Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Drives like a proper Mini
- adjustable backseat is surprisingly spacious
- fuel-efficient engines
- spirited performance from S model
- highly customizable.
- Pokey base engine
- firm ride
- elevated road noise
- seats only four
- less cargo capacity than other compact SUVs
- pricey options.
It might be big for a Mini, but it's still mini for an SUV. The 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman maintains the look and driving feel of the regular Cooper hatchback, but provides a usable (and accessible) backseat.
When does a Mini stop being mini? A Mini SUV might seem like an oxymoron, and indeed the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman is big compared to the regular Cooper hatchback. When compared to even the smallest crossover SUV, however, the Countryman is still pretty, well, mini. The result of this big-for-a-Mini and small-for-a-SUV Countryman is a lot of advantages but also some significant drawbacks.
The Countryman takes its place as Mini's biggest model. It's 5.5 inches longer overall than the Cooper Clubman as well as being wider and taller. It also sports four doors, an elevated seating position and available all-wheel drive. But driving enthusiasts shouldn't fret too much about Mini's move into small-crossover/SUV territory. The Countryman still upholds the traits identified with this brand, such as distinctive styling, nimble handling and countless customization possibilities.
This is also the first Mini that won't make you worry if you have more than one passenger. The Countryman offers a surprising amount of rear-seat legroom, even for adults. Indeed, the rear seat's ability to slide and recline makes the Countryman's aft quarters more spacious than those of the larger Hyundai Tucson. The amount of space provided for the luggage area is less impressive, but since the backseat slides and folds nearly flat, at least this Mini can still hold a fair amount of stuff given its size.
Of course, relative to other compact SUVs, the 2011 Mini Countryman suffers the same sort of liabilities as the Mini hatchback. These include: four-passenger seating. a firm ride for optimal handling, excessive road noise, quirky ergonomics and a price that gets uncomfortably high once you start selecting goodies from the lengthy options list. Compact SUVs like the 2011 Kia Sportage and the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan are more sensible choices.
Of course you could say the same thing about any number of subcompact cars relative to the Mini hatchback, and yet we still give it our ringing endorsement. There is something about the sheer joy the Countryman offers, whether it involves personalizing it with just the options you want or simply zipping around a corner. As with other Minis, the 2011 Countryman succeeds despite its faults. As small crossovers go, it's a spirited choice.
2011 MINI Cooper Countryman models
The 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman is a four-seat compact SUV available in two trim levels: Countryman and Countryman S. The latter can be equipped with an AWD system dubbed ALL4.
The base Countryman comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, adjustable steering and throttle settings, roof rails, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and an auxiliary audio jack. The Countryman S adds a turbocharged engine, different exterior trim, traction control, foglamps and sport seats. The latter three items are available on the base car.
There are a staggering number of options available on the Countryman, including an enormous catalog of customization features like body graphics and interior color schemes. Traditional options are grouped into packages, but most are also available as stand-alone items. As such, options include 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a variety of headlamps options (automatic, xenon and/or adaptive), heated mirrors and washer jets, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, a dual-pane sunroof, automatic climate control, different upholsteries (leather/cloth or full leather), heated front seats, auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth, an iPod/USB audio interface and a 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system.
Also available is Mini Connected, which includes a large display inside the central speedometer and a corresponding console-mounted controller better suited to operate the car's available Bluetooth, iPod and smartphone integration technologies. A navigation system can be added to Mini Connected.
Performance & mpg
The 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 that produces 121 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is only available with this engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. Mini estimates that the base Countryman will go from zero to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds with the manual and 10.9 seconds with the automatic; both are quite slow for a compact SUV. Estimated fuel economy is 28 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined with the manual, and 25/30/27 with the automatic.
The Countryman S has a turbocharged version of the same 1.6-liter engine, which produces 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The S has the same transmission choices. In Edmunds testing, a Countryman ALL4 with the manual went from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. Front-wheel drive should be a bit quicker, but Mini says the automatic adds about 0.4 second to the time. Estimated fuel economy ranges from 26/32/29 with front-wheel drive and the manual to 23/30/26 with ALL4 and the automatic.
Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Traction control is standard on the S and optional on the base 2011 Mini Countryman. Rear parking sensors are optional.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Countryman S stopped from 60 mph in 117 feet -- an excellent distance for a compact SUV.
If someone were to disguise the 2011 Mini Countryman's unmistakable exterior and interior styling, you would still be able to instantly know you were driving a Mini. The Countryman may be a bit slower and less nimble than the Cooper hatchback, but every control feels as if it were lifted unchanged from its little brother: the quick turn-in and hefty weighting of its Sport mode steering, the mechanical clack of every gearchange, the distinctive turbo buzz of the S engine and, yes, the (sometimes too) firm ride.
