2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman First Look Review: Is It Still The Quirk King?

by Jared Rosenholtz

It didn't really feel in desperate need of a facelift, but that is exactly what the 2021 Mini Countryman just received. Though it is not an all-new model, the 2021 facelift does bring with it some interesting additions to the Countryman lineup including the return of the plug-in hybrid variant. As the largest Mini in the lineup, the Countryman helped broaden the quirky brand's appeal by offering the classic looks and driving dynamics in a larger package.

The 2021 Countryman continues this trend, acting as Mini's best-selling model in the United States. In fact, the Countryman alone accounts for 40% of the company's 2019 calendar year sales. With new styling features, interior technology, and engine options, this facelift looks like a winner.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Cooper
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$28,400
Cooper ALL4
1.5-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Other
$30,400
Cooper S
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$31,900
Cooper S ALL4
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Other
$33,900

See all Trims and Specs

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A Clearly British Exterior

The exterior styling hasn't changed too drastically but new additions include a redesigned radiator grille, standard LED headlights and foglights, LED Union Jack taillights, new body finishes, and new alloy wheels. Two new colors, White Silver metallic and Sage Green metallic, have been added to the palette, and depending on the model, the roof and mirror caps can be finished in black, white, silver, or body color.

ALL4 models get their own Exterior Styling package while roof rails come standard on every Countryman. Countryman S models receive a hexagonal grid pattern and red 'S' badging. 17-inch wheels come standard but customers can upgrade to 19-inch wheels from the Original Mini Accessories program.

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A More Techie And Luxurious Interior

The interior of the Countryman can range from pretty simple to rather elegant. New interior color options include Chesterfield Indigo Blue and Chesterfield Malt Brown and customers can now select different colors for the lower section of the instrument panel and door trim. Piano Black interior surfaces come standard but the MINI Yours program allows for deep customization of the cabin trim.

A digital cockpit display now comes standard, matching the unit found in the Cooper SE, with a five-inch color screen. The Mini Connected infotainment system with an 8.8-inch touchscreen receives some upgrades too in the form of Amazon Alexa integration.

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The Most Practical Mini

The Countryman is, by far, the most practical Mini on the market with its standard 40:20:40-split folding rear seats. Cargo space opens from 7.6 to 47.6 cubic feet when the second row is folding, allowing space for larger bags. Mini hasn't quoted rear legroom but we assume it will be close to the 2020's 37.6-inch rating, despite the body length growing overall, resulting in the largest Mini the brand has ever produced.

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Two Engines Plus A JCW And A Plug

Mini will offer the Countryman with four available powertrains, two of which are limited to the SE and John Cooper Works models. The base Countryman and Countryman ALL4 are powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine developing a scant 134 horsepower and yielding 0-60 mph times of 9.3 and 9.6 seconds respectively. The Countryman S and S ALL4 get a larger 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developing 189 hp. This has a substantial increase in performance, dropping the the 0-60 time to 7.2 seconds or 7.1 seconds in the ALL4. Both engines see revised mechanicals for the 2021 model year, with expected improvements in gas mileage, although at the time of writing, EPA estimates aren't yet available. A 224-hp SE plug-in hybrid model and 301-hp JCW variant are also available.

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Pricing And Competition

Mini has not announced pricing or fuel economy information for the 2021 Countryman but we don't expect the numbers to be much different than last year's model. Expect to pay around $28,000 for a base model with an S 4ALL model coming closer to $34,000. The sub-compact SUV is filled to the brim with new competitors from both mainstream and luxury brands. Mini carefully toes the line between cheaper options like the Honda HR-V and Kia Seltos while staying below luxury models like the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. The quirky style, unique interior, and engaging driving dynamics may be worth the price for some buyers while others may wish to pick a lane between the cheaper mainstream options and more premium luxury models.

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