The popularity of SUVs and crossovers is booming in the USA right now, and any automaker that doesn't have one in their range is either too busy winning elsewhere or just sorely losing out. This is the reason for the 2021 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman, the most powerful and largest Mini ever created, and the brand's first real SUV crossover. It retains Mini's iconic, retro-Italian aesthetic in its 5-door subcompact design, and its 301-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo inline-4 engine and sport suspension has it drive as playfully as any other Mini, too. With a starting price of $41,500, the 2021 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman SUV is subject to some pretty formidable competition, however, including the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35, the BMW X2, and even Volkswagen's all-new ID.4 electric car. Is the Mini JCW Countryman trying to force its way into a cool crowd that it envies, or does it actually have something to prove?
This year, Mini has updated the John Cooper Works Countryman in line with other Countryman models, which we review separately. The hot crossover now gets refreshed headlights, new Union Jack LED tail lights, and LED fog lights. As for the color palette, White Silver Metallic and Sage Green Metallic have now been added.
Mini has upgraded the center display with a new 8.8-inch touchscreen with a Piano Black bezel. On the Signature sub-trim, navigation, a digital instrument cluster, and remote services are standard, along with Amazon Alexa.
See trim levels and configurations:
|John Cooper Works ALL4||
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Under the retro-styled hood of the JCW Countryman SUV is a transversely-mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that's dialed to develop up to 301 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. Outputs are forwarded through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the Mini's ALL4 all-wheel drive system. Overall, performance from the powertrain is sprightly and polished, the engine delivering oodles of power on command, and the transmission delivering precise and smooth shifts. A sprint time of 4.9 seconds is possible, making it the fastest Countryman by far. If you do want this little powerhouse to lug a trailer, it has a towing capacity of up to 2,000 lbs.
If you're a Mini fanatic, are relatively well-off financially, and have a budding family, then the 2021 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman is the perfect vehicle for you, hands down. It's as fun to drive as any typical Mini and retains the brand's iconic look, too. It just combines these brand-intrinsic qualities with the ability to comfortably accommodate the whole family. If you're just looking for a good SUV crossover in general, however, then some deliberation is certainly worthwhile. There are a lot of cars within the classification and automakers have gone above and beyond to make their products as competitive and appealing as possible. In other words, you could likely find crossovers that are just as fun to drive, but more economical and practical, or just better value for the money. There are a few that encapsulate all of these perks at lower prices than the 2021 JCW Countryman. What you won't be getting, however, is the renown, style, and history that is ingrained in the Mini Cooper name. Strictly speaking, the John Cooper Works Countryman SUV is an excellent Mini but a relatively unimpressive SUV.
We review the 2021 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman as a standalone model, as it is presented as a top-spec, comprehensively outfitted vehicle. This year, the JCW Countryman also comes standard with even more advanced features, which narrows down what buyers can actually choose to option in. Many advanced driver-assist and safety features are standard, too, and the IIHS's crashworthiness review of this second-gen JCW Countryman resulted in a top-notch safety rating. Still,, we'd recommend the parking assist systems just for the extra peace of mind.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman:
Check out some informative Mini John Cooper Works Countryman video reviews below.