Under most accepted definitions, the Mini is a small car. But it is a small car with large number of fans, who find its distinctive shape and very recognizable appearance, most appealing.
In addition, to being stylish — thanks to its unique design — the Mini’s sophisticated character sets it apart from other compact vehicles.
Setting the aesthetics aside, it’s still an impressive vehicle. The 2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 I drove was nicely equipped with some of the latest technology available to automakers. Surprisingly powerful, it’s comfortable even on a long drive and capable of carrying passengers and their gear despite its modest size.
It accomplishes that feat because the space inside the vehicle is used most artfully, elevating the vehicle’s overall versatility for more practical motorists. However, the model I drove, thanks to an “Iconic Trim” package, pushed the vehicle’s total price to $43,600.
The 2021 Mini Countryman reaches the showroom with one of the car industry’s classic designs. It’s easily recognizable even when overshadowed by larger vehicles in heavy urban or suburban traffic. The stylish exterior is a huge part of the Mini’s mystique.
On the four-door Countryman, which steps away from the Mini’s traditional two-door silhouette, the styling is fortified by impressive touches such as piano black trim around the air vents and light fixtures in the front fascia, Black Bonnet racing stripes on top of the Sage Green color on the model I drove as well as roof rails and a moon roof. In addition, Mini equipped the Countryman with a lightweight rear lift gate dropping the double doors at the rear featured on earlier four-door Minis and 19-inch wheels.
The Mini Countryman’s stylish interior is one of the vehicle’s strong points. It’s well designed around the signature round centerpiece in the dashboard, carrying the entertainment and navigation system that rivals have found very difficult to match.
In addition, the interior design is augmented with premium materials as well as metal accents and varied textures throughout the cabin, giving it a premium ambience. The cabin also has plenty of head and shoulder room for a relatively compact vehicle. The rear seats can carry full-size adult passengers, if needed. The Mini also has extra space behind the rear seat, which can be expanded for larger and bulkier packages. I also found the seats in the Mini Countryman very comfortable even on a longer drive and the visibility was excellent from the driver’s seat, helping elevate the fun-to-drive quotient.
The power in the Mini Countrymen I drove comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission with an all-wheel-drive function as well as drive-mode selections. The combination produces 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The combined fuel economy rating for 2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 is from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is 26 miles per gallon, including 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The 2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman is equipped with eight airbags including a side curtain for protection in rollover accidents and front knee airbags to protect lower extremities in a frontal crash. It also is equipped with forward collision warning, LED headlight and fog lamps and heated exterior mirrors.
It also comes with wireless charging, satellite radio, rear-view camera and driveway lights and ambient lighting in the interior. It also features Apple Car Play and Android Auto and Harmon Kardon audio system with six speakers as well as dynamic cruise control and a multi-function, leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The power of lightweight, 2.0-liter engine is well matched to the Mini Cooper S Countryman’s overall weight, giving it plenty of life on the road. In addition, the car’s solid driving dynamics, which are fortified by the electric power steering and dynamic damper control, are first rate, making the car fun to drive.
A common perception is that Michigan is relatively flat but back roads in the in the southern part of the state are built into a rolling countryside with plenty of curves and undulation and modest amounts of traffic — the Mini Cooper S Countryman handled them most efficiently. However, I did find the Mini Cooper S cabin rather noisy on a long drive. Road and tire noise seemed to find its way into the interior easily.
2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 specifications:
|Dimension||L: 169.8 inches/W: 71.7 inches/H: 61.3 inches/Wheelbase: 102.2 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder; 8-speed automatic transmission; AWD|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $33,900; As tested: $43,600 including $850 destination and delivery charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
I liked the 2021 Mini Cooper S Country ALL4 for the overall quality and thoughtfulness of its design, the packaging of its features and lighting as well as its powerful compact engine with its smooth-shifting transmission.
It also seemed to be a fair-sized vehicle for everyday use, provided you did not carry multiple passengers, though it is probably quite fine on weekend jaunts with one other person. It also was, as noted above, quite a bit of fun to drive on backroads. But I did find the price of more than $43,000 rather steep even for a vehicle with a premium pedigree and an iconic shape.
2021 Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 — Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any changes to the new Mini Cooper S Countryman?
The 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman receives some updated exterior styling, but in every other way, it’s basically the same as the 2020 Countryman. The only other notable change is the debut of the Oxford Edition trim.
Which is the best-selling Mini Cooper in the U.S.?
As the largest Mini in the line-up, the Countryman helped broaden the quirky brand’s appeal by offering the classic looks and driving dynamics in a larger package. The 2021 Countryman continues this trend, acting as Mini’s best-selling model in the United States.
What does ALL4 mean on the Mini Countryman?
ALL4 stands for all-wheel drive. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be ready to head to Moab, but it’ll give you more control during tough weather and some off-road conditions.