Mini's revised Countryman crossover looks much the same as ever, but now packs in more value at base level.
The 2015 Mini Cooper Countryman is more high-riding hatch than proper SUV.
The maxi Mini has been given a minor facelift for 2015.
It’s design is unmistakably Mini, but that street cred comes at a cost – the already high entry price is combined with a typically long option list.
There is good standard equipment, but the Countryman misses out on some of the better cabin updates that the smaller Cooper received for the 2015 model year.
It is not the biggest SUV in the segment, although it does provide good head and leg room. The seats fold for larger loads.
There is a 1.6-litre petrol engine with 2WD only in the base model. The economy is good but you occasionally have to push the Mini to get the best performance – which uses more fuel.
A six-speed manual is standard, and the optional six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is smooth, but perhaps a bit slow.
The Mini Countryman has handling like a hatch. It feels direct and responsive – certainly the best in class.
It is a likeable style choice rather than a sensible one.
If you want a bigger Mini, then do look at the Countryman – as well as the new Cooper five-door hatch.