2019 Mini Cooper Countryman

$26,900 - $31,400
Price Range (MSRP)
Mini Cooper Countryman

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Review: Biggie Smalls

by Jared Rosenholtz

The biggest Mini ever produced, the Countryman is the British marque's idea of a subcompact SUV and offers a funky take on what a family car can look and feel like, with sporty handling and a more comfortable ride than you'll find in other Mini products. Unfortunately, the 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo fitted to the Countryman is a major drawback, with only 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, but there's small reprieve to be found in the S model, where a turbocharged 2.0T four-pot churns out 189 hp and 207 lb-ft. Available in front and all-wheel-drive with a choice of transmissions, the Countryman appeals to the growing clan of crossover buyers, providing a premium cabin, premium features, an enjoyable chassis, and unfortunately, a premium price, which against rivals like the Mazda CX-3 means it's a hard sell. But then again, Mini stands for individuality, so for the buyers seeking a modicum of brand cachet, the price premium is merely a small bump on the road to exclusivity.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Cooper Countryman?

The Mini Cooper Countryman is essentially unchanged from the 2018 model year, with only a reshuffling of sub-trims and pricing coming into effect for the new model. The new sub-trim designations are Classic, Signature, and Iconic, each of which adds various features and available options, including color choices, to the Countryman. Classic starts at $26,900, Signature at $30,900 and Iconic at $35,900.

Pros and Cons

  • Premium cabin feel
  • Funky exterior design
  • Available manual transmission
  • Fun handling and smooth ride
  • Surprising rear-occupant space
  • Cooper S engine is responsive
  • Heavily underpowered engine that only runs on premium unleaded gas
  • Minimal standard features
  • Shortage of available driver aids
  • Pricey options list
  • Underpowered base engine

Cooper Countryman Exterior

The Countryman is one of the most car-like crossovers around, its third pane of glass behind each of the car's C-pillars being smaller than the rest of the windows, creating a sort of coupe-style waistline with the signature floating roof and wing mirrors in contrasting colors. LED daytime running lights, black plastic bumper, side-skirt, and wheel-arch add-ons help the Countryman fit in with other Minis, while the roof rails attempt to set it apart as the most utilitarian of the family. 17-inch wheels are standard fare, but the S gets 18-inch wheels and all models can be optioned with 19s. The Cooper S differentiates itself with more aggressive styling and a spattering of S badges.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Front Angle View Mini
2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Front Angle View Mini
2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Rear Angle View Mini
See All 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Countryman is the biggest of the Mini offerings, measuring 169.8 inches long and 61.3 inches tall. The crossover is 71.7 inches wide and has a wheelbase of 105.1 inches. Front-wheel-drive models weigh around 3,053 lbs while if you go straight for the All4-equipped Cooper S derivatives, the curb weight will surge all the way to 3,670 lbs.

Exterior Colors

The Countryman is available in nine colors: Moonwalk Grey, Midnight Black, Chili Red, Light White, Island Blue, Chestnut, Melting Silver, British Racing Green, and Lapisluxury Blue. Moonwalk Grey is a no-cost option on the Classic sub-trim, with Midnight Black, Chili Red and Light White optional. The other colors are only available on the Signature and Iconic sub-trims, with the exception of the Mini Yours Lapisluxury Blue color, which is exclusive to the Iconic package. We're quite partial to Island Blue, but the contrasting roof color that comes on every Mini makes each option look pretty good.

  • Chili Red
  • Chestnut
  • Moonwalk Grey Metallic
  • Light White
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • MINI Yours Lapisluxury Blue
  • British Racing Green Metallic
  • Thunder Gray Metallic
  • Island Blue Metallic
  • Melting Silver Metallic

Cooper Countryman Performance

With the Countryman's accompanying size and weight, it's no longer as rapid or as nimble as lighter, smaller Minis, which means it needs more power to get up and go. Unfortunately, the standard Cooper's get up go got up and left, with 134 hp from the 1.5T sending it from 0-60 mph in 9.3 seconds in FWD form. The Cooper S remedies this a little, adding an extra cylinder, half a liter of displacement, and extra power, dropping the 0-60 sprint to 7.2 seconds in FWD guise and seven seconds dead on All4 models with the eight-speed automatic before heading on to a top speed of 137 mph. This performance is still lacking, though, and you'd have to step up to the JCW (reviewed separately) if you want anything rivaling the performance of a similarly sized Golf GTI. It once again highlights how the Countryman is a softer Mini - one for the young socialite more than for the performance enthusiast.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Wheel Mini

Engine and Transmission

The Countryman's base turbo 1.5-liter three-pot is no mind-blowing EcoBoost engine, perpetuating the usually incorrect stereotype that small engines cannot make power. With 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, the Countryman isn't especially bad, but in a car with so much weight, this engine should have been avoided or reserved for smaller Minis. Accelerating from a stoplight is neither glacial nor hurried, but you can feel the engine struggling to overcome the inertia of the Countryman's considerable heft. The Cooped S adds to the performance potential of the Countryman, swapping in a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developing 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, much quicker when taking off or when overtaking.

