2012 MINI Cooper Countryman Consumer Review: Can't say I would buy another

2012 MINI Cooper Countryman Wagon - Consumer Review

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Can't say I would buy another
By barefooter0_1 on


2012 MINI Cooper Countryman 4dr Wagon (1.6L 4cyl 6M)


Having owned 2 other Mini's I expected high build quality, great power to weight ratio and above all stellar reliability.
What I got is this: so-so performance, a valve train that sounds like a handfull of bolts in a coffee can, and a trip to the dealer 20 miles away in limp home mode.
Add in the shrinking/peeling chrome along the belt line and the end caps on same that keep falling off in parking lots, and a 3 day stay in the shop and you have my Mini Countryman.
I am attempting to have Mini USA replace the vehicle. It is not what I expected or paid for.

Best Features

HK sound, 4 doors, visibility

Worst Features

Build quality
Recommend (6) (0)

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By eventer57
on 05/27/13 05:47 AM (PDT)

I bought my 2012 MINI Countryman in December 2012. I did my homework for months. The sales staff were awful and I should have walked out the door. They lied about available options for the 2013 model no doubt to get the 2012 off the lot. The seats are torture! The headrest tilt is not adjustable and pushes my head out of alignment. I turned it backwards and put a pillow around it. The dealer told me that I could not build a 2013 MINI with seats with adjustable lumbar support as a stand alone option. A lie. After complaining to MINI USA they swapped for sport seats and lied again - the sport seats don't have lumbar support. I drove Saabs and/or Volvos for 25 years and never had so much as a twinge in my back or neck after 12 hour drives. The MINI is intolerable after an hour. I had steering failure in the first month. The service manager told me I must have stalled the car and locked the steering wheel. Nope. Then I had the parking brake on. Nope, again. He said there was no reason for that to happen. Really? How about a defective power steering module? NHTSA seems to know about it! Then there's the seat belt problem. The warning light kept coming on while I was driving. My belt was securely fastened, nothing on the passenger seat. Again the service manager told me there was nothing wrong - insisting it must be my purse. Funny that when I allow my 75 lb dog to sit in the front, the Fasten Seat Belt light does not come on. Why is that? The service department had my car for 8 days (less than 2 months after I bought it). For 4 out of 5 of my concerns they said "Could not duplicate customer's complaint." They did find the defective module but the service manager would not tell me what the module controlled. I had to go on-line and look up the part number. That was the defective power steering module. He wouldn't admit it. The ride from the run-flat tires is awful - the car reacts to every fault in the road. The gas mileage is disappointing. Probably better than other models of similar size. But my previous car was a Saab with a 200 hp turbo engine and I got much better mpg on the highway. I had several conversations with BMW/MINI USA. I asked them to buy the car back once it was evident the dealership was dismissing my well-founded concerns. (I even had to pay my local mechanic to align the MINI because the dealership insisted it wasn't pulling to the right). They don't care. Recently the WSJ published a list of the 10 cars with the most safety complaints based on information from NHTSA. Guess which car had the most complaints? MINI is #1. Top problems: drive train, steering failure, restraint system failure - seat belts and air bags. And yet the service department insists there is nothing wrong. Denial is a dangerous defense when people are at risk of serious injury if one of those systems fails. I'm done fighting with MINI-BMW. I drive 80 miles a day. I thought I'd spring for Recaro seats this summer. But after reading about the safety problems, I'm not waiting for a recall. This car is history. I'll take a big hit financially, I bought the extended warranty, which I've never done before. But at least I won't need a chiropractor after an hour's drive. And I won't hold my breath every time I have a close call during my commute outside Boston, MA. Interesting that other people have asked MINI to take back their cars after a short time.

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By gfinamore
on 02/26/13 14:22 PM (PST)

Dear Mini owner, I'm so sorry to hear about your story. I have to tell you this I currently own a countryman myself, only 11 months old and has been in the shop 6 TIMES!!! SO I'm flustered and frusterated. I also called Mini Corp. office and asked for a new mini or my money back plus my deposit. I love the car and spent lots of money to have it dressed up with stripes and tinting etc.. I have had enough. I'm going with another car, different manufactorer, the one my husband wanted to go with. Good luck!! keep in touch!!!

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By b_chaud_rodz
on 02/11/15 07:13 AM (PST)

I also have bought the 2012 Mini Cooper Countryman back in 2012. I was the first owner to this vehicle, it only had 40 miles when I got it. Unfortunately I did not read anything on this review because for one its was the new Bigger Mini. Besides I had owned a Mini Cooper Coupe 2008 and that was an excellent little car, the only problem, it was too small. The first problem, I realized was the mileage per gas. My 2008 gas me 500 miles to a full tank, this one 380 miles. I asked the dealer and he said I had to drive it for more than 10,000 so the engine can open up and this would change. The second problem, every bump on the road could be felt. I took it to BMW and they stated that there was nothing wrong with it. I changed the tires to more expensive tires, but not much of a change. Third problem, it stalls when you initial a drive after a full stop. This is very scary when you are in an intersection on trying to get in the highway. I took it back to them 3 times, they said I should use the SPORTS button when I initiate a drive if I want it to go faster. I did. Well let me say that this works, and its actually a really nice drive at that point. So what is the problem with that? The engine seems to stay revved, so when you need to come to stop, the car feels as if it does not want to stop. Although it stops, it stays revved, just ready to go. Almost like a racing car, so it you really have to be alert not to let go of that brake pedal. I again questioned them about this problem, and it's like this...you either want speed or you don't. I live in a warm stated, so I do not really have to use the heat as much, but I drove this car to the Northern states and for whatever reason I could not manage the fogginess in all my window except for the rear window because of the heat strips. But all the other windows were extremely foggy. I lowered my window to bring some cold air from outside while trying to keep the heat going so we don't freeze to death. Safety-wise in their brake system, WOW! An excellent feature in this vehicle. I drove this car in a snow storm and I had to stop on the highway. I was certain this car would spin, but this car did not even swerve. Very safe. I have had this car for two and I do not believe this car is worth the money being paid for. I have decided to return this vehicle to Mini-BMW. It is going to kill my credit, but I rather ruin my credit than kill my money on a car that is only 2 years old and the performance is so crappy. I have now decided to buy a non-luxurious car like a Hyundai and give a cheaper car a better chance. I would not recommend this car to absolutely no one. If you really want a nice Mini Cooper, buy a smaller size.

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