From £16,420
The Countryman has gained the engine it has been crying out for, with enough torque to deal with its extra weight and decent fuel economy, too.

Our Verdict

Mini Countryman
Mini bigs itself up in a quest to find new and retain old customers

The Mini Countryman represents the biggest stretch yet for Mini – for the car and the brand

  • First Drive

    Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 first drive review

    Mildly revised Mini Countryman Cooper S uses improved economy, performance and refinement to fight off its growing band of rivals
  • First Drive

    Mini Countryman SD All4

    The Countryman has gained the engine it has been crying out for, with enough torque to deal with its extra weight and decent fuel economy, too.
22 April 2011

What is it?

The Countryman is currently the second most popular Mini body style, so it does make perfect sense for BMW to improve its diesel offering. So along with every other Mini in the range, the Countryman can be specified with what is now the most powerful diesel in the line up, the 143bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre 'four.

See pics of the Mini Countryman Cooper SD All4 in action

What’s it like?

In many ways, this engine suits the Countryman better than any of its siblings. As the heaviest Mini in the range - by a long stretch in All4 guise - the Countryman really does need all the torque it can find. And this new turbo diesel develops more torque than any other engine in the MINI range, including the John Cooper Works power plant. That’s 225lb ft of the twisting stuff, which is very welcome.

That maximum torque is developed from a relatively low 1750rpm really helps – this is not the most refined diesel out there but it does imbue the Countryman good low-speed response. But unlike its siblings equipped with the same powerplant, it won’t give much enjoyment if you push a bit harder. Body roll is uncomfortable and mid-corner bumps have a habit of knocking the car off line, which isn’t much fun.

Should I buy one?

Treat this Countryman – as I suspect most owners will – as a relaxed cruiser that’ll accommodate four six-footers in comfort and it works well. And for those put off by the poor fuel economy of the petrol Countryman, the 57.6mpg on offer will also be welcome. Add an interior that must be the most entertaining in the class and you’ve got a little SUV that really stands out.

But if you’ve come looking for the handling dynamics that so distinguishes much of the rest of the Mini range, you really need to look elsewhere. And the Mini Cooper SD with the same engine is a good place to start.

Gavin Conway

Mini Cooper SD All4 Countryman

Price: £23,190; Top speed: 121mph; 0-62mph: 9.4secs; Economy: 57.6mpg; Co2: 130g/km; Kerbweight: 1470kgs; Engine type, cc: four cylinder, 1995cc; Power: 143bhp@4000rpm; Torque: 225lb ft at 1750-2700rpm; Gearbox: six speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
21

26 April 2011

On the Cooper this engine make sense, it has to be less potent than 1.6 petrol, but on the Countryman 170-180 hp would be more appropriate. 9.4 seconds is not good enough even for a mini-suv nowadays

26 April 2011

I've always been told, if I can't say anything nice, then I should say nothing at all.............

I suppose it is good for the British economy though.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

26 April 2011

I've seen loads of these things now and every single one has been white with a black roof and black wheels.

Do they come in other colours?

26 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]

I've always been told, if I can't say anything nice, then I should say nothing at all.............

I suppose it is good for the British economy though.

[/quote]

Aren't they made in Austria?

26 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]I've always been told, if I can't say anything nice, then I should say nothing at all.............[/quote]

That didn't stop you from saying silly things about Alfas recently...

26 April 2011

[quote Rob 7]

[quote TegTypeR]I've always been told, if I can't say anything nice, then I should say nothing at all.............[/quote]

That didn't stop you from saying silly things about Alfas recently...

[/quote]

I didn't say anything that wasn't nice about Alfa's - I just commented that the 159 wasn't as competitive as it should be......

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

26 April 2011

[quote Lee23404]

[quote TegTypeR]

I've always been told, if I can't say anything nice, then I should say nothing at all.............

I suppose it is good for the British economy though.

[/quote]

Aren't they made in Austria?

[/quote]

I think the engine is still made in the UK?

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

26 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]I think the engine is still made in the UK[/quote]

Good point, I guess they're still made at Hams Hall.

Living near Oxford (and thinking of the local economy) I was looking at it purely from a final production perspective.

26 April 2011

[quote TegTypeR]

[quote Rob 7]

[quote TegTypeR]I've always been told, if I can't say anything nice, then I should say nothing at all.............[/quote]

That didn't stop you from saying silly things about Alfas recently...

[/quote]

I didn't say anything that wasn't nice about Alfa's - I just commented that the 159 wasn't as competitive as it should be......

[/quote] You shouldn't have said even that. Don't you know it's not allowed?

As for the Clubman, I like it! Yes, I know BMW have supposedly committed sacrilege by making a bigger Mini to expand the range to actually make some money out of the brand and I've heard the tales of Sir Alec doing the triple lutz in his grave at the very thought, but there you are.

One thing regarding the handling though, the Autocar, as is often the case, is sending out mixed signals. The reviewer here wasn't that impressed, but the reviewer in last week's mag, driving the mag's fleet version, really liked the way it drove. Yes, I realise they have different engines, but even allowing for that, I wouldn't've thought there'd be that much of a difference!

26 April 2011

[quote Lee23404]

[quote TegTypeR]I think the engine is still made in the UK[/quote]

Good point, I guess they're still made at Hams Hall.

Living near Oxford (and thinking of the local economy) I was looking at it purely from a final production perspective.

[/quote]

Sorry to be a know it all, but I checked this on wiki, so it might still be wrong

"All Prince four-cylinder petrol engines for Mini and BMW are produced at the Hams Hall Plant[62] near Birmingham, United Kingdom, which has around 800 employees.[63] Diesel engines are manufactured by BMW's Plant Steyr in Austria, having previously been manufactured in France and England by PSA."

The design of the dash looks abit too much like a tinselled up Aygo for £23k also.

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