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Used Mini Countryman review: 2011-2014

EXPERT RATING
6
Graham Smith reviews the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Mini Countryman as a used buy.

BMW's four-door variant went from outright cuteness to practicality but running costs mount with the years.

New

The new-age BMW-bred Mini arrived at the peak of the retro-car fad, when makers were looking to the past for inspiration. VW reprised the Beetle, Chrysler created the PT Cruiser and Prowler hot rod, and BMW built a Mini.

All were popular for a time but only Mini seemed to snare the enduring imagination of buyers. BMW has built Mini with sufficient variants to broaden its appeal from a cute, simple small hatch.

Park a classic Mini alongside a new-age example and you see a world of difference. However, BMW captured the look and feel of the original better than the other makers.

The four-door Countryman wagon, launched in 2011, promised buyers the nostalgic Mini look in a much more practical modern package.

Built in Austria, it was a longer wheelbase variant with a higher ride height and enough cabin space for four.

BMW's Mini was nippy on the road and great fun.

Building from that basic theme, the Countryman range added numerous options to tempt a broad range of buyers.

The petrol engines, 1.6-litre fours, came in naturally aspirated and turbo form. There were two turbo diesel options, a 1.6 and a 2.0-litre. There were also front and all-wheel drive versions, the latter best suited to loose surfaces and snow.

As with the original, BMW's Mini was nippy on the road and great fun if you were so inclined.

The base 1.6-litre was a relatively modest performer, with the turbo adding zip. The diesels presented an attractive blend of meaty torque and miserly fuel consumption.

Now

Buying a BMW-built car requires a huge leap of faith. They have a massive showroom appeal and come with the promise of a thrilling drive experience but long-term they can be expensive.

As the kilometres climb, look for oil leaks around the engine. Timing covers, rocker covers and oil filter housings tend to leak over time.

Look also for coolant leaks, as the plastic components in the cooling system tend to break down long term. Ancillary drive belt pulleys can cause trouble eventually.

The Countryman was recalled in 2012 for a faulty coolant pump.

There are reports of problems with turbo timing chains, so listen intently when driving a turbo before purchase. If you think you hear a rattle from the engine investigate more closely, or walk away.

Try to test-drive from cold if possible as the rattle is usually heard more readily before the engine warms up. It's worth the effort — should the chain jump, the damage will be severe, as will the cost of repairs..

The Countryman was recalled in 2012 for a faulty coolant pump for the turbocharger on the petrol variant. The worst-case scenario is the turbocharger could overheat, causing a fire.

Another recall in 2013 related to the diesels and checked on moisture getting into the connectors for the electric power steering, also a fire risk.

Check with a Mini dealer to ensure the recall work has been carried-out.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2014 $17,600 $39,160
2013 $14,520 $34,210
2012 $13,530 $29,700
2011 $10,890 $26,070

View all Mini Countryman pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$17,495
Based on 16 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$13,980
Highest Price
$19,800

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Cooper 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $13,980 – 15,990 2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper Pricing and Specs
Cooper Chilli 1.6L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $13,750 – 18,040 2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper Chilli Pricing and Specs
Cooper D 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $12,870 – 17,160 2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper D Pricing and Specs
Cooper D All4 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $16,170 – 20,790 2011 Mini Countryman 2011 Cooper D All4 Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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