Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The 2020 MINI Countryman is a stylish alternative if you are looking for a premium CUV. It has five doors, a cavernous interior and a cool, left field interior with BMW build quality. For 2021, the Countryman has new 18- and 19-inch wheel designs and new side-mirrors and a few other additions, such as a restyled front end and the funky Union Jack taillights. All but the base trim now feature standard LED headlights and fog lights. The 2021 Countryman also receives, the Active Driving Assistant package as standard that adds, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, and speed-limit information. Our tester came in a very fetching Sage Green Metallic paint, set off with black accent pieces.
Based on the BMW X1, the Countryman makes the most of its excellent chassis with the extra sized platform providing comfortable seats with plenty of space in the front and rear. There are four Countryman models to choose from, starting with the base, turbo three-cylinder Cooper All4 ($32,990) and the turbo-four S All4 ($35,990), the high-performance JCW All4 ($43,090) and topping out with the plug-in hybrid SE All4 ($44,990).
Our tester came with the expensive $7,350 Premier + package comprised of such goodies as: 19” Turnstile Spoke 2Tone – with Runflat tires, Carbon Black Leatherette trim, Automatic Trunk, Comfort Access, Panorama Sunroof, Heated electric Seats with Driver Memory, Automatic Climate Control, Harman Kardon Sound System, MINI Head-Up Display, ConnectedDrive Services, Advanced Real Time Traffic Information Remote Services. Wireless Charging with Extended Bluetooth and USB, MINI Navigation System, and Full Digital Instrument Display with Connected Navigation Plus. Standalone options included: Exterior ALL4 styling with piano black trim and the Driving Assistant package that adds collision mitigation and adaptive cruise control
Inside there is cool trademark circular dash display with an optional 8.8-inch touchscreen. The exterior bezel color of the dial changes and there are all sorts of cool graphics and wonderful details in and around the dash and cabin that will have you smiling. Still love the retro round center dial, the cool finger guards and the low driving position that makes everything faster as you drive around. Great detailing, and an emphasis on quality and refinement are much in evidence, and as expected from a company pawned by BMW. Good materials, a nice tactile feel to the controls and surfaces and a premium look to everything is a hallmark. The reclining rear seats offer plenty of versatility, and can fold in 40:20:40 split, and also move forward or backwards up to 13 centimeters The Countryman offers 450 L of trunk space and 1,390 L maximum, and 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats give it maximum flexibility. A tall roof provides impressive headroom. Up front, there’s some useful storage – decent-sized door pockets with bottle holders, a storage/phone charge cubby between the seats, and a bin in front of the shifter.
On the road, The Mini’s 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, making 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, provides good acceleration, while the eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and always finds the right gear. The eight-speed auto gearbox on our tester. You can also use the paddle shifters if you want the feel of a manual transmission. Upshifts come quickly from the excellent automatic box The All4 system, by the way offer superb traction especially in winter conditions. Driving dynamics are wonderful, the excellent acceleration at highway speeds, and the exhaust note Downsides are few, and some may find the price alarming as you load up on options- but this is premium product, and quality does not come cheap. To sum up, the MINI Countryman is expensive, but faultlessly executed with: a unique interior design, BMW quality, and attention to detail. With the extra horsepower boost the driving experience is even better. Incredibly entertaining to drive, the MINI is highly recommended.
2021 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4. Base priced from $35,990 plus options taxes, delivery and fees. Price as tested: $47,030.