2018 MINI Cooper Countryman

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MSRP: $26,600 - 37,800

2018 MINI Cooper Countryman Review

The 2018 Mini Countryman ranks highly among small crossovers because it has an upscale cabin, excellent safety ratings, and engaging performance.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seats
  • Upscale interior
  • Poised handling
  • Weak base engine
  • Subpar cargo space

Is the Mini Countryman a Good SUV?

Yes, the Mini Cooper Countryman is a good subcompact SUV. There are two optional turbocharged engines that deliver swift acceleration, and the ride is comfortable enough for daily driving. Both rows of seats provide good seating comfort for adults, which isn’t a given in this class. Also, the Countryman’s cabin is nicer than many other class rivals. On top of all that, this Cooper variant has great safety scores. However, the Countryman is less athletic than other Mini vehicles, and many rival SUVs are either better on gas or offer many tech features and cargo space.

Should I Buy the Mini Countryman?

There are many reasons to like this Mini, but just because it’s a good vehicle doesn't necessarily mean you should buy it. Virtually every rival has a significantly lower price, so it’s not like the Countryman is a good value.

You may want to shop around if you're on a tight budget, and that includes looking at some worthwhile alternatives outside of the subcompact SUV class. The Mini Clubman has a lower price but offers comparable cargo space and interior refinement. Though it’s not as fun to drive, the Fiat 500L costs less, has more cargo space, and offers a better infotainment system.

Compare the Countryman, Clubman, and Fiat 500L »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mini Countryman?

After a full redesign for the 2017 model year, the only major change for 2018 is the debut of a hybrid powertrain for the Countryman. The plug-in hybrid earns roughly the same fuel economy as the gas-only model. It gets 65 mpg-equivalent under electric power and has an electric-only range of just 12 miles. If you're not set on the 2018 hybrid, consider shopping for a nearly identical 2017 Countryman to save money. 

You can find out more about this used model in our 2017 Mini Countryman review. You can also read about the prior-generation 2016 Mini Cooper Countryman. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman »
We Did the Research for You: 19 Reviews Analyzed

Our car analyses are based on a combination of other professional reviews and data such as crash test results and predicted reliability ratings. These allow us to provide a complete overview of every vehicle we rank. This 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our team has been ranking cars since 2007, and we have more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To keep our car reviews impartial, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and all advertising on our site is handled by a third party.

How Much Does the Mini Countryman Cost?

The Mini Cooper Countryman has a base price of $26,600, which is one of the highest starting prices in the class. The higher trims (S, S E, and John Cooper Works) all start north of $30,000. These higher trims are more expensive than the highest trims in virtually every rival.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mini dealer.

Mini Countryman Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mini Countryman or Fiat 500L?

The Fiat 500L undercuts the Countryman’s base price by several thousand dollars, making it friendlier to your budget. The 500L is a wagon that has a larger maximum cargo volume and more user-friendly infotainment system than the Mini. However, the 500L suffers in the performance department. It has anemic engine power and dull handling compared to the Countryman's sprightly acceleration and nimble handling. The Countryman may cost more, but its high-quality interior and superior performance make it the better choice than the 500L.

Which Is Better: Mini Countryman or Mini Clubman?

The Mini Cooper Clubman is a smaller car, but it has nearly the exact same amount of cargo space as the Countryman. There are plenty of other similarities between these Minis, including a handsome interior full of premium materials and two rows of seats that offer adult-friendly space. Both cars have similar fuel economy, powerful optional engine choices, and somewhat agile handling. You can also get all-wheel drive and practically all the same features and packages in both vehicles. However, because it’s an SUV and it has a higher ground clearance, the Countryman is a better choice for travelling off the beaten path. The Clubman starts at a few thousand dollars less than the nearly identical Countryman, so the Clubman will probably be a better choice unless you need the Countryman’s slightly raised height.

Compare the Countryman, Fiat 500L, and Clubman »

Countryman Interior

How Many People Does the Countryman Seat?

The Countryman seats five people. Unlike some subcompact SUVs, this Mini Cooper has enough room for adult passengers – even in the back. The only complaint you may have is that the front seats are on the narrow side.

Countryman and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the Countryman. The lower anchors don’t require much force when attaching straps, but they can be tough to maneuver around. There are no issues with the tether anchors.

Countryman Interior Quality

The Countryman features plenty of soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. The overall design is sleek, giving this Mini Cooper an upscale, modern feel.

Countryman Cargo Space

The Countryman has less cargo space than many competitors. Still, it has over 17 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which is enough room for more than a dozen shopping bags or a large dog. Fold the rear seats down and you’ll have more than 47 cubic feet of space, which is enough room for some smaller pieces of furniture.

Countryman Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Mini Cooper Countryman comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, and the Mini Connected infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display. Available features include a panoramic moonroof, an 8.8-inch touch screen, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, and navigation.

The central knob and buttons you use to control the standard display can be tough to reach from the driver’s seat. Because of that, it’s probably worth upgrading to the touch screen, which is easier to reach. However, navigating through the menus can prove tedious. Apple CarPlay isn’t available in every rival, but many competitors offer Android Auto (unlike this Mini).

