White Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid driving along a country road

Mini Countryman review (2017-2023)

The Mini Countryman is a compact SUV that gives you a lot more space than the Mini Hatch but has a similar retro look, premium feel and fun character. It's great to drive and most versions have reasonably low running costs.

Pros

  • The most practical Mini of them all
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Lots of colour and trim combinations

Cons

  • Quite a firm ride
  • Some versions are rather pricey
  • Looks not to all tastes

Summary

“The biggest Mini has a fun look and feel but is family-friendly.”

By Cazoo editorial team

The Mini Countryman is an SUV that combines family-friendly practicality with the kind of fun looks and driving expericence you expect of a Mini. It's significantly larger than the Mini Hatch, with lots of interior space and an impressively large boot. In terms of size it sits somewhere between compact SUVs such as the Nissan Juke and mid-size SUVs such as the Nissan Qashqai.

Lots of trim and colour combinations could be specified when new, along with the choice of petrol and diesel engines, front- or four-wheel drive and diesel, petrol or plug-in hybrid power.

We're focusing here on the second-generation Countryman, which was introduced in early 2017 and replaced by an all-new model in early 2024.

What's the interior like?

“A premium feel with some retro flair and spacious throughout.”

The Mini Countryman is as distinctive on the inside as it is on the outside, with its characteristic large circular display on the dashboard and a number of retro-style switches and design details. It has a premium feel and is bang up to date, with all but the early 2017 models having support for Apple Carplay.

The driving position is good and you get the raised driving position you want from an SUV. The Countryman's tall body help to give lots of headroom all-round and legroom is very good in the back.

The boot is large, too, with a capacity of 450 litres that's more than you get with most mid-size hatchacks and as much as some larger mid-size SUVs. Some versions have a sliding rear seat that allows you to push it forwards for even more load space. Bear in mind, however, that plug-in hybrids have slightly less boot space (405 litres) because of where their battery pack is located.

What's it like to drive?

“Lots of Mini driving enjoyment, despite it being a fairly big car.”

The Mini Countryman gives you some – if not all – of the fun factor you get with Mini's smaller models. For a tall SUV it's impressively responsive and well-balanced through corners and generally has a more nimble feel than you might expect.

It's generally comfortable and quiet, although the ride is rather firm. That's especially true with the sportier models or those with large alloy wheels, which have low-profile tyres that don't cushion the impact of bumps as much.

Even the lower-powered engines give decent performance, while the higher-powered Cooper S and John Cooper Works models are quick. The plug-in hybrid model (called Cooper S E) combines a 1.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and it has four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox as standard. The rest of the range is available with either a manual or automatic gearbox and front- or four-wheel drive, depending on engine and trim, and how the car was specified when new.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“An affordable choice, with the option of plug-in hybrid power.”

The Mini Countryman costs more to buy and run than Mini's smaller models but it's comparable with rival cars such as the Audi Q2 or Volkswagen T-Roc for for ownership costs. As with those cars, you have the option of cost-efficient models at the lower end of the range and high-performance, lavishly equipped ones that cost more to buy and run at the other.

Fuel economy for all models is pretty good, while the plug-in hybrid offers excellent mpg and a pure-electric range that could be enough for your daily commute – as long as you keep the battery charged. It does cost more to buy in the first place, of course.

An easier way to find or sell a car

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Which one is best for you?

All Countrymans are fuel-efficient but if you’re after a spacious Mini with the best fuel economy, then go for a diesel model. The plug-in hybrid could work out for you, if have a charging point at home or at work to keep the battery topped up.

Most versions are well-equipped and, as with any Mini, the Countryman could be specified with all manner of different option packs and colour combinations when new, so you should be able to find one that has the look and features you're looking for.