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Mini Countryman: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Illustration for article titled Mini Countryman: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

The Mini Countryman is neither small nor a man of the country, but it is a popular and premium small crossover. What do you need to know before you buy a Mini Countryman? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.


We’re a little verklempt over the Mini Countryman. On one hand, it actually isn’t that big and it does offer a nicer and more luxurious package than a lot of cars in this class. When kitted out with the S or JCW package it’s also not slow.

A lot of people don’t love the aesthetics, but it’s at least unique. The question is: Are you’re willing to pay nearly $30,000 for the Cooper S All4 package when you could get a nicely equipped AWD model from almost any other automaker?

If you’re all about touch-and-feel and you want a Mini you can’t go wrong with a Countryman, but for the price we’d be open to other options.

What’s New About The 2015 Mini Countryman:

Illustration for article titled Mini Countryman: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

The Countryman arrived on our shores for the 2011 model year and has received some small updates since then. 2012 brought a standard rear bench to replace that weird center rail, 2013 brought the sporty John Cooper Works trim, 2015 brought some minor changes to the Countryman like a new grille, new color options, and new wheels. This year’s 2016 model brings a new Park Lane package, but not much else, as a new Countryman based on the latest Mini platform is expected to arrive soon.

Powertrain Breakdown

Mini offers three versions of a 1.6L inline four. There’s the base 1.6L, available only on Cooper trim, which puts out 121 HP. The turbo version, available on the Cooper S and Cooper S All4, tacks on another 60 ponies. Finally, the most potent mill, the John Cooper Works turbo I4, which cranks out 208 horses and 192 torques.


2016 Mini Countryman Engine Options

EngineHorsepower (hp)Torque (lb-ft)
1.6L I4
121 @ 6000 rpm
114 @ 4250 rpm
1.6L Turbo I4
181 @ 5500 rpm
177 @ 1600
1.6L Turbo I4 (tuned)208 @ 6000 rpm192 @ 1900

Fuel Economy Breakdown

Fuel economy is competitive for the segment with the base Cooper and the Cooper S scoring about the same on the EPA’s fuel economy cycles. The John Cooper Works countryman loses a couple of combined MPG compared to the others, but it’s the more powerful performance engine, so that’s no surprise. All Countrymans manage 30 MPG or more on the highway.


2016 Mini Countryman Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)

1.6L I41.6L I4 Turbo1.6L I4 Turbo (tuned)
Fuel Economy- Manual
27/32/29 [2wd]
26/32/29 [2wd]
25/31/27 [awd]
25/31/27 [awd]
Fuel Economy- Auto
25/30/27 [2wd]
25/32/28 [2wd]
23/30/26 [awd]
23/30/26 [awd]

Trim Level Breakdown

Illustration for article titled Mini Countryman: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

All Countrymans come with a MacPherson Strut front suspension, Multi-Link rear setup, and electric power steering. Front discs are ventilated 11.6 inches on the Cooper and 12.4 inches on the S models and JCW model. Rear discs are 11 inches in diameter and solid.

Countrymans come in four trims: Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper S All4, and John Cooper Works All4.

  • Cooper: Base model. Starts at $22,750. Notable standard features: 1.6-liter naturally aspirated I4, 6-speed Getrag manual transmission, 17” aluminum wheels, base leatherette seats, 7 airbags, push button start, keyless entry, power windows, 6-speaker stereo with HD radio and Bluetooth capability, heated mirrors, rain sensing wipers, auto lights, roof rails. Notable options: MINI Park Lane Edition: unique gray paint, red striping, red roof and mirrors, unique exterior trim, 18” dark gray aluminum wheels ($2,500); Cold Weather Package: heated front seats, auto dimming power folding mirrors; Sport Package: upgraded wheels, sport seats, white turn signals ($1,250); Premium Package: panoramic sunroof, Harman Kardon Sound System, proximity keyless entry ($1,800); Media Package: MINI Connected iPhone integration, 6.5” touchscreen, enhanced Bluetooth, center armrest with mobile docking, voice command ($750); Navigation Package: MINI connected iPhone integration, enhanced Bluetooth, center armrest with mobile docking, navigation system ($1,500); JCW Exterior Package: 18” alloy wheels, power folding mirrors, Piano black exterior, white hood stripes, white turn signals ($1,250); JCW interior package: JCW leather steering wheel, sport seats, JCW interior accents, piano black dash surface, unique headliner, dynamic traction control ($1,000); Fully Loaded package: Mini Connected with Navigation Package, Premium Package, Sport Package, Rear Park Distance Control, parking sensors, auto dimming power folding mirrors ($4,750); Sport suspension ($500).
  • Cooper S: Starts at $26,100. Notable standard features over Cooper: 1.6-liter turbo I4, air scoop, bigger brakes with brake ducts, sports seats, black tailpipe, dual exhaust, Notable options: Mini Park Lane Edition ($2,500); Cold Weather Package: same as Cooper ($2,500); Sport Package: updated wheels, xenon headlights, white turn signals ($1,000); Premium Package: same as Cooper ($1,800); Media Package: Same as Cooper ($750); Navigation Package: Same as Cooper ($1,500); Fully Loaded Package: same as cooper ($4,500); JCW exterior package: unique wheels, aero kit and exterior trim ($3,250); JCW Interior Package: same as Cooper ($500); Sport Suspension ($500).
  • Cooper S All4: Starts at $27,850. Notable standard features over Cooper S: all-wheel drive. Other features and options are the same as Cooper S.
  • John Cooper Works All4: Starts at $35,350. Notable standard features over Cooper S All4: Tuned higher horsepower 1.6-liter turbo I4, JCW tuned sport suspension, 18” wheels, unique steering wheel and JCW interior trim, sport dual exhaust, JCW aero kit. Notable options: Cold Weather Package: Same as Cooper ($750); Premium Package: same as Cooper ($1,800); Media Package: Same as Cooper ($750); Navigation Package: Same as Cooper ($750); Fully Loaded Package: Same as Cooper ($4000).

Which One We’d Buy

Illustration for article titled Mini Countryman: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Realistically, if you’re buying a Mini Countryman you probably don’t need the ALL4 AWD system, so your smart money is on a Cooper S, which comes with a lot of options standard and is the best looking of the bunch. Since we’re going premium, we’d step up to the $1,000 sport package and throw in the $500 Copper Metallic paint. Look at it. You’re starting to like the Countryman now, aren’t you? With the $850 fee that puts you at $29,700, but you can save $1,250 if you opt for the manual over the six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. [Build Your Own]

Important Facts At A Glance:

MSRP: $22,750-$35,350 Max Advertised Towing Capability: Not Recommended

MPG: 27 city/ 34 hwy / 30 combined [2wd manual 1.6L I4] Engines: 1.6L I4, 1.6L I4 turbo


Curb Weight: ~2,950-3,300 pounds IIHS Rating: NA

Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed Automatic

Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, FWD/4WD

Photo credit: Mini



Not trying to be rude, but how are any of these articles “Ultimate” Buying Guides? 9o% of the body of the articles are cut and paste feature and options list, there are zero first hand reviews or accounts from previous/recent buyers and owners, and there is no real world, out of the office, hands on information. The word “Ultimate” means I should be able to get a real feel of what the vehicle is actually like to buy and own. Instead, this is all info just copied direct from press releases or feature lists.

I’d love a REAL Ultimate Buyers Guide on vehicles, and think they would make excellent Jalopnik articles. Get out there and at least sit in one, take pictures, and find unique quirks on all these cool new rides available. You guys could do so much better by creating a real, useful list for buyers in the market, and make it a must view for all of us looking to buy!