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John Diether
Automotive Editor - April 6, 2016

2016 MINI Countryman OVERVIEW

For MINI lovers who think big, the Countryman offers four-door convenience, a rear seat for adults, and three times the cargo capacity of the MINI hatchback on which it's based. Although the Countryman doesn’t quite measure up to small crossovers, its sprightly handling and charming looks make it a standout.

What's New for 2016

The Countryman receives minor equipment revisions only.

Choosing Your MINI Countryman

The Countryman offers outstanding rear passenger room for a car with such a tiny footprint. Two full-size adults fit comfortably, and the seat slides and reclines to make maximum use of the space. With the seat folded, you're looking at 42.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is competitive with the smallest crossovers on the market.

All models make use of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 121 horsepower in standard form and 181 horsepower with the optional turbocharger. There’s also a special version of the turbo that puts out 211 horsepower. With all variants, you can stick with the standard six-speed manual transmission or opt for a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is available, even with the manual, a combo that's almost unheard of these days. Selectable driving modes are standard across the board.

The amount of power you get depends on the trim level:

  • Base: Comes with the non-turbo engine and a high level of equipment for this class, including automatic headlamps and wipers, a chilled glove box, keyless ignition, leatherette upholstery, and a six-speaker sound system with HD radio.
  • S: Adds the 181-horsepower turbocharged engine along with adjustable traction control, sport seats, and specific exterior trim. All-wheel drive is optional.
  • John Cooper Works: Receives a bundle of performance upgrades, including the 211-horsepower turbo, standard all-wheel drive, a sport-tuned suspension, and 18-inch wheels. You also get more aggressive styling touches and grippy cloth upholstery.

Major options for all models include a panoramic sunroof, navigation, leather seating, rear bucket seats, and a full-feature Harman Kardon sound system. The JCW's upgraded suspension is available on the other models as a standalone option. It’s easy to give any Countryman a custom look with the huge array of available body graphics, color schemes, wheels, and interior trim.

CarsDirect Tip

With its ample power and available all-wheel drive, the midrange S is the best choice for everyday driving. The base model is simply underpowered, and the JCW rides too firmly for most people's tastes.

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