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Countryman Performance

Countryman Engine: Plenty of Choices

The Cooper Countryman comes with a 134-horsepower three-cylinder engine. It’s fine for daily driving, but it feels underpowered when you have a lot of people or cargo in the vehicle. There are two turbo four-cylinder engines available that put out 189 and 228 horsepower, respectively. These engines deliver better acceleration and move more easily when weighed down.

New for 2018, the Countryman also offers a plug-in hybrid powertrain that features a twin-turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and an electric motor that put out 221 horsepower combined.

Countryman Gas Mileage: The Numbers Won’t Wow You

The Countryman gets 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, which are lower ratings than some competitors get. The plug-in hybrid powertrain gets roughly the same fuel economy under gasoline power, but 65 mpg-equivalent under electric power. It has an electric-only range of just 12 miles.

Because they have the same engine, the Countryman and the Mini Clubman will cost you about the same in gas money each year. However, both will save you about $100 per year compared to the Fiat 500L.

Countryman Ride and Handling: A Bit Firm, but Generally Composed

The Countryman is pretty adept, though it has more body lean than some rivals – and more than you may expect from a Mini. Still, it holds its own on winding roads, and the steering is incredibly sharp. The ride is firm but not uncomfortable.

Read more about performance »

Countryman Reliability

Is the Mini Countryman Reliable?

The 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s an average rating for a vehicle in general, and it’s typical for a subcompact SUV.

Mini Countryman Warranty

The Mini Cooper Countryman comes with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. Many class rivals provide three-year/36,000-mile limited warranties and five-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranties.

Read more about reliability »

Countryman Safety

Countryman Crash Test Results

The 2018 Countryman has one of the highest safety scores in the class. It performs well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, earning a rating of Good (the highest rating) in every category tested.

Countryman Safety Features

A rearview camera and rear parking sensors come standard in the Countryman. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, park assist, a head-up display, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

Read more about safety »

Which Mini Countryman Model Is Right for Me?

There are four trims to choose from when buying a Cooper Countryman. The base trim offers a decent assortment of features, but it also sticks you with the lackluster base engine. For that reason, you’d be better off with the S Countryman, which is quicker. The higher trims offer more powerful engines, but they also carry a hefty price increase without adding much in the way of comfort and convenience.

Mini Cooper Countryman

The base front-wheel-drive Cooper Countryman has a starting price of $26,600. In addition to the standard features, you can add ALL4 all-wheel drive for $2,000. There are also several option packages. The Cold Weather package ($750) adds heated front seats. The Technology package ($2,250) adds a head-up display, wireless device charging, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and an 8.8-inch touch screen.

The Sport package ($2,000) includes sport seats and 18-inch wheels. The Premium package ($2,000) adds power-adjustable front seats, a power liftgate, and a Harman Kardon audio system. The Convenience package ($750) adds additional 12-volt power sockets, a folding cargo floor, and an alarm system.

The Fully Loaded package costs $7,750 and includes the features of all of the other packages, plus some other upgrades.

Mini Cooper S Countryman

The Mini Cooper Countryman S starts at $31,200. In addition to the base model’s features, the Cooper S Countryman comes with a 189-horsepower turbo-four engine and sport seats. ALL4 all-wheel drive costs an extra $500. It offers most of the same option packages as the base trim, generally for the same prices.

Mini Cooper S E Countryman (PHEV)

The S E Countryman is a plug-in hybrid with a starting price of $36,800. Unlike the lower trims, ALL4 all-wheel drive is standard in the S E Countryman. This Cooper features a three-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 221 horsepower.

The S E Countryman offers the Technology and Convenience packages for the same price as the lower trims. The Premium package in this trim costs $3,000; it comes with a panoramic moonroof in addition to the features it adds in lower trims.

Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

The John Cooper Works (JCW) Countryman starts at $37,800. It comes standard with ALL4 all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, and a 228-horsepower twin-turbo four-cylinder engine. In this trim, the Premium package costs just $1,500. The other packages cost the same as they do in the S E Countryman.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mini dealer.

See 2018 Mini Countryman specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman is a spirited subcompact SUV with a posh interior and comfortable seats. It has a great safety rating, and it finishes in the top half of our class rankings. However, this is also one of the most expensive subcompact SUVs available. It’s worth a look, and there are reasons to buy this Mini, but it’s not the best value in the class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "With reasonable prices and an ample list of standard features – including a panoramic glass sunroof and leatherette upholstery – the Countryman will probably sell well. It will be more deserving of its success than its lackluster predecessor, which accounted for a quarter of Mini's U.S. sales last year despite its flaws. The Countryman remains a confused car, a pudgy wannabe athlete that is struggling to bridge the streams of crossover and performance hatchback. But it's likable enough on its own terms and bigger than before, and for many potential buyers that will probably suffice." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "The 2017 Mini Countryman is like a rowdy, rambunctious teenager who's grown up to become a pleasant young adult. The new Countryman is bigger and better mannered than the model it replaces and better groomed inside and out. The cheeky edge that's core to the Mini brand is still there, but it's less forced. The biggest, most versatile Mini in history, the 2017 Countryman feels more comfortable in its own skin." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "Mini seems to have crafted a perfectly sized new offering for people looking for a premium compact crossover, one that's far more pleasant and accommodating than the one it replaces, without losing any of the magic personality that has made Mini vehicles so popular." -- Cars.com (2017)
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