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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 MINI Countryman
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Expert's Rating

3.5Good | Details

MPG

23 City / 32 Highway
Automotive Editor -

At nearly 170 inches long, 71.7 inches wide, and over 61 inches in hight, the 2018 Mini Countryman is the largest vehicle in the brand's lineup. Despite that, it doesn’t abandon Mini's driving DNA and classic styling cues.

What's New for 2018

The second-generation Countryman is only a year old, so it's no surprise Mini has made only tiny tweaks for its second year. There are a few changes on the equipment list, like the rear-view camera becoming standard and Apple CarPlay being added as an optional extra.

Mini Convertible

Choosing Your MINI Countryman

The entry-level Cooper Countryman gets a thrifty 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front-wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic gearbox costs an additional $1,200. Adding Mini's All4 all-wheel-drive system drives the price up $2,000 – a six-speed manual is still standard, although the automatic option now has eight gears instead of six.

Moving up the range, the Cooper S Countryman packs a more engaging 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Sixty miles per hour arrives in 7.2 seconds for the front-drive model and an even seven seconds for the All4-equipped example, which costs an additional $500 only. The eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard on the front-drive model, but oddly enough, an option on the all-wheel-drive one.

The Mini Countryman is also available with a plug-in hybrid configuration. Called the Cooper S E Countryman, it combines the standard 1.5-liter, turbocharged three-pot engine with an electric motor for 221 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox are standard. Mini's first plug-in, the Cooper S E Countryman takes 6.7 seconds to hit 60 mph, can travel up to 24 miles on battery power alone and returns up to 65 mpge on a full charge or 27 mpg in the more traditional hybrid mode.

Finally, for the hardcore enthusiasts, Mini has the John Cooper Works Countryman. It gets the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the Cooper S, but it now belts out 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. This allows for a zero-to-60 sprint of 6.2 seconds. As with most other variants, a manual gearbox is standard and an automatic is available, but all-wheel drive required.

Being a Mini, there are several add-on packages that Countryman owners can opt for. The Technology Pack ($2,250) includes an upgraded 8.8-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay compatibility, wireless charging real time traffic updates for navigation, and a head-up display. The Sport Package ($2,000) adds adaptive dampers, sport seats, 18-inch wheels, and LED headlamps and fog-lights. The Convenience Package ($750) provides amenities such as an alarm system, folding rear armrest with cup-holders and additional 12-V sockets. Meanwhile, the Premium Pack ($2,000) offers Harmon Kardon sound system, automatic front seats and power tailgate. Finally, there's the Fully Loaded Pack, which basically includes all the features of the aforementioned packs. These come on top of the huge array of interior trim and upholstery options. And as is Mini tradition, every piece of equipment is available a la carte.

Cooper

Retailing at $27,450 ($850 destination charged included), the Cooper Countryman gets panoramic sunroof, roof rails, heated mirrors and washers, 17-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery (synthetic leather), a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, automatic climate control, keyless entry with push-button engine start and a rear-view camera as standard.

Cooper S

The Cooper S Countryman costs $32,050 for the FWD model and $35,550 for AWD. Components include those on the Cooper Countryman plus adaptive LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, sport seats, and interior ambient lighting.

For those not satisfied with the styling of the Cooper and Cooper S Countryman, they can opt for the John Cooper Works Exterior or Interior packages. These upgrades give the lower models a similar styling to the actual JCW variant thanks to the same aero bodykit, modified wheels, a rear spoiler, altered steering wheel design and stainless steel pedals.

Cooper S E

The Cooper S E Countryman commands $36,300 and gets the same features as the Cooper S Countryman, albeit without the sunroof, which is a $1,000 option. There is no option for JCW styling kits, although the Cooper S E gets its own subtle design tweaks, like an “e” badge on the side scuttles and rear and a yellow engine start/stop unit button.

John Cooper Works

The range-topping John Cooper Works Countryman is not cheap at $38,650. Nevertheless, it gets notable performance gains and added features such as standard sport seats, a sport-tuned suspension, and exterior and interior styling changes that are otherwise available as the JCW Packages on the lower models.

CarsDirect Tip

The Countryman is a versatile and fun-to-drive car. Cooper S and the JCW variants are our pick, largely because of the powertrain. The hybrid Countryman is an compelling proposition but it’s quite pricey and the added weight could hamper the handling.

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