As far as gearbox choice goes, these are largely dictated by choice of engine and drivetrain combination. A six-speed manual gearbox is the default on the Cooper in both fwd and AWD versions, as well as on the Cooper S All4, while on the Cooper, an optional six-speed automatic is available. On the Cooper S FWD, and optional on the All4, the eight-speed automatic is sublime.

  • Engines
    1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas, 2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Manual, 8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Countryman is more impressive taking corners than it is accelerating towards them. The crossover SUV handles well for its size, proving to be very car-like in front-wheel-drive guise. Turn-in is impressive with nicely weighted steering setting the Countryman apart from similar vehicles in the segment - the BMW X1 being the obvious exception. However, there is a noticeable amount of lean through enthusiastically attacked corners, only improved upon marginally in Cooper S guise. The All4 model being heavier is less enjoyable to drive and, thanks to the low power output of the base engine, doesn't provide any advantages besides in the snow.

Braking is good and doesn't provide any shudder or sudden jolts when you want to come to a smooth stop, but it also isn't as sharp as in smaller Minis like the Clubman. The Countryman is more fun to drive than most other crossovers and should be considered as a more enjoyable option for the more spirited driver, rather than as a big Cooper Hardtop. For the average buyer who has no intention of obliterating lap records, the Countryman is more than good enough to drive, and possibly as a by-product of its weight, this model is far more comfortable than we've come to expect from the brand too.

Cooper Countryman Gas Mileage

With multiple engine, gearbox, and drivetrain combinations available, gas mileage on the Countryman varies. The most efficient combination can be found in the manual Cooper FWD, returning EPA estimates of 24/33/28 mpg city/highway/combined, while the six-speed auto drops the estimates to 24/32/27 mpg. The more potent Cooper S is surprisingly economical, returning estimates of 23/32/27 mpg in eight-speed auto FWD format, while the weakest performer of the line-up is the manual All4, returning estimates of 21/30/24 mpg. All models are equipped with a 16.1-gallon gas tank, affording a maximum range of around 45 miles in mixed conditions, but it is worth noting that this must be filled with premium gas only, something to consider when working out your fuel budget.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    16.1 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/33 mpg
* 2019 Mini Countryman Cooper

Cooper Countryman Interior

The Countryman's interior is still as unique as Mini's vehicles always have been, but these days is more premium than ever before. Excellent build quality and soft-touch surfaces make the Countryman an appealing place to be, and faux leather paired with ambient lighting is a nice touch that is rare for base models in the segment. Navigation and Apple CarPlay are optional, with Android Auto omitted, and on models with these features, the touchscreen infotainment system is not too bad either. However, the base model uses a rotary knob only, which can be cumbersome at times. Heated and power-adjustable seats are optional for the front, as is dual-zone climate control.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Dashboard Mini
See All 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Countryman's cabin seats five and is the roomiest of the Mini lineup with plenty of headroom for occupants in the front, although six-footers will be slightly aggrieved in the back. Getting in and out is easy for the most part, although the front seat bolsters will get some rubbing. All-round visibility is excellent, and the driving position is commanding too, the manual seat adjustments easy to refine. Overall, the interior is more spacious than expected, but the sculpted seats will not be comfortable for all body types, particularly the broad-shouldered. Legroom is adequate, with recesses in the front seats offering a little more comfort for taller rear occupants.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

Interior materials in this Mini are attractive, with a wide scope of choice for those who like a little individuality in the cockpit. The Classic and Signature sub-trims are upholstered in simulated leather, with Iconic variants earning the real McCoy. Color options include Black Pearl, British Oak, Carbon Black, and Satellite Gray. A leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard and looks suitably sporty, while the engine-start switch and its surrounding toggles finished in a bright chrome add a unique but stylish sense of occasion to the car's basic functions.

