New car review

MINI Countryman review

Still divisive, but bigger and better than before


While remaining a divisive model the new Mini Countryman is a major advance on its predecessor, particularly in terms of interior space.


While remaining a divisive model the new Mini Countryman is a major advance on its predecessor, particularly in terms of interior space.

What is it: Latest-generation variant of Mini’s crossover model.
Key features: Larger size, new engine, more equipment.
Our view: While remaining a divisive model, the new Mini Countryman is a major advance on its predecessor, particularly in terms of interior space.
Review type: Full road test

If ever there was a Marmite car, it is the Mini Countryman. First launched in 2010, this model took the BMW-era reimagining of a British motoring icon into the booming crossover market.

To many enthusiasts, however, it’s a Mini too far, principally because there is nothing mini about it. The Countryman outstretches many family hatches, especially in height. And it has a bulging body style that looks like a Mini has spent several weeks in a gym.

Lined up against the detractors, however, are the fans, and there are plenty of them. The first-generation model regularly topped the brand’s sales charts.

Many who fully bought into the lifestyle image that has made the Mini such a success, love the idea that they can also buy into the UK market’s fastest-growing sector – crossovers – yet still drive a Mini. And they are prepared to live with the compromises, most notably very little space in the back.

Now Mini has addressed that issue in the second-generation Countryman, which arrived on UK roads in February 2017. Adopting the styling cues of other new Mini models launched over the last couple of years, the latest Countryman boasts new engines and more tech, much of it standard. But the big headline – it’s even bigger than its predecessor…

Next page: Exterior and interior design

MINI Countryman front - black pack

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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