Used Mini Countryman (2010-2017)

The Mini Countryman is a much more practical alternative to the hatchback, but don't expect the same driving thrills

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Mini image
Option of four-wheel drive
Good range of engines

Weaknesses 

Not as fun as the hatchback
Interior can be rattly
Options can inflate prices
Best New Discount

Mini Countryman Hatchback 2.0 [306] john cooper works all4 5dr auto [nav+]

Total RRP £37,960

Your quote £33,394

You Save £4,566

Mini Countryman prices from £8,299  Finance from £127 per month

If you don’t fancy a used five-door Mini hatchback but want a similar style car with more space, a used five-door Countryman may be the solution.

Not that it’s the popular hatchback’s poor relation. Where that car is a conventional hatch, the Countryman taps into the booming crossover/compact SUV market with its raised stance, high roof and chunky looks. Throw in the optional ALL4 four-wheel drive system many first owners ordered it with and you have a seriously practical and versatile car.

It gets better because Mini aligned the Countryman with the Mini hatch by giving it the same engines and trims. As a result, you have the entry-level One version with a petrol or diesel engine for buyers on a tight budget, the warmer Cooper model, again with petrol or diesel power, and the fast and furious Cooper S, also with petrol or diesel power. If those aren't quick enough, there’s the John Cooper Works ALL4, offered with a petrol engine only.

Because the Countryman is taller, heavier and aimed at a different type of driver, it doesn't take corners with the same agility as the Mini hatchback. It’s also not that comfortable on the largest 19-inch alloy wheels. However, accept its limitations, choose one on smaller alloys and you’ll be happy enough.

For economy and performance the Cooper D is our pick but if you’re a busy family that likes to keep in touch with friends far and wide, go for the much more powerful Cooper SD. If camping trips are part of your plans, check out the ALL4 all-wheel drive version for extra all-weather grip and with luck you may even find one with the optional roof-mounted tent.

Inside the Countryman, you’ll enjoy much better visibility than the Mini hatch. It’s a reasonably spacious cabin, too, and certainly roomier than the hatchback’s. The rear seat, which slides, was available as a two or three-seater so depending on your needs, it’s worth checking which version the example you’re interested in comes with. Meanwhile, the 350-litre boot dwarfs the hatchback’s.

The Countryman looks butch and chunky but inside it’s Mini business as usual with an interior peppered with fussy little switches, dials and details. The model was facelifted in 2014 but the only serious changes you’ll notice between the two versions are that the later cars have their window switches on the doors, rather than the centre console.

Trim level One is surprisingly well equipped but go for Cooper for its smarter alloy wheels. Beyond that, the higher trims don't add very much so it’s down to what option packs the first owner requested.

Fortunately, options typically cost you much less on a used car than the first owner spent on them, so unless they really went to town, a Countryman with a good level of optional extras shouldn't be much more expensive than one with only the basics.

Last Updated 

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 11:45

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years
Boot size: 
350 litres
Width: 
1789mm
Length: 
4097mm
Height: 
1516mm
Tax: 
£30 to £260

Best Mini Countryman for... 

Cooper D
Good value and no thirstier than the One D but usefully more powerful, this is our favourite Countryman.
Cooper SD ALL4
Powerful and, thanks to its four-wheel-drive system, safe and surefooted on- and off-road, this version of the Countryman makes the most of the model’s potential.
John Cooper Works ALL4
This is by far the quickest Countryman but saying that, you’ll wish you’d bought the SD ALL4, which is a better all-rounder, instead.
Cooper ALL4
The extra weight of the ALL4 four-wheel drive system severely blunts the economy and performance of the mid-power Cooper.

Mini Countryman History 

2010 Model launched in petrol and diesel One and Cooper forms, and with optional ALL4 four-wheel drive.
2011 Powerful 2.0 Cooper SD diesel goes on sale
2012 John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 launched (petrol only)
2013 Recalled for risk of fire.
2014 Model mildly facelifted.
2015 Special Edition version limited to 250 examples launched. Has sat-nav, xenon lights and heated front seats.

Understanding Mini Countryman car names 

  • Countryman
  • Trim and engines
    Cooper SD
  • Drive
    All4
  • Gearbox
    Auto
  • Trim and engines
    Rather than making a feature of the engine size and its power, Mini combines its engines with the model’s trim levels. So in this example, Cooper indicates it’s a sporty trim while SD tells you it’s the sportiest diesel.
  • Drive
    Mini calls its optional four-wheel drive system (it’s standard on the John Cooper Works) ALL4. It improves on and off-road grip but does affect performance and economy.
  • Gearbox
    The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual but most versions are available with an optional six-speed automatic gearbox which, like the ALL4 system, reduces economy.

Mini Countryman Engines 

1.6 One, Cooper, Cooper S and JCW
1.6 One D and Cooper D
2.0 Cooper SD

The low-power One and One D engines are the cheapest route to Countryman ownership but you’ll be sorry you didn't go at least for the more powerful Cooper or Cooper D versions. All four use a 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engine but the Cooper versions have more overtaking oomph through the gears. Of the four, the Cooper D is our favourite.

Next up are the Cooper S and Cooper SD engines. The S is still a 1.6 albeit turbocharged, whereas the SD diesel is a larger 2.0-litre engine. The SD is a great motorway car – effortless and relaxing – but the Cooper S is far zippier and closer to the Mini spirit.

Finally, there’s the guns-blazing John Cooper Works. Again, it’s powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine but more powerful still and comes with ALL4 four-wheel drive as standard. This system is an option on most other versions but be sure you need it because it adds weight, and hurts fuel economy and performance. In fact, it has the worst effect on the 1.6 Cooper.

Mini Countryman Trims 

One and One D, Cooper and Cooper D, JCW

Entry-level One trim has air-conditioning, rear parking sensors, powered windows, Bluetooth and a digital radio but no alloy wheels. It’s fine as far as it goes but Cooper trim’s alloy wheels give the car a real lift, looks-wise. Cooper S and SD are sportier looking still but have little extra kit.

Option packs are a central feature of the Mini buying experience when new so check which ones are fitted to the used Countryman you’re interested in as these could add lots of desirable equipment. It was also possible to personalise the model quite boldly from new but as a used car, anything too extreme can affect its price and appeal.

Mini Countryman Reliability and warranty 

New, the Countryman was sold with a three-year warranty, so most will now be out of warranty. The model has more than its fair share of rattles, generally from the dashboard and the doors, but they’re generally a nuisance rather than anything terminal. In 2013, the model was the subject of a recall concerning the possibility of a fire caused by moisture entering the wiring connector that powers the electronic power steering (EPS).

Used Mini Countryman 

There are currently 224 Mini Countrymans available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £8,299 to £36,630 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £127 per month.

Roomy, practical and with the appeal of the Mini badge, the things that made the Countryman popular as a new car buy continue to serve it well as a used one. It’s not the cheapest compact SUV you can buy but depreciation has at least made this generation of Countryman more affordable for more people.

Cars with the balance of their original Mini TLC pre-paid servicing package are worth seeking out, as are those with desirable options, as these should give you a much better car to live with for little extra cost.

Petrol and diesel versions are as numerous as each other but be aware that early diesels are not ‘Euro 6’ emissions compliant, meaning you’ll have to pay a surcharge to enter any ultra-low emissions zone such as London’s.

Mini One versions should be cheap but if you can, stretch your budget to a Cooper variant for much greater performance with little economy penalty. ALL4 versions of the Countryman carry a premium but will cost you at the fuel pumps and in performance terms.

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