Cooper Countryman Trunk and Cargo Space

The Countryman is decently practical but not class-leading with 17.6 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. Fold the 40/20/40-split seats, and that expands to 47.6 cubic feet, which will accommodate two large and two medium suitcases without encroaching on rearward visibility. Loading is easily achievable thanks to a low floor, but those wanting more out of their premium crossover will be disappointed by the more cavernous cargo area in the BMW X1; but, those who appreciate the style and unique quirks of a Mini will find it more practical than the Clubman. It's also a bit more accommodating than the Mercedes-Benz GLA's 43.6 cubic feet.

Two cup holders in the front are supplemented by large door trays that can each carry a bottle of water, but the lack of a center armrest in the rear means minimal storage for occupants at the back. Front occupants have access to a glovebox, a small tray in front of the gear lever and narrow center storage space.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Trunk Space with Seat Folded Mini
2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Trunk Space Mini
2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Trunk Space Mini

Cooper Countryman Infotainment and Features

Features

Mini has taken a page out of the infamous Porsche book of options, offering what seems like a fairly good deal to start with, and then slyly withholding features unless more expensive packages or trims are selected. The Countryman does, however, feature a panoramic sunroof as standard, as well as rain-sensing automatic wipers, auto headlights, heated mirrors, heated windscreen wipers, push-to-start, a rearview camera, and rear park sensors. Other available features include keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, heated front seats, cornering LED headlights, and power-folding wing mirrors. A power liftgate and power-adjustable front seats are also part of the options list. A parking assistant is also available.

Infotainment

The standard infotainment system in the Mini supports Bluetooth and has two USB ports. This six-speaker system is rather rudimentary, featuring a 6.5-inch non-touch display that is controlled via an iDrive-like rotary knob. The Signature sub-trim upgrades this to a touchscreen with the option of satellite radio and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Speccing the Mini Cooper Countryman in Iconic guise will add navigation and increase the size of the central screen to 8.8-inches, which is helpful considering that some of the basic functions lie buried in sub-menus that can be difficult to navigate on the go. Voice control and Apple CarPlay are also available, but Android Auto is absent.

Cooper Countryman Problems and Reliability

The 2019 Countryman has a reliability rating of 82/100 on the J.D. Power index, but the car was subject to two different recalls in mid-2018 - one for a missing fuel pump crash protection plate, and one for faulty firmware on the crankshaft sensor. Mini covers the Countryman with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, which covers the powertrain too. A 12-year rust warranty is also included.

Cooper Countryman Safety

The NHTSA has not yet rated the Countryman's crashworthiness, but the IIHS gave it their best possible overall score of Good.

Key Safety Features

As standard, the Countryman features a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Optional safety equipment and driver aids include front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, a parallel-parking assistant, and forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. LED headlights with cornering function can also be optioned, helping improve visibility around bends and curves. Run-flat performance tires are standard, allowing you to continue driving safely in the event of a blowout or puncture, albeit at lower speeds. Dual front, knee, and side-impact airbags are supplemented by overhead airbags, and seatbelt pre-tensioners are standard.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman a good SUV?

As a utilitarian device, the Countryman is easily surpassed by rivals who offer more space and cargo capacity. The only vehicle that it truly impresses against in this regard is one from within its own family, the Clubman. The base engine is also nothing to write home about: sending messages via smoke signals will be a quicker way of getting mail across town than hand-delivering them in the Countryman, meaning you have to fork out more for the Cooper S to have any sense of urgency about your travels. It doesn't make up for its shortcomings in performance with a long standard features list either. Standard equipment is incredibly thinly spread, and many of the expensive options are standard fare or at least cheaper in many other competitors. Where the Countryman does impress is in the corners, handling direction changes with decent composure. However, nobody buys a crossover for its sporty aspirations, and there are dedicated models within the Mini catalog for that purpose anyway. No, the Countryman is not a good car. It's an okay one, but if you're attracted to its looks and charm, none of what is written above will matter. The Mini plays to its own tune, and the people who buy these cars don't care about technical details or the class-leading accolades that others have earned. Nothing else looks like it, and nothing else is as cool as it. That's the bottom line.

What's the Price of the 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman?

