MINI Countryman Review 2023
MINI Countryman At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 10–26
On average it achieves 68% of the official MPG figure
The second-generation MINI Countryman became the largest model in the MINI range when it was launched in 2017. As such, it offers plenty of practicality, matched with MINI’s usual idiosyncratic charm. However, this area of the market is very competitive, with a host of great small SUVs battling for sales including the new Nissan Juke, big-selling Ford Puma and value-focused Skoda Kamiq. Read on for our full MINI Countryman review.
Hopefully the world has moved beyond the ‘all MINIs should be small’ argument, and accepted that larger models like the MINI Countryman are here to stay.
As our MINI Countryman review will illustrate, the second-generation model is well established, and is set to be followed with a third-generation model late in 2023.
The current MINI Countryman has the cute and somewhat classic styling associated with the MINI brand. Some will find it overdesigned, but lots of others will love how this car looks.
Time has seen the MINI Countryman’s engine range rationalised and reduced. With diesel going out of fashion, there is now only a choice of petrol or plug-in hybrid power.
Given MINI’s emphasis on fun, all of these options are tuned with performance in mind. However, those wanting maximum engagement will be disappointed by the lack of a manual gearbox option.
Most will be perfectly happy with the range of automatic and dual-clutch auto transmissions fitted to the MINI Countryman range. Certain versions are combined with All4 all-wheel drive, although this is aimed more at aiding performance than delivering genuine off-road ability.
Despite its name, the MINI Countryman’s handling is targeted at the tarmac, rather than heading off-piste onto the dirt. All versions feel sporty, with quick steering and the ability to resist body roll well.
The downside is a ride that can range from taut to borderline uncomfortable, particularly on cars with big wheels and run-flat tyres. This can make for a bouncy experience for those inside, but at least they will have plenty of space to move around.
Being the biggest MINI means an interior with generous proportions, aided by the high roofline. Unlike some newer, coupe-styled crossover SUVs, there is no shortage of headroom in the back seats.
Boot capacity is competitive, at 450 litres (hybrid versions see this drop to 405 litres), while there is plenty of standard equipment fitted as well. MINI uses the BMW-sourced iDrive infotainment system here, with an effective 8.8-inch touchscreen included.
Classic specification now marks the starting point for the MINI Countryman range, and is likely to be the best option for balancing cost and equipment. Although there are numerous extra packages to personalise your MINI Countryman with, this can get expensive.
As with most things, the MINI Countryman can seem relatively costly to buy new. BMW has pushed the brand more upmarket, and prices have travelled northwards as well. Even the most basic MINI Countryman now costs more than £29,000, with a host of newer and cheaper rivals now available.
Although it still has charm, the fast-paced nature of the SUV market means the MINI Countryman is starting to show its age. Competition from younger rivals, and the arrival of a new, third-generation MINI Countryman in the near future, make it a harder sell.
Looking for a second opinion? Read heycar’s MINI Countryman review.