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2015 MINI Cooper Countryman Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 MINI Cooper Countryman was new.


Performance: 8.3

Critics say the 2015 Mini Countryman’s base engine produces decent power, but they agree that you’ll need to choose a model equipped with one of the available turbocharged engines for the best performance. All Mini Countryman models earn excellent fuel economy for the class, and automotive journalists are impressed with the Countryman’s slick standard manual transmission. Test drivers say the Countryman has sharp handling through turns. Still, a few note that the Countryman exhibits more body roll in turns than smaller Mini models, and that its ride can be overly firm.

  • "While the Countryman is the MINI with the most mass, it's still not huge. Therefore, it drives like a compact sport car." -- AutoTrader
  • "Despite its larger size, the 2015 Mini Cooper Countryman retains many of the hatchback's best traits. The steering is sporty and precise, and the turbocharged engines can deliver an invigorating burst of speed. While the Countryman is more fun to drive than many crossovers, it's a bit slower and less nimble than the Mini hatchback, and, yes, the ride is sometimes too firm." -- Edmunds
  • "What every Mini offers is driving enjoyment that is unique and unmatched in its ability to deliver giggles per mile for the money. Even if faced with a long commute, at least you get to tackle those bumper-to-bumper miles in a Mini." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • “All Countryman variants have crisp steering; athletic handling; and strong, smooth brakes with a compliant pedal feel. Pressing the standard 'Sport' button firms up steering feel and sharpens response." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Mini Cooper Countryman comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 121 horsepower. Cooper S and John Cooper Works models come standard with turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines that produce 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The 2015 Mini Countryman earns an EPA-estimated 27/34 mpg city/highway with a manual transmission, which are some of the best estimates in the class. Models equipped with an automatic transmission get up to 25/30 mpg.

The Mini Cooper Countryman’s base engine delivers adequate power, reviewers say. However, they agree that for quick acceleration you’ll need to step up to a model equipped with either of the available turbocharged engines. Test drivers also report that turbocharged models don’t use much more fuel than the base model. Automotive journalists say models with the standard manual transmission are fun to drive. Some think the automatic transmission is generally responsive, but can be slow to downshift when more power is needed. 

  • "While the base engine performs fine in the lighter hatchback, it's not up to the task of briskly motivating the larger, heavier Countryman. Unless price is your highest priority, we recommend stepping up to the S model. Its turbocharged engine gives the Countryman the extra zip it needs, and the automatic transmission version actually has higher EPA combined and highway fuel economy ratings than the base, automatic-equipped Countryman." -- Edmunds
  • "As on other Minis, the manual gearbox pleases with light, precise shift and clutch action. The automatic is mostly smooth and responsive, but often delays downshifts through slow corners and for highway passing, though the manual-shift feature helps compensate." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The turbo demonstrates excellent enthusiasm for its work including a hearty howl as it crowds the 6250 rpm redline (common to all Minis). The manual transmission is a joy to use with well orchestrated clutch and shifter action." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)

Handling and Braking

Some critics report that the 2015 Countryman exhibits a firm ride and more body roll than smaller Mini models. However, most reviewers think the Mini Countryman offers agile handling through sharp turns. A few test drivers also report that its brakes are strong and its steering is sharp. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive comes with Cooper S ALL4 and John Cooper Works models.

  • "As you would expect from a Mini, all versions feel delightfully nimble when driven through tight turns. The trade-off for the Countryman's sharp handling, however, is a relatively stiff ride." -- Edmunds
  • "Out on the road, the Countryman possesses nearly the same nimble, eager driving dynamics as MINI's smaller models, albeit with more body roll and lower overall limits - the price paid for the larger interior." -- Left Lane News
  • "Still, even though the bigger Countryman and Paceman might lack a bit of the storied quickness of the smaller models, they are still snappy and crisp when dealing with pavement that goes thisaway and thataway." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "Countryman lacks the skateboard agility of the smaller, lighter Minis, but is little less entertaining, thanks to crisp steering, moderate cornering lean, and strong, smooth brakes with nicely judged pedal effort." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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