The 2018 Mini Countryman is larger than its name suggests. It's a compact crossover offering iconic looks and functional space inside. The base model is underpowered and a plug-in hybrid is new this year.

Best Value

The 2018 Mini Countryman is a compact crossover utility vehicle with room for five. It offers standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. This model was redesigned for the 2017 model year, and carries over mostly unchanged outside of the new hybrid powertrain and package restructuring.

Mini requires customers to choose one of three styles – classic, signature, or iconic – before selecting trims. If this sounds familiar to you, BMW takes a similar approach (the BMW Group owns Mini). As for the trims, these include Cooper, S, S E, and John Cooper Works.

You’ll find a standard turbocharged three-cylinder engine or an available turbocharged four-cylinder engine in most models. The plug-in hybrid is another option. Most trims offer a six-speed manual or a six- or eight-speed automatic transmission.

Our choice is the Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4. It has the turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive. We selected the classic trim, which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a panorama roof, and a 6.5-inch media display. We then picked a few appearance, comfort, and technology options. Here’s how we’d build ours:

  • Model: 2018 Mini Cooper S Countryman All4
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 189 hp / 207 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 21 City / 31 Hwy
  • Options: Chili Red or Midnight Black body color ($500), heated front seats ($500).
  • Base Price: $32,250 (including an $850 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $33,250

Performance

Mini Countryman

The Countryman’s base engine carries too much of a burden in our opinion. It strains under a full load and doesn’t provide the power boost we prefer even under light conditions.

Our chosen four-cylinder engine delivers 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, We paired it with a smooth-shifting manual gearbox, which enables this model to go from zero to 60 mph in about seven seconds. The 2018 Countryman offers taut steering, nimble handling, and firm brakes. The ride is average, but then again, this is a small crossover.

Style

Nothing says “Mini” more than the iconic good looks of this brand. Sure, most models are much larger than the original, but the spirit lives on. The Mini’s circular theme with rounded edges, a high beltline, and the expected ornamentation offers a familiar look. Mini allows much customization too, including hood stripes, roof rails, privacy glass and other upgrades. It's these add-ons that can quickly drive up your final price.

Inside, Mini takes the circular theme up a notch, with door handles, gauges, knobs, and trim pieces included. The console display is the heart of the cabin, both for its visual interest and usability. Choice materials, excellent fit and finish, and comfortable seats all around make the Countryman a strong player in the segment. This model is ideal for four or, with the rear seat folded, you’ll enjoy ample storage room for an extended weekend getaway with your significant other.

The Best and Worst Things

We like that every Mini Countryman comes well equipped. You’ll find such features as standard alloy wheels, roof racks, a dual-panel sunroof, and dual-zone climate control. But prices quickly add up. To get something such as Apple CarPlay (sorry, no Android Auto), you have to opt for a pricey technology package. This is another area where Mini rips out a page from the BMW playbook.

Right For? Wrong For?


MINI Countryman

If you’re a fan of Mini’s handsome and iconic looks, then the Countryman checks all the right boxes. At the same time, prices can climb quickly, putting the Mini within striking distance of small crossovers offered by luxury brands, including the BMW X1.

The Bottom Line

The Mini name has maximum value and the 2018 Countryman is one of the best models offered. Through careful shopping, you may find the model you want, but keep an eye on the package offerings which can be confusing and pricey.