While the base engine is adequate for the lighter Cooper, it's woefully inadequate for the task of moving around the extra 500 pounds of the Countryman. A 0-60 time of nearly 11 seconds makes it one of the slowest SUVs around, trailing such slugs as the Honda CR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Unlike with the regular Mini, opting for the S model is highly recommended.
It might be called Mini, but the Countryman's passenger compartment is surprisingly generous. Its two rear bucket seats recline and slide, and in their most rearward position, there is room for 6-footers front and back. If you've always yearned for a Mini but couldn't live without a usable backseat, the Countryman is your answer.
At the same time, the Countryman essentially asks you to choose between rear-seat passenger space and cargo capacity. With the backseat all the way back and the clever flip-up trunk partition in place, the Countryman's cargo area isn't that much more commodious than a Cooper Clubman's. Slide the seats forward, however, and space expands from 12.2 cubic feet to 16.5. Lowering the seats and the partition gets you 41.3 cubic feet of maximum space -- approximately halfway between a Nissan Juke and a Kia Sportage.
With its huge central speedometer and other quirky styling flourishes, the Countryman's cabin is instantly recognizable as a Mini. That means it also shares the regular Cooper's penchant for curious and sometimes frustrating controls that value form over function. At least certain aspects have been improved in the Countryman, including a volume control now located with the rest of the stereo buttons, and climate controls that no longer look and operate as if they were designed by Fisher-Price.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More About This Model
Do you need a smallish, all-wheel-drive turbocharged wagon to convey you and the Missus down a soggy or snowy road to your weekend cottage? Then Mini has got just the wagon for you: the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S All4.
The rest of us, however, are left scratching our heads wondering why this vehicle, with an as-tested price of $35,400, is worth anywhere near that much. Sure, before adding all the options our car started out with a more reasonable base price of $27,650, but even the $35K version doesn't have a navigation system or leather seats. So yes, it could have been even more expensive.
Maybe Mini is hoping to pinch some Pacific Northwest or Nor'easter all-wheel-drive sales away from Subaru and Audi. After all, they're a trendy bunch in those parts, so they might be more willing to forego a little utility to drive a Mini.
Then again, even if those two unique groups become interested, there's still a big swath of flyover territory in between that needs convincing. That's going to be a much tougher pitch and even after ample time behind the wheel, we're still skeptical.
The engine in the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S All4 is the same one found under the bulbous hoods of other 2011 "S" model Mini Coopers. It's a recently updated 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with Valvetronic and direct injection. The maximum torque produced remains the same as last year's S engines (177 pound-feet at 1,600 rpm), but horsepower has increased by 9 to 181 at 5,500 rpm.
We're happy to report that the Countryman S All4 is far from slow — even with the added weight and inevitable mechanical losses of all-wheel drive. Sixty mph arrives in 7.6 clutch-torturing seconds (7.3 with a 1-foot rollout as on a drag strip).
While that's pretty impressive for a small-displacement four-cylinder engine, the thing that truly impresses us in everyday driving is the deep and broad torque plateau that begins at just 1,500 rpm. Especially with the additional 15 lb-ft of twist (192 lb-ft total) available in limited spurts during "over-boost" conditions. There's hardly a reason to tach-out each shift because there's always enough grunt to satisfy a need to pass or merge even at relatively low engine speeds.
The Beauty of All4 Drive
There is a front-drive Countryman S, but our "All4" gets a permanent all-wheel-drive system. It consists of an open front differential with brake-actuated left-to-right torque redirection, along with an electromagnetic clutch-operated rear differential. Front-rear power distribution varies from 100-0 to 50-50.
At the test track and in less intense driving, it works seamlessly and most would be hard-pressed to detect power being shifted around. Also, there's none of the driveline-induced over- or understeer that happens in some other vehicles if you happen to jump out of the throttle midcorner.
Our Countryman S All4 was also equipped with the standard six-speed manual transmission, although a six-speed automatic is available for an extra $1,250. We like the gear spacing and the well-spaced shift gates, but the clutch is another story. The weighting is fine; it's the engagement point that's a problem, as it requires using your entire leg rather than simply flexing your ankle. In other words, if your journey requires a lot of starting and stopping or a hill or two, your left leg is going to feel it. Thankfully, the car has a standard hill-hold mechanism that keeps you steady while you're working that clutch pedal.
That said, all-wheel drive paired with a manual transmission is a unique combo you can't find in many (hardly any) crossovers. Of course, Subaru and Audi do offer this, though in decreasing numbers.
A Big Mini That Still Drives Small
The Countryman's suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front and a multilink setup in back. Our test car rode slightly harsher due to its $1,000 Sport package that includes 18-inch wheels (short tire sidewalls) with performance run-flat tires (stiff sidewalls). The package also includes auto-leveling xenon headlamps with pressure washers, white-lens turn signals and black or white hood stripes. Our test car was also outfitted with optional $1,000 Anthracite-colored double five-spoke wheels — they only look like two-piece bolted-together wheels, however.
