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2012 MINI Cooper Countryman Review

While many upscale small cars have more powerful base engines, critics agreed that the 2012 Mini Countryman has nimble handling and a lively available turbocharged engine.

Pros & Cons

  • Great fuel economy
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Nimble handling
  • Underpowered base engine

Rankings & Research

The 2012 MINI Cooper Countryman's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the MINI Cooper Countryman has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 42 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 MINI Cooper Countryman Overview

Reviewers said the 2012 Mini Countryman feels underpowered with its base four-cylinder engine. As a result, they recommended the more powerful Cooper S Countryman, which comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and offers quicker acceleration. The Countryman comes standard with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are available. The 2012 Countryman gets up to an EPA-estimated 27/35 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. Reviewers said the base Countryman has a smooth ride, but some mention that the S model’s ride can be harsh over imperfect roads. Test drivers wrote that the 2012 Countryman has agile handling, responsive steering and smooth, powerful brakes.

Critics liked the 2012 Mini Countryman’s distinctive interior design and top-notch materials. Still, some reviewers noted that the buttons on the Countryman’s center stack can be confusing, and that the centrally located speedometer requires deliberate glances away from the road. They reported that the four-seat Countryman has plenty of room for 6-foot-tall passengers in the front and back seats. The Countryman has a maximum of 41.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is good for the class. Standard features in the 2012 Countryman include HD Radio, satellite radio and push-button start. Available features include Bluetooth, an iPod adapter, leather upholstery, heated front seats, automatic climate control, navigation, rear parking sensors and a Harman-Kardon sound system.

Other Cars to Consider

Test drivers agreed that the 2012 Volkswagen GTI has ample passenger space and first-rate interior materials. Additionally, the GTI earned praise for its peppy turbocharged four-cylinder engine and composed handling.

The 2012 Acura TSX is available with a V6 engine that critics agreed delivers plenty of power. The TSX also pleased reviewers with its high-quality interior materials and controlled handling.

Compare the Countryman, GTI and TSX »

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