Friday, 9 October 2020

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman Review

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman


The 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman is basically a supersized version of the little cars that made the British brand famous for being fun to drive. 

While this maximum Mini isn't as quick or nimble as its tinier siblings, it still maintains the company's quirky character. It also provides the largest amount of cargo-and-passenger space found in any Mini, which makes it especially useful for small families. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

With a trio of ascending power-trains that include a plug-in hybrid, the Countryman has wide range of performance. 

It's considered a subcompact crossover, but it drives more like a station wagon. The cabin is decorated with peculiar-to-Mini details, and the company provides a plethora of personalization options. 

Although its uneven ride quality and missing driver assists detract from the experience, the 2021 Countryman offers a lot of character and convenience.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

What's New for 2021?

The biggest Mini gets a smattering of updates for 2021. Its unmistakable appearance is now even more distinctive due to a restyled front end. 

LED lighting elements promote its British heritage through a Union Jack motif on the taillights. There's now a Piano Black Exterior option that replaces the Mini's chrome trim with gloss-black pieces. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

A set of fresh wheel designs as well as White Silver and Sage Green metallic paint colors are new too. Inside, the infotainment system's housing is redesigned with gloss-black material. 

The Countryman is also now compatible with Amazon Alexa voice assistant. There's a new version of the fancy MINI Yours Interior Style, a new range of leather trims and interior surfaces, and a newly optional digital gauge cluster that's mounted on the steering column.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Mini hasn't said how much the 2021 models will cost, but I don't expect the mild updates create that much of an upcharge. 

With that said, the additional performance and the likely small increase in starting price make the Cooper S model my preferred choice. 

Its turbocharged four-cylinder provides an extra 55 horsepower compared with the regular Countryman's three-cylinder engine. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

The S also comes standard with 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, and more supportive sport seats up front. I like the added bad-weather traction of the optional ALL4 all-wheel drive system and would select the mid-level Signature trim.

It adds an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone automatic climate control, forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, heated seats, and passive entry. 

Mini offers all-season tires as a replacement for the standard performance set, but I'd stick with the latter and buy a separate set of winter tires for the cold and slippery season. 

The Driver Assistance package would also make our list, because it includes adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The Countryman offers several poweritrain combinations and either standard front- or optional all-wheel drive. Apart from the plug-in model, front-drive versions feature a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; those with all-wheel-drive have an eight-speed automatic. 

The base engine is a 134-hp turbocharged three-cylinder that simply lacks the power to move the Countryman's 3,300-plus pounds with any authority. The Cooper S model is equipped with a more powerful 189-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. The plug-in hybrid model (known as the Cooper S E) is the quickest Countryman according to research, but it's also the most expensive. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

It uses a version of the three-cylinder gas engine driving the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission in combination with a rear-drive electric motor fed by a 9.6-kWh battery pack. 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 Minis, which are unreservedly playful.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Fuel Economy

While the EPA hasn't released fuel-economy ratings for the 2021 Countryman at the time of writing this post, I don't expect them to change from last year's estimates. The gas-powered three-cylinder and four-cylinder models have nearly identical city and highway ratings. 

The front-drive Cooper and Cooper S also have a higher combined EPA fuel economy rating than the plug-in hybrid at 29 mpg combined and 28 combined, respectively; oddly, the hybrid Countryman is rated at 27 mpg combined. 

The ALL4 AWD versions of the base and S Countryman models have 1-2 mpg lower EPA highway ratings than the front-drive versions but their combined ratings are similar. 

The ALL4 Cooper S is rated at 26 mpg combined. With its upgraded battery pack, the Mini Countryman S E is EPA rated for 16 miles of electric-only range.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

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. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

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 offers enough space for long-haul comfort, although adding a rear-seat armrest requires the purchase of the Convenience package. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

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. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

The Countryman does have a large underfloor storage space in the rear but opting for the available space-saver spare tire takes up most of that.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Infotainment and Connectivity

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 a 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.

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The 2021 Countryman hasn't been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) at the time of writing this post. 

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. 

2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Key safety features include:

  •  Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  •  Available adaptive cruise control
  •  Available self-parking assist
  • 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Mini's warranty is mostly average. However, the Countryman and its BMW X1 cousin have the best corrosion warranty and complimentary scheduled maintenance in their class.

  •  Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  •  Power-train warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  •  Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles.
  • 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman


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