Accessing the Mini Countryman costs as little as $26,900 in base Countryman guise, jumping to $28,900 if you opt for the AWD model, badged All4. The Cooper S takes a hike to an MSRP of $30,900 in FWD form with the eight-speed sport automatic, while the Cooper S All4 starts at $31,400 but climbs to an MSRP of $40,400 if you select the Iconic sub-trim. Prices exclude the expensive list of options and customization packages that can be equipped, as well as Mini's destination charge of $850.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Models

Two 'regular' Mini Countryman models are available, starting with the standard Cooper before graduating to the Cooper S. Both can be had in FWD guise, or as separate All4 models, taking the total trim count to four.

The Cooper Countryman starts off with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder, a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Standard features include a rearview camera, rear park sensors, a sliding rear bench, panoramic sunroof, and Sensatec simulated leather upholstery. A 6.5-inch infotainment screen is standard with six speakers. The All4 version adds all-wheel-drive and also swaps out the six-speed automatic gearbox for an eight-speed automatic.

The Cooper S upgrades to a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a standard eight-speed sport automatic gearbox. It gets sportier suspension, brakes, and styling elements including 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as a few extra S badges to denote it as something a little more serious. The All4 adds the option of a six-speed manual gearbox, as well as an extra driven axle.

Beneath these are three sub-trims, Classic, Signature, and Iconic, adding extra specification like LED headlights, forward collision avoidance, larger infotainment screens, leather upholstery, a head-up display, and more.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Cooper
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$26,900
Cooper ALL4
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
$28,900
Cooper S
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$30,900
Cooper S ALL4
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Manual
All-Wheel Drive
$31,400
See All 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

The Driver Assistance package is a worthy option for your ideal Countryman, adding a parking assistant, adaptive cruise control, and park sensors all round for $1,250. For the audiophiles, the $3,000 Premium package (only available in conjunction with the Signature variant) provides a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio upgrade and SiriusXM satellite radio. Other features included in the package are auto-dimming mirrors, power front seats, LED headlights with cornering and LED fog lights. Another useful option is the Touchscreen Navigation package, adding navigation (obviously), Apple CarPlay and remote services. This suite of options will add $1,700 to your final pricing. The Signature sub-trim and its add-ons cost $4,000, while the Iconic package adds $9,000.

What Mini Cooper Countryman Model Should I Buy?

There are many better and more capable options of crossovers available on the market, but if the Mini's charm attracts you beyond reason, we'd suggest opting for the Cooper S, purely for the 2.0-liter engine which is vastly more usable than the base 1.5. The stiffer suspension also helps the handling. From there it's down to your choice of sub trim and options packages. We'd spring for the Signature sub-trim with its heated front seats, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, and a touchscreen infotainment system. Adding the Touchscreen Navigation package is also worth considering, as you also get Apple CarPlay and enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. We'd stick with the front-wheel-drive, as combined with the eight-speed auto it yields exceptional drivability and better fuel economy.

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Comparisons

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman Mini
2019 Mini Cooper Countryman BMW

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman vs Mini Cooper Clubman

The Cooper Countryman can be compared to the Clubman for practicality and usability, although the Clubman is smaller. The Clubman features unique rear doors that split in the middle and open horizontally, making loading very easy. It shares the same engines as the Countryman, but thanks to its lighter curb weight of around 3,000 lbs, it moves a little better. However, this does not translate into better fuel economy, and with a similar trim structure, the Clubman is almost as expensive (starting from around $25,000) but with less practicality and space. The Countryman is also arguably better proportioned and is a handsome and well-resolved shape of vehicle, whereas the Clubman, although eccentric, looks more like a lazy attempt at a Cooper Hardtop stretch limo than a funky take on trademark styling cues. We'd rather have a Countryman in this instance.

See Mini Cooper Clubman Review

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman vs BMW X1

For practicality, the Countryman isn't even in contention against the likes of the BMW X1. Behind the rear seat, the X1 offers 27.1 cubes, almost 10 more than the Mini does, and with the seats folded, the BMW's space expands to 57.7 versus the Countryman's 47.6. For drivers, the biggest difference is the BMW's far more powerful 2.0-liter four-pot that produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This means that the X1 will not struggle to accelerate past slow-moving traffic and will likely never be subjected to honking at a green light through any fault of its own. In terms of options and safety, the X1 features lane-departure warning, which the Mini does without, and BMW Assist, which can remotely unlock the doors, alert emergency services to a crash, and track the vehicle in the event of theft. At a starting price of just under $35,000, the X1 is the more expensive of the two, but if you can afford it, the BMW will be far more satisfying to drive and much more practical to live with.

See BMW X1 Review

Mini Cooper Countryman Popular Comparisons

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