Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Should you buy a MINI Countryman SUV?

On cold, hard rational grounds, it's an easy car to live with, so yes. But it's an opinion divider. A better car than its predecessor in every department, this Countryman is more spacious and versatile than before, not to mention boasting a far higher-quality interior. If the brand is your bag, and a swelling family demands a swelling car, then MINI has at last conjured an offering fit for purpose.

The design is more coherent, the interior now feels befitting of its premium price and there’s genuine space for five on board.

It’s also good to drive with an eclectic selection of engines and transmissions to choose from. However, the design won’t be appreciated by all customers, and prices can rack up if you hit the options list.

Further adding to its appeal are that many of its key rivals - the Audi Q2, BMW X1, Lexus UX and Mercedes-Benz GLA - while good, are also flawed. Their pros and cons cancel each other out. No, the MINI's biggest problem is that we'd recommend the Volvo XC40 over it - it's a better car all-round, yet loses little in quirkiness. 

However, if you've got your heart set on a MINI Countryman, we'd steer you towards the all-round appeal of the Cooper D in with the Classic package to keep the smaller 16-inch alloy wheels. Go for the automatic, but stick with front-wheel drive. Plus, in a bolder colour, together with the optional Comfort Plus and Navigation Plus packs, you've got a sweet not-so-mini MINI.

Blue 2017 MINI Countryman Cooper D side elevation driving

Further reading

>> How good is battery powered MINI Electric? Read our review
>> Find out if the MINI Clubman estate is the compact wagon of choice

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained