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MINI Countryman verdict

2017 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by Luke Wilkinson Published: 24 May 2023 Updated: 26 May 2023

Should you buy one?

Yes. The MINI Countryman is an easy car to live with, so it’s quite recommendable. It does divide opinion, though – and a lot of its appeal hinges on the merits of the MINI brand. If you like the idea of a MINI but have a swelling family that demands a larger car, then this could be perfect for you.

However, it is a flawed car. The Countryman’s interior might be interesting to look at but it isn’t very logical – and its driving position won’t suit everyone. But the MINI’s biggest rivals aren’t perfect either. The Audi Q2 is expensive, the Lexus UX is cramped and the BMW X1 has an equally firm ride.

The Countryman’s biggest problem that we’d recommend the Volvo XC40 over it. It’s a more well-rounded package, even if it does sacrifice some quirkiness to achieve that.

What we like

The Countryman is larger and more practical than a MINI Hatch, but it manages to retain much of the smaller car’s driving experience. The cabin is high quality and there are a good range of powertrains to choose from, so long as you’re happy with a petrol engine. The JCW performance model is great fun, too.

What we don’t like

The infotainment system is a little frustrating to use thanks in equal measure to the circular binnacle its set inside and the tiny menu buttons. The ride is also a little too harsh for a family car and the middling Cooper S model isn’t quite as fast as its performance figures would suggest.

MINI Countryman (2023) review: rear three quarter static, surfboard on roof, blue paint, sea in background
The Countryman is a sharp-driving, practical and interesting family runabout.