The MINI Countryman takes what many people like about the standard MINI and super-sizes it. It's taller, longer, has five doors and optional all-wheel drive. While it isn't small for a MINI, it's actually a usable urban size for people who want a small crossover that's flexible and relatively fun to drive.
What's New For 2015
The Countryman gets a bit of a facelift for 2015, with new colors, a new grille and revised interior trims. The optional All4 package lets you have off-road looks with front-wheel drive.
Choosing Your MINI Countryman
The base Cooper trim comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 121 horsepower and front-wheel drive. The Cooper S has a turbocharged version of that engine, with 181 horsepower. The S All4 adds all-wheel drive to that. All configurations come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic is available as an option.
The Countryman's base engine isn't really up to the challenge of moving this car with four people and their luggage, so if that's what you're after on a regular basis then you'll be happier with an S variant. But choose your options carefully, as adding standard niceties like an automatic transmission, metallic paint and smartphone integration quickly add to the price and make crossovers from the next size up look like a bargain.