2WD Countryman is no real-life compromise, but eco-friendly diesel lets down the package

What is it?

The two-wheel drive diesel Mini Countryman is Mini’s answer to the biggest criticism of the turbocharged petrol versions, namely it’s 25mpg fuel economy. As the 4WD car has no switches inside to control the drive system, beyond the traction control, the interior of the 2WD versions looks exactly the same.

What’s it like?

It’s a strange reflection on the 21st-century car industry that we need to reassure buyers that they won’t notice the lack of 4WD on the school run, but the fact is that even our All4 long-term test car can be provoked into spinning the front wheels ‘at the lights’, as it doesn’t have drive to all four wheels engaged at standstill.

What proves to be more of a problem, only partly compensated by the 45mpg economy we achieved, is the diesel engine, which has a most undiesel-like lack of low-end torque and only feels like its pulling properly at 2000rpm. Combined with long gearing (20mph equals 1700rpm) in second, this means that you often have to change down into first gear to pull out confidently at junctions, even if you’re already doing 15-20mph.

Four million people in the UK now have an iPhone, so it’s worth pointing out that mine would not play music through our test car’s entertainment system, although the same phone works perfectly in the Countryman I drive every day. The only apparent difference was a lack of sat-nav in the test car.

Should I buy one?

Drivers looking for a tidy-handling car with a premium finish for the school run will find that the two-wheel-drive diesel Countryman ticks many of the boxes, but the package as a whole lacks the charisma provided by the zesty, 184bhp petrol engine in the Cooper S.

Ed Keohane

Mini Cooper D Countryman 2WD

Price: £21,805; Top speed: 118mph; 0-60mph: 10.5sec; Economy: 64.2mpg; CO2: 149g/km; Kerb weight: 1385kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1598cc, turbodiesel; Power: 112bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 199lb ft at 1750-2250rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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Cuprasport 12 April 2011

Re: Mini Countryman 1.6D Cooper 2WD

Having now ownd this exact version with a few options granted since December last year, I am finding a good car to drive, as the mles are increasing uto 3000 now (not travelling much atm). The pull from the lighs is getting better as is the fuel consumption. All in all a nice car to ha on my drive, I still get people asking what is it:).

No other hatchback on the market fitted my criteria as well as this car does, mainly due to the flat sided rear hatch which improves the head room for the pooch.

I was looking for a small compact car, that I could use forcarting rud my dog and friends etc without going down theSUV route. I testeda few estate ars and had a long term drive of a 320rd estate but never really gelled with it. I also didn't fancy another VAG product as I have had 4 in a row now.

Mart_J 12 April 2011

Re: Mini Countryman 1.6D Cooper 2WD

The world seems to have gone mad, reinventing 1970s BL cars. BMW are bringing back the Austin Maxi/1300 and Audi, the Allegro. Now I'm waiting for the next Golf to look like a Metro1.0L with inset headlamps....

275not599 11 April 2011

Re: Mini Countryman 1.6D Cooper 2WD


Your last post quotes something you said but attributes it to me. What's going on?

My question "Surely you see the flaws in your argument" was my first post on this thread. For the avoidance of further confusion, here are the flaws I was referring to:

1. You are comparing the horsepower of two cars that are about 50 years apart. No car from 50 years ago is going to look good in horsepower terms compared with the modern equivalent. The comparison should be about power relative to its contemporary siblings, not power in absolute terms, otherwise the Silver Cloud II would be more of a Cooper than the Cooper S because it had three times the horsepower.

2. The old Coopers and Cooper S were differentiated from the standard model because of substantially increased performance. The BMW that is the subject of this thread is not a performance version of the BMW Mini, so the meaning of Cooper has been debased, which I think is poor brand management.

Thank you for the tip but I have in fact registered that the majority of Audis, BMWs and Mercedes are diesels. Have you registered the fact that the RSs, the Ms and the AMGs are not diesels?

I note, however, that Autocar is inconsistent about the use of Cooper in the name, so I don't know wheher this is a diesel Cooper or not.