2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4 review: Only fans


The Countryman appears to be like contemporary and pleasant.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

With its bug-eyed headlamps, cheeky smile and Union Jack-inspired taillights, the 2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4 is cuter than a basket of puppies. Behind that lovable façade is a remarkably upscale inside, one which’s additionally far roomier than you may count on from an organization whose title is synonymous with small. The Countryman makes a great first impression, however dig a bit deeper and you may quickly study it is from image good.   

Like

  • Premium inside
  • Roomy backseat
  • Spunky styling

Don’t Like

  • What?! I can not hear you over the tire noise
  • Acute lack of driver aids
  • Disinterested dynamics
  • No Android Auto

The Countryman competes with mainstream small crossovers just like the Hyundai Kona and Subaru Crosstrek, however a broad mannequin vary permits this Mini to have a foot within the premium camp as effectively. Its extra upscale rivals embody the petite Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Lexus UX.

Ritzy digs

In top-shelf Iconic trim, the Countryman’s inside is considered one of its most interesting options. There are loads of low-sheen tender plastics and high-quality controls, and how will you not love Mini’s retro-inspired toggle switches? My tester’s dashboard is partially coated in a nutty-brown leather-based that appears nice and feels even higher. These cow hides spill over to the seats, the place the fabric is embellished with a diamond-stitch sample and contrast-color piping.

The entrance bucket chairs are chiropractor-approved, and I particularly just like the extendable decrease bolsters, which offer extra help for taller people. Helping preserve glare at bay, the motive force will get a secondary, headliner-mounted visor to forestall the solar from shining in from the aspect. Despite being a Mini, there’s miles of area on this car’s backseat, too. Lanky passengers are handled to ample room in all three dimensions.

As a schlepper, the Countryman is decently commodious, providing 17.6 cubic ft of area behind the second-row seat and 47.6 cubes with the backrests folded down. There’s additionally a beneficiant underfloor storage cubby, a fantastic place to stash smaller objects out of the way in which. These figures are proper according to an Audi Q3, however a bit shy of what the Volvo XC40 presents. Annoyingly, nonetheless, you’ll be able to’t fold the rear seat down from the cargo space. Instead, it’s important to pull three separate lanyards within the second row to completely drop the 40/20/40-split backrest.

The Countryman’s inside is stretch-out spacious and options loads of upscale supplies. 


Craig Cole/Roadshow

Beyond that, there are different ergonomic oddities. The inside door handles, as an example, appear backward. The place the place you seize these semicircular chrome levers is on the entrance, so it’s important to twist your wrist round to entry it. I discovered this sort of annoying, however Mini house owners apparently don’t, as the corporate says it hasn’t had complaints about this, so perhaps I’m simply an outlier.

The Countryman has a digital instrument cluster, but it surely does not provide any driver-selectable info screens, which is uncommon. What you see is mainly what you get. At least for 2022 you’ll change the colour scheme.

Technically talking

In-vehicle tech is a notable sore spot with the Countryman. My tester’s very large however brief 8.8-inch multimedia show with embedded navigation feels cramped. Thoughtfully, you’ll be able to management issues in two methods, both by way of the touchscreen or a command knob on the middle console. Closely associated to BMW iDrive, this Mini infotainment system is performant, booting up immediately and easily responding if you pinch-and-zoom on the map, although it is not essentially the most intuitive multimedia array you may discover. Managing radio presets just isn’t enjoyable and there is not any discrete tuning knob for shortly buzzing by way of stations. With so many menus to scroll or swipe by way of, and a fairly steep studying curve, it is positively not considered one of my most well-liked infotainment methods, although there are a lot worse choices on the market.  

Simplifying issues, you’ll be able to at all times mirror your smartphone, proper? Maybe. Wireless Apple CarPlay is obtainable with the Touchscreen Navigation and Touchscreen Navigation Plus packages, although it’s not included with the usual infotainment system as a result of, in line with Mini spokespeople, that base {hardware} is not as much as snuff. The Cooper S Countryman All4 I’m testing right here ought to have CarPlay, although I spent at the least quarter-hour attempting to make it work and couldn’t, disconnecting and reconnecting my telephone, plugging into completely different USB ports and digging by way of the proprietor’s guide for solutions, however no cube. If you are a Google fanatic, I’ve extra unhealthy information: Android Auto just isn’t supported in any respect. Mini reps say they’re engaged on implementing this know-how, although there is not any timeframe when it could be accessible.

