2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

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2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman Review: Pocket Rocket Crossover Goodness

The Mini John Cooper Works Countryman fills a small niche in the automotive landscape as a genuinely hot little crossover against hot newcomers like the Hyundai Kona N, which perhaps explains why it looks so grumpy that it no longer has the roost all to itself. The JCW Countryman packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged BMW engine under the hood making 301 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque, and it drives like a hot hatch should. It's quirky, hip, stylish, and surprisingly roomy inside, making it the most practical fast Mini currently available without compromising on the brand's contemporary hallmarks. It's a genuinely quick little vehicle with a slick eight-speed automatic that can be controlled via paddles behind the steering wheel. Backing up the power is an ALL4 all-wheel-drive system and chassis tuning by the John Cooper Works division of Mini that makes it a joy to whizz round corners. What's not to love?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 7 /10
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2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2021 John Cooper Works Countryman?

This year, Mini has updated the John Cooper Works Countryman in line with other Countryman models, which we review separately. Following a more extensive update last year, changes for the 2022 model year are minor. The JCW has had its top speed raised from 149 mph to 155 mph, an update that will hardly matter to 99 percent of motorists. Every model now comes with lane departure warning and SiriusXM satellite radio with a 12-month subscription. Two new packages - the Driver Assistance package and Convenience package - are offered for the Signature and Iconic sub-trims. They add features like a head-up display, active cruise control, park assist, an alarm system, a picnic cushion, and a rear armrest with cupholders.

Pros and Cons

  • Potent acceleration
  • Great handling for a crossover
  • Funky styling, inside and out
  • It's the most practical Mini you can buy
  • Good build quality
  • Small trunk relative to other crossovers
  • High price
  • Occasionally firm ride

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2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
John Cooper Works ALL4
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Despite all the added styling, badging, and sporty accouterments, it's still a surprise how quick off the mark the JCW Countryman is. It's properly quick, and in sports mode, it even growls and can be inspired to deliver pops from the exhaust under deceleration. The adaptive suspension stiffens up, and the whole package truly shines in the fun stakes on the back roads, tackling any stretch with eagerness no matter how twisty things get. The turn-in is crisp, the car wants to rotate when you do, and everything hooks up to poke the JCW Countryman out of a corner with zest.

Out of Sport mode and into Comfort, the change is pronounced. You won't annoy any households you pass with engine noise as the JCW Countryman also knows how to relax. The suspension stays firm, but there's no excessive bumping or crunching over rough roads, or over that annoying little pothole you always forget is there. It's still zippy and happy to hustle, but the excess is toned down, and the JCW Countryman becomes an excellent urban and little suburban crossover. It may be too firm in Comfort mode for those that only occasionally want their car to party, but that's why the full JCW take on the Countryman is in a class of its own.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman a good SUV?

The John Cooper Works Countryman is a great vehicle for those who value their sporty driving highly and want a small crossover for daily driving. For anyone not committed to sporty driving, the JCW Countryman is on the firm side, and you have to pay extra for infotainment features that are standard on most crossovers now. If you won't miss standard features like a good-sized infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay, and control over your phone from the steering wheel, the JCW Countryman is a riot to drive on a back road and an energetic vehicle around town.

When it comes to a small performance-enhanced crossover, there isn't anything better we can think of right now in terms of dynamics, power, and style. Begrudgingly, we accept its infotainment flaws.

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman Comparisons

Mini Cooper Countryman Mini

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman vs Mini Cooper Countryman

Is it really worth the extra cost to get the JCW or will the regular Cooper Countryman suffice? For close to $10,000 less, you could drive off in the Cooper S Countryman. It's also available with all-wheel drive and, while it's down on power at 189 hp, it can reach 60 mph in just over seven seconds. Although the JCW enjoys a sportier appearance and unique interior appointments, equipment levels are not drastically different between the two crossovers. You could get a well-equipped Cooper S Countryman with premium leather and navigation for around the same price as the base JCW Countryman. If you want the fastest Countryman you can get, the JCW can't be beaten, but the Cooper S is a better-balanced package.

See Mini Cooper Countryman Review

2022 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman vs BMW X1

The JCW Countryman's price puts it into close contention with premium crossovers like the BMW X1. In fact, the JCW is comfortably more expensive as the 2021 X1 xDrive28i starts at $37,400. The BMW isn't as funky to look at as the Mini, takes a tardier 6.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, and isn't as fun to throw around the corners. However, the X1 is a better SUV in the traditional sense. There's more space for occupants and its 27.1 cubic feet of cargo space dwarfs the Mini's 17.6-cube effort. The X1 is better-equipped as well, with standard power-adjustable front seats, front/rear parking sensors, and Apple CarPlay - these features will cost extra on the base JCW Countryman. For a more conservative buyer that needs a family-friendly SUV, the X1 is an easy winner. But the Mini is undeniably more fun.

See BMW X1 Review

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