2013 MINI Cooper Countryman Performance
This performance review was written when the 2013 MINI Cooper Countryman was new.
Some test drivers complain that Mini Cooper Countryman models with the base engine are sluggish from a start, but there are two available engines that are significantly more powerful. Regardless of which engine the Cooper Countryman gets, test drivers think its handling is nimble, making the Cooper Countryman fun to drive.
- "While the driving position is perfect for the mission, the initial steering response off the straight and narrow is encouraging, and the S edition's turbo engine is steeped in spirit, there are lapses in the Countryman's driving dynamics." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)
- "We've become very accustomed to the turbocharged Mini drivetrain over the past few years, and while the Countryman does feel heavier and more sluggish off the line, it's still plenty playful at speed." -- Autoblog (2011)
Acceleration and Power
All Cooper Countryman models have a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, but each model produces a different amount of horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The base Cooper Countryman has 121 horsepower, and the Cooper S Countryman and John Cooper Works Countryman models make 181 and 208 horsepower, respectively, because their engines are turbocharged. All-wheel drive comes with the John Cooper Works and Cooper S ALL4 models. All Cooper Countryman models use premium fuel. The base Cooper Countryman gets an EPA-estimated 25/30 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, while the John Cooper Works model gets 23/30 mpg with the automatic. Both ratings are good for small cars and crossovers.
The engines in the Cooper Countryman make just as much horsepower as the engines in the Mini Cooper Hardtop, and some test drivers notice that the base engine isn’t up to the task of moving around the Cooper Countryman’s extra weight. The base engine’s 108-horsepower rating is low for the class, but its 121- and 208-horsepower engines line the Cooper Countryman up with performance leaders like the Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Only one review mentions the transmissions. He likes both, but seems to prefer the manual because it is accurate and the clutch is light. He adds that the automatic is smooth and responsive, but thinks it doesn’t downshift on time, especially at very slow speeds or at highway speeds.
- "As on other Minis, the manual gearbox pleases with light, precise shift and clutch action. The automatic is mostly smooth and responsive, but often delays downshifts through slow corners and for highway passing, though the manual-shift feature helps compensate." -- Consumer Guide
- "While the base engine does just fine in the lighter Cooper, it's not up to the task of briskly motivating the Countryman's 500 pounds of additional curb weight." -- Edmunds (2012)
Handling and Braking
Though the Cooper Countryman is heavier than the Mini Cooper Hardtop, most test drivers say the Cooper Countryman’s weight doesn’t impact its handling. In fact, several auto critics are impressed with its agility, though some did notice that the Cooper Countryman’s size creates noticeable body lean when cornering. Reviewers give the steering mixed reviews. One says the steering is crisp, while another thinks it is numb. One critic comments on the brakes, saying they’re strong and smooth.
- "Countryman lacks the skateboard agility of the smaller, lighter Minis, but is little less entertaining, thanks to crisp steering, moderate cornering lean, and strong, smooth brakes with nicely judged pedal effort." -- Consumer Guide
- "Mini manages to keep the Countryman surprisingly nimble despite its greater size. The Mini Cooper has enjoyed a reputation for go-kart handling, and the Countryman doesn't lose much cornering ability. That excellent handling is partly due to the … all-wheel-drive system." -- CNET (2011)
- "The Countryman's larger body and greater ride height contributes to greater levels of roll in corners. However, the inclusion of four-wheel drive ensured that grip remained strong, both in wet and dry conditions." -- AutoWeek (2011)
- "And while the Countryman is bigger than the standard Cooper, its larger size doesn't significantly affect handling; this Mini is almost as nimble as its hatchback sibling." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "The elevated ride height results in tippiness never before seen in a Mini. Steering feel goes numb when you are in greatest need of feedback from the road surface. The extra weight and longer wheelbase slow reaction times from the go-kart-agile realm into the merely good range." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)