2018 MINI Countryman Review
Even though its beefy dimensions easily make it the largest vehicle in Mini's lineup, the 2018 Countryman keeps the playful spirit of the brand intact. With a comparatively roomy cabin and decently sized cargo area, this is the Mini to get if you plan on bringing friends along for the ride. It's also a great choice if you want a fun and highly customizable crossover with more personality than the others. Either way, new additions for 2018 ensure the Mini Countryman offers something for everyone.
Two new models — the sporty John Cooper Works and fuel-efficient Countryman S E plug-in hybrid — join the roster this year. Like other JCW variants across Mini's lineup, this high-octane thriller boosts the output of the turbocharged four-cylinder to 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. And yes, you can get it with a manual transmission. The S E plug-in hybrid is unique to the Countryman. It takes the Cooper's turbocharged three-cylinder and pairs it to an electric motor, giving it 12 miles of all-electric range. It also offers significant horsepower and torque gains while achieving the same combined fuel economy as the standard car.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Mini Countryman is a sporty and fun alternative to the standard set of small crossovers and wagons. The Countryman earns the premium price tag it carries by offering a substantial list of standard features, while a plethora of available options allows buyers to customize the Countryman to their heart's content. All four trims — Cooper, Cooper S, John Cooper Works and Cooper S E — have similar feature content but are differentiated by the engines underhood. Whichever you get, you'll be rewarded with a Mini that prioritizes passenger space and driving thrills in equal measure.
Powering the base front-wheel-drive Cooper is a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine (134 horsepower, 162 pound-feet of torque) matched to your choice of a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. On the all-wheel-drive Countryman All4, the automatic transmission has eight speeds.
You get a lot of features with the Countryman, including 17-inch wheels, summer performance run-flat tires, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, a heated windshield wiper system, roof rails, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, adjustable driving modes, height-adjustable front seats, 40/20/40-split rear seats, simulated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, Bluetooth, a 6.5-inch display screen and a six-speaker audio system. Selecting all-wheel drive also adds heated front seats.
Our pick is the next-level Cooper S. It has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (189 hp, 207 lb-ft) mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It also gets 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and foglights, front sport seats and additional stability control choices. A six-speed manual is standard with all-wheel drive models, with the eight-speed auto optional.
As opposed to the Cooper and Cooper S, all-wheel drive is standard on the next two models. The John Cooper Works trim adds an even more powerful version of the turbocharged four-cylinder (228 hp, 258 lb-ft); the manual is standard and the eight-speed auto is optional. Additional features include aerodynamic modifications, a rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension and aggressively bolstered front seats. LED foglights are not available.
The Cooper S E is quite different from the rest of the lineup. Up front is the Cooper's turbocharged three-cylinder engine that drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. In back, and driving the rear wheels, is an electric motor powered by a rechargeable 7.6 kWh battery pack. Mini says total combined output for the S E is 221 hp and 284 lb-ft. EPA estimated all-electric driving range is 12 miles. The Cooper S E's feature content is identical to that of the Cooper S, though it's the only model in the range to not have a panoramic sunroof standard.
Though all models typically draw from the same pool of options packages, the Sport package is unique to the Cooper. It includes the 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and foglights, and sport seats from the Cooper S, along with adaptive suspension dampers. The Cooper's Cold Weather package adds heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Other packages can be outfitted to all models. If you're looking for additional luxury and storage features, there's the Convenience package (rear armrest, vehicle alarm, cargo divider, and a choice between a cargo area flip-out seating cushion or spare tire) and Premium package (power-adjustable front seats, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, tinted glass, a hands-free power liftgate, and, for the Cooper S E, the panoramic sunroof). The Technology package includes a wealth of upgrades, including front parking sensors, an 8.8-inch touchscreen, navigation, a head-up display, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and an automated parallel parking system. The Fully Loaded package includes the above packages plus satellite radio and the Cold Weather package.
If appearance-oriented upgrades are more your thing, you can add many of the JCW's features to the other trims with the John Cooper Works Interior package (a unique steering wheel, sport seats (if not already equipped), a black headliner and JCW-branded decorations) and the JCW Exterior package (18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, aerodynamic modifications, and, for the Cooper and Cooper S E, additional stability control choices).
Many of the above options can be ordered separately. Additional stand-alone options include 19-inch wheels, all-season tires, leather upholstery, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and exterior and interior styling modifications.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.