The MINI Countryman comes with a range of petrol engine options, from the 1.5 litre 136hp and 2.0-litre 178hp engine to the range-topping 2.0 litre 306hp John Cooper Works. All are available with manual or automatic transmission as well as four-wheel drive alternatives. The most popular choice is the 136hp 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol model, as it's cheap to run and drives smoothly.
MINI also offers a plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman, which perfectly balances an efficient electric motor and a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine for a combined 220hp. With CO2 emissions of 43g/km and the ability to travel around 31 miles on electric power alone, the Countryman PHEV scores highly with company car drivers, thanks to the potential for rock-bottom running costs.
Out on the road, the MINI Countryman is fun to drive and handles well. The steering is quick, providing lots of grip on the road. The Countryman's longer wheelbase and higher kerb weight than rivals like the Audi Q2 or Volvo XC40 make it feel sharper and more nimble to drive.
Want to know more about leasing the MINI Countryman? As one of the UK's leading providers of car leasing, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has a huge range of lease deals on the MINI Countryman, including the full manufacturer's warranty, breakdown cover, road tax and free mainland GB delivery (exclusions apply).
Plus, with fixed monthly rentals, a low initial outlay and flexible mileage and contract terms, leasing a new MINI Countryman could be cheaper than buying outright with a bank loan or dealer finance.