The infotainment system is tremendous responsive however is not essentially the most intuitive.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Countryman comes with forward-collision warning, however different superior driver aids are nowhere to be discovered. Lane-centering know-how is not on the menu and blind-spot monitoring just isn’t accessible on any Mini mannequin in any respect. At least adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality is obtainable on the Countryman, bundled within the Driver Assistance Package together with a head-up show and computerized parking. Unfortunately, although, my tester just isn’t fitted with this $1,250 choices group. Things are enhancing barely for 2022, as lane-departure warning is now normal throughout the Mini product portfolio and objects discovered within the Countryman’s driver-assistance bundle come normal with the Iconic trim (and can be found on lower-end variants, too). But nonetheless, this model is behind the tech curve.

Greasy bits

Underneath its curvaceous hood, this Countryman is fitted with the uplevel 2.0-liter turbo I4. It delivers 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, appreciably extra oomph than the usual three-cylinder engine gives, although the plug-in hybrid Countryman is stronger than that and the zippy John Cooper Works model stronger nonetheless. In this instance, twist is routed to both the entrance or all 4 wheels by way of an eight-speed computerized transmission. Even although it is fitted with a torque converter, it usually looks like a dual-clutch gearbox at low speeds as shifts are typically a bit clunky. Once underway, issues do clean out.

Expect 23 mpg metropolis and 31 mpg freeway from the Cooper S Countryman All4. Combined, it is rated at 26 mpg, although I’ve been averaging 25 and alter in combined use, which is just about proper on track.

Performance is nice, if not excellent. This crossover’s engine is clean and quiet.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

A dynamic dud

Minis are recognized for his or her spunky efficiency and go-kart-like dealing with. This is true of the unique that debuted in 1959 and particularly the fashionable model that launched within the early 2000s. But with annually and each technology, these vehicles get greater and bulkier, drifting additional away from what made Minis so sensational. This is especially true of the Countryman, which, thus far, is the model’s largest and most-versatile mannequin. Despite its frisky styling and sporting pretenses this crossover is a little bit of a dud, no higher to drive than one thing as mainstream as a Honda CR-V.

Conspiring to make the Countryman really feel fully bizarre, its transmission is indecisive and typically unrefined, the brake pedal is tender below your foot, and except you place it in Sport mode, the steering has a noticeable lifeless spot on middle. This Iconic trim’s adaptive dampers assist preserve the physique effectively managed, stiffening by 10% if you swap to Sport mode, however the experience is at all times a skosh firmer than vital. No, the Countryman is not so stiff that it crashes over bumps or bounds over undulations, but it surely most likely does not must be as starchy as it’s, particularly since this firmness does not appear to supply any actual dealing with profit.

This car’s alloy wheels could also be trendy, however the 225/45R19 Goodyear Eagle F1 tires they’re wrapped in transmit tons of noise to the cabin, particularly on weather-beaten pavement. At least the engine is soft-spoken and clean, capable of transfer the Cooper S Countryman All4 from 0 to 60 mph in round 7.1 seconds. This efficiency is totally respectable, even when the car by no means feels significantly fast. Switch over to the fuel-saving Green driving mode, nonetheless, and the powertrain turns into practically unresponsive, requiring you to virtually push the accelerator midway to the ground earlier than any change in car pace manifests.

If you are a Mini fanatic, the Countryman is correct up your alley.


Craig Cole/Roadshow

For the Mini trustworthy

The Countryman begins at about $30,000 together with $850 in supply charges. If you want all-wheel drive, it’ll price you an extra two grand. Naturally, the top instance examined right here is pricier than that, trying out for $43,600, a hefty sum contemplating the motive force aids and different options it lacks.

The Mini Cooper S Countryman All4 is without doubt one of the extra disappointing autos I’ve examined in latest reminiscence. Its iconic styling and upscale (and surprisingly roomy) inside are definitely laudable, however the car’s uninspiring dynamics, lack of options and impressive pricing are its undoing. Unless you depend your self among the many Mini trustworthy, there are higher choices than the Countryman.



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