We found the ride and handling trade-off was often very good. In fact, compared to the smaller Minis with their shorter wheelbases and squarer footprints, we prefer the less frenetic ride and lack of nervousness in the Countryman's steering. We attribute this to, among other things, the Countryman's 102.2-inch wheelbase and suspension travel.
The Countryman's wheels are 1.9 and 5.1 inches farther apart than the other Mini models and although it looks much higher off the ground, the Countryman's ground clearance, at 6.3 inches, is only 1.2 inches greater than that of the other Mini models. Yet the car still feels confident and capable, but without the need for constant vigilance. We wonder how many of the occasional tire thumps would still exist if the stiff-sided run-flats were replaced with conventional tires.
Pushed to their limits, however, the Countryman's Goodyear Efficient Grip tires (there's a marketing coup) grip our skid pad with 0.83g in lateral acceleration and weave through the cones at an exhilarating 67.7 mph. Pressing the Sport button modifies only steering weight and throttle tip-in, not suspension firmness. We have loved the direct action and the remarkable amount of feel from the electric-assisted power steering in the Mini since it first arrived. It's as good in the Countryman, just less likely to change lanes if you sneeze.
The brakes are more than capable of handling the extra weight, too. Our shortest stop was 117 feet and the pedal feel was consistent throughout the tests with little, if any, signs of fading.
Scaling the Mini Lineup
In terms of relative and absolute size, the Countryman holds some surprises when compared to the rest of the Mini clan. It is, indeed, about 5-6 inches taller than the Clubman or Cooper, and naturally, its two full-size rear doors push the now-familiar shape into a longer vehicle, too. Some say the proportions of the Countryman don't quite work (wheels look too small and the driver looks like a child behind the wheel of a regular Mini Cooper) but compared to the 2.5-door Clubman and the basic two-door Cooper it isn't much larger inside with two exceptions: rear leg- and shoulder room.
Despite the Countryman's overall length measuring 6 inches longer compared to a Clubman and 15 inches next to a Cooper, front legroom in this Mini actually measures 1 inch less than both of the smaller coupes. Rear legroom is much improved, however, as the Countryman has 1.5 inches more room than the Clubman and nearly 4 inches more than a standard Cooper. There's at least 6 inches of additional shoulder room in the rear bucket seats of the Countryman as well, which makes it feel even more spacious.
Finally, the luggage and maximum cargo capacity measurements may sound significant on paper, but they don't render much more utility in absolute real-world-use terms. The Countryman can hold 16.5 cubic feet of luggage (including some under-floor space) with the rear seats up and 41.3 cubic feet of cargo with the seats folded down.
Honestly, none of the Minis are cargo haulers — the name Mini should tell you that — and each could easily swallow groceries and/or a couple of bikes if you really tried. And yet, all Minis seat just four passengers — in sliding scales of comfort depending on the scale of those passengers, that is. By the way, the rear buckets in the Countryman slide a few inches fore and aft for a little extra flexibility.
At 3,252 pounds, the claimed curb weight of the Countryman All4 is 584 pounds greater than a Mini Cooper S and 397 pounds more than a Clubman S. Despite our skepticism and an engine that hums at 2,500 rpm at 70 mph in 6th gear, this translates to an EPA combined (real-world) fuel consumption difference of just 3 mpg, which is pretty remarkable considering the weight and all-wheel drive.
We validated the government estimate with our own 26 mpg over 1,400 miles of mixed driving.
Does It Work?
When we finally put our data away and stopped drawing the obvious comparisons, we must admit that we enjoyed driving the 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S All4. Not just because of the attention it earned, but because Mini retained the charm of the other models while making it more livable, some say tolerable, as a daily driver.
Had this been a full test of a front-drive $25,250 Countryman S and not this $35,400 All4 with its $7,500 in options, we'd feel much better about the four seats, so-so luggage and cargo volume, and tragically Mini interior design. We love how the Countryman drives, rides (most of the time), and even the looks are growing on us.
But at $35,000, this Countryman is less impressive, mainly because there are so many other vehicles in the same price category that offer so much more. That's not the final word on this particular Countryman, though, as we recently added it to our long-term test vehicle rotation. Now it has 12 months to show us why it deserves its lofty price. As of right now, we're thinking the base model is a better way to go no matter where you happen to live.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon Overview
The Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon is offered in the following styles: S ALL4 4dr Wagon AWD (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M), S 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 181 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon?
Price comparisons for Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon trim styles:
- The Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon S is priced between $15,990 and$15,998 with odometer readings between 50741 and62723 miles.
- The Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon S ALL4 is priced between $8,995 and$10,990 with odometer readings between 85319 and111266 miles.
- The Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon Base is priced between $13,998 and$13,998 with odometer readings between 76209 and76209 miles.
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Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon Listings and Inventory
There are currently 5 used and CPO 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagons listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,995 and mileage as low as 50741 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon.
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Should I lease or buy a 2011 MINI Cooper Countryman?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.