2012 Mini Cooper Countryman Review
The 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman is the largest Mini available. Test drivers find that the increase in size makes the Cooper Countryman very roomy, but also say it feels sluggish for a Mini.
Reviewers are big fans of Minis because they’re quirky and fun to drive. Before the Cooper Countryman, two of their biggest complaints were that the Mini Cooper’s cabin is cramped, and that there’s barely any cargo space. With the Mini Cooper Countryman, test drivers have fewer gripes because it seats adults comfortably in the front or back seats and has a lot more cargo space. Reviewers find that the spacious interior and optional all-wheel drive make the Cooper Countryman an appealing choice for shoppers who want a Mini, but need a vehicle that’s more useful.
Keep in mind that the Cooper Countryman is not for everyone, even though it’s more practical than the rest of the Mini lineup. The Cooper Countryman only seats four, and although it has a lot more cargo space than the Cooper Hardtop, the cargo bay is most useful when the two rear seats are folded, which means seating capacity drops to two. That said, most reviewers think the Cooper Countryman is a great vehicle, but if you have a family, be sure to test it before you commit.
Other Cars to Consider
The Mini Cooper Countryman occupies a weird place in the market. It’s a crossover, but it’s considerably smaller and less family-friendly than crossover SUVs like the Toyota RAV4. If you want a family vehicle, the RAV4 is one of your best options because it has a lot of passenger and cargo space. The RAV4 doesn’t have nearly as much personality as the Cooper Countryman, but it does have an optional third row and optional four-wheel drive.
As a small crossover, the Nissan Juke is one of the Cooper Countryman’s closest competitors, but it’s more impractical. Although it seats five, the rear row is uncomfortable for adults, and the cargo area is very small. Despite its tiny dimensions, the Juke can compete with the Cooper Countryman in two areas. It’s just as fun to drive and has optional all-wheel drive.
Details: Mini Cooper Countryman
The Mini Cooper Countryman is Mini’s only crossover. It is available in Cooper, Cooper S and Cooper S ALL4 models. ALL4 is Mini’s all-wheel drive system. There are few changes to the Cooper Countryman this year, and they’re all related to customization. For example, buyers can personalize their Cooper Countryman with a two-tone leather steering wheel, patterned leather or can add an interior mirror with a digital compass.
See the full list of 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman specs.
- "So, in the final analysis, is bigger better? Well, that depends upon your perspective. If you're a single driver who enjoys the Mini Cooper hardtop's amazing dynamic character, the Countryman won't be quite as satisfying. But if you want a more comfortable car, need to carry people and cargo fairly often, and still want to drive a fun, sporty car, the Countryman fits the bill." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Compared with the Cooper, the Countryman is a giant. It offers more rear cargo space, more room for passengers and, thus, more utility than either the Cooper or Clubman." -- MSN Autos
- "Around music-loving Austin, the Countryman S ALL4 performed just as we imagined: like a bigger, top-heavy Mini Cooper Hardtop with controllable grip, uncanny soft-road capability, four full doors, and interior space capable of housing four American adults. Whether you like it or not, Mini has a true crossover on its hands." -- Truck Trend
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