2018 Mini Cooper Countryman
By Phil Shuyler
If you love Minis and need the maximum amount of interior space, you should make a date with the Mini Cooper Countryman. And you should also make a date with the Mini Cooper Clubman. These two models are quite similar and you should look at both if you’re leaning in the direction of a larger Mini. Here are some of the numbers.
The Countryman is longer (169.8” vs 168.3”).
The Countryman is wider (71.7” vs 70.9”).
The Countryman is taller (61.3” vs 56.7”).
The Clubman has more cargo volume (47.9 ft3 vs 47.6 ft3).
The Countryman has more rear seat legroom (37.6” vs 34.3”).
The Clubman has more front seat legroom (41.4” vs 40.4”).
The Countryman has more rear seat headroom (38.3” vs 38.0”).
The Countryman has more front seat headroom (40.5” vs 40.2”).
The Wheelbase is the same for both (105.1”).
So as you can see, they’re quite similar. The Countryman is larger in a number of categories, however the Clubman surprisingly has more front seat legroom and overall cargo capacity. Now with that out of the way, lets talk about the Countryman.
This 5-seater has a standard 40/20/40 split rear seat to give additional flexibility for hauling all of your gear. All trims are available with all-wheel drive (ALL4), and the higher end models are only available with ALL4.
A total of 4 power plants are available, one for each of the trims – Cooper, Cooper S, John Cooper Works and Cooper S E. The base Cooper has a 1.5L TwinPower turbocharged 3-cylinder that produces a dismal 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. I say dismal because when you lose a race at the line to a Yaris, that’s pretty embarrassing. The Cooper S feels much more capable with its 2.0L TwinPower turbocharged 4-cylinder with 189 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. On the top of the ladder is the John Cooper Works, with 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is delivered through a 2.0L TwinPower turbocharged 4-cylinder.
There’s also a plug-in hybrid Cooper S E with a 12 mile all-electric range and a combined 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque.
All variants include a standard 6-speed manual, and an 8-speed automatic with optional F1 style paddle shifters is available. Fuel economy varies for each engine, but they each achieve over 30 mpg on the highway and mid 20s in the city.
No matter what engine you choose, the exterior and interior are sure to please. There’s a standard high-resolution 6.5” infotainment screen at the center of the dash, with a illuminated ring that changes during acceleration and while interacting with the car. With the Technology Package, you can increase the display to a 8.8” touchscreen with navigation, and add wireless phone charging as well. A panoramic sunroof is also standard, as are 3 different drive modes – Green, Sport and Mid. Each are selected using one of the really cool switches in the center stack. Turning the car on or off also uses a switch, and it’ll glow red once you’re in the car, letting you know it’s eager to rev up and hit the road.
A rearview camera is standard, as are proximity sensors that let you know when you’re getting a little too close to that car behind you.
Pricing for the 2018 Countryman starts at $26,600 for a base Cooper, and tops out around $40,000 for a Cooper S E plugin hybrid. For some, there’s no substitute for Mini’s styling, and for those, the new Countryman is not going to disappoint.