2019 Mini Cooper Countryman / S Review, Pricing, and Specs (2023)

Starting at $27,750





(Video) Mini Countryman 2019 review: Cooper S

2019 Mini Cooper Countryman / S Review, Pricing, and Specs (1)





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  • Highs BMW-like refinement, unmistakable Mini styling, spacious back seat.
  • Lows More thrust is a must, plug-in hybrid's diminishing returns, too quirky for some.
  • Verdict Cute and comfortable, it blends Mini styling with BMW refinement.
By Eric Stafford
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Known for its unmistakably iconic styling and lively handling, the quirky Mini brand applies this blueprint to the Countryman. It shares its platform with the 10Best-winning BMW X1, which lends a refined ride and a spacious rear seat. Its retro exterior and funky interior are uniquely Mini, however, with a myriad of custom options. But this cute ute isn't merely trendy transit, thanks to a sprightly chassis, which gets the sport-tuned treatment on Cooper S versions. Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the lineup has a trio of turbocharged engines: a 134-hp three-cylinder, a 189-hp four-cylinder, and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Best of all, most nonhybrids have a standard manual transmission; six- or eight-speed automatic transmissions are optional. While Mini's funkiness isn't for the mainstream, the Countryman definitely puts the fun in functional.

What's New for 2019?

The 2019 Mini Cooper Countryman lineup carries over virtually unchanged. The few updates include a new logo, newly available Chili Red exterior paint, and the infotainment system receives increased capabilities. The latter unlocks optional real-time traffic info, stolen vehicle recovery, over-the-air updates, concierge services, and more.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We think the all-wheel-drive Cooper S Countryman is the best option. Unlike the front-wheel-drive version, it comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission (the automatic costs $1500). Its standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, heated front sport seats, a panoramic sunroof, passive entry, and rear parking sensors. With a slew of optional packages and countless personalized accessories available, the Countryman's price can escalate quickly. While the custom bits are best left to the individual's whims, we'd add the power liftgate, adaptive dampers (called Dynamic Damper Control), and the Convenience package (alarm system, folding cargo floor, fold-down rear-seat armrest, extra 12-volt outlet).

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Likes: Standard manual gearbox, plug-in hybrid is positively quick.
Dislikes: Base engine is S-L-O-W, plug-in hybrid has heavier handling and brake pedal lacks feedback; but the hybrid is the quickest? Boo.

The Countryman entertains with several powertrain combinations and either standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic transmission is optional for all models except the plug-in hybrid and the front-wheel-drive Cooper S, which have it as standard. The base engine is a 134-hp turbocharged three-cylinder that simply lacks the power to move the Countryman's 3300-plus pounds. The Cooper S model uses a more powerful 189-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. Our all-wheel-drive test car had the manual gearbox and demonstrated how the increased power of the S improved zero-to-60-mph times, slashing off more than two seconds from the lesser model's time. A plug-in hybrid model (called the Cooper S E Countryman) is the quickest and most efficient, but it's also the most expensive. It can charge at either a 120-volt or a 240-volt outlet. A full charge requires seven hours on standard 120-volt house current and a bit more than three hours on 240 volts.

Unlike other Mini models, the Countryman never feels light or tossable from behind the wheel. Its stoic disposition isn't a bad thing; it's just different from other Mini models, which are unreservedly playful. An available Sport package adds adjustable dampers, a feature that our test car lacked. Its optional 18-inch wheels, however, did add a sometimes-harsh edginess to the ride. The plug-in Countryman felt much heavier and less athletic than both the Cooper S and its corporate cousin, the BMW X1. Likewise, its brake pedal had a long dead spot at the top, and the regenerative feature was poorly integrated. Unsurprisingly, it also had the longest emergency-braking distance in our tests. Although the nonhybrid's brake pedal is firm and applies brake pressure progressively, it surprised us with its subpar brake-test performance.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Regardless which of the two turbocharged engines and three available transmissions are featured, the gas-powered three-cylinder Countryman and four-cylinder S model have nearly identical EPA city and highway estimates that are competitive with rivals. We've only subjected the underpowered base model to our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test, but its 34 mpg tied for the best observed highway rating. Compared with the gas models, the Mini plug-in has the top-seeded city estimate at 28 mpg, but its 27-mpg highway rating is worse. It also has an EPA-rated electric-only range of 12 miles; we saw 11 miles in our testing. However, it exceeded its EPA highway rating on our fuel loop with an observed fuel economy of 30 mpg.

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Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

Likes: Impressive build quality and materials, spacious back seat, low lift-over height.
Dislikes: Upright driving position, Android Auto is still unavailable, tied for lowest number of carry-ons.

The Countryman's interior is typically Mini in its design, including gimmicky elements such as an infotainment system set in a large circular housing in the center of the dash and toggle switches for controlling items such as the interior lights, ignition, and the standard automatic stop/start system. If you can get past the whimsical design, there's a lot to like about the Countryman's cabin, which is assembled from high-quality materials and offers adequate passenger space. The rear bench seat is mounted high and offers enough space for long-haul comfort, although adding a rear-seat armrest requires the purchase of the Convenience package.

Although the Countryman comes standard with a 6.5-inch screen for its infotainment system, an 8.8-inch touchscreen setup with Apple CarPlay capability and navigation is available as part of the Technology package. Controlled by either touch inputs, a control knob behind the shifter, or with voice commands, the system boasts logical menu structures and high-quality graphics.

A number of storage nooks provide the Countryman with sufficient space for stashing smaller items; however, the cargo area offers less space than some smaller competitors. Thankfully, the back seat and cargo area are noteworthy. Opting for the available space-saver spare tire, however, takes up the majority of the Countryman's large underfloor storage space.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Countryman hasn't been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but it delivered a strong showing in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's testing. While it comes standard with eight airbags, the Mini lacks available driver-assistance technologies such as lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Key safety features include:

  • Available automatic high-beam headlights
  • Available forward-collision warning
  • Available adaptive cruise control

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Mini's warranty is mostly average. However, it and the BMW X1 share the top-rated corrosion protection and complimentary scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  • Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles

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