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Mini Countryman 2024 review: S


Daily driver score

4/5

Urban score

3.8/5

The Countryman is Mini’s SUV and the new-generation model has grown in size making it the biggest Mini ever made. But even then it’s still a small SUV.

We’ve tested the Countryman S All4 in the Favoured grade to find out if it could be the ideal urban little SUV.

In this review we rate the Countryman S All4 Favoured for what it’s like to drive and how fuel efficient it is, how practical and spacious the cabin is for people and their stuff, check out the safety equipment, list its features and weigh up the value-for-money.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 8/10

We have tested the Mini Countryman S All4 Favoured. In Mini-speak that means it sits in the middle of the Countryman line-up and it’s all-wheel drive. The list price is $61,990.

Coming standard are LED headlights, black roof rails, 20-inch alloy wheels, proximity unlocking, John Cooper Works seats, dual-zone climate control, heated power front seats, a heated sports steering wheel, a round OLED media display, a head-up display, sat nav, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and wireless phone charging. And by the way the interior colour which transitions from brown to blue is also standard on the Favoured. 

The value is pretty good for what really is a prestige car and that means you’re comparing it to things like a Volvo XC40 and it’s not-so identical twin the BMW X1.

The test car's wheels are 20-inch alloy 'Windmill' design. The test car's wheels are 20-inch alloy 'Windmill' design.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 9/10

The Mini Countryman S Favoured’s design is so interesting it’s easier to make a list of things about it which aren’t interesting. The list: i) tyres, ii) windscreen wipers, iii) seat belts.

That’s pretty much it. I mean they’re interesting in that we can’t live without them but they're not cute like the headlights, pug-nosed bonnet, tiny windscreen and sad-faced grille.

The Mini Countryman S Favoured’s design is so interesting it’s easier to make a list of things about it which aren’t. The Mini Countryman S Favoured’s design is so interesting it’s easier to make a list of things about it which aren’t.

Nor stunning like the cabin’s large central display. The first-ever circular OLED display in a car, by the way. And certainly not as intriguing as the way the interior door trim changes colour from the back to the front.

The Countryman S is all-wheel drive and Mini has given it a rugged look complete with All4 badging.

Mini has given it a rugged look complete with All4 badging. Mini has given it a rugged look complete with All4 badging.

The Countryman S All4 comes in nine colours, ours is 'Smokey Green' and you can mix and match the colours with the roof and wing mirrors ('Vibrant Silver' on our car).

The test car's wheels are 20-inch alloy 'Windmill' design and although they aren’t the most intricate looking they're easy to clean.

The Countryman S All4 comes in nine colours, ours is 'Smokey Green'. The Countryman S All4 comes in nine colours, ours is 'Smokey Green'.

Another interesting Countryman attribute is its size. This is the biggest Mini ever made at 4.44m long, 1.84m wide and 1.66m tall.

So, if you do decide to buy one be prepared for “not very mini, is it?” jokes delivered by unfunny people haunting petrol stations and shopping centre car parks.

It has the first-ever circular OLED display in a car, by the way. It has the first-ever circular OLED display in a car, by the way.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 8/10

The Countryman is Mini’s SUV and the brand has clearly attempted to make the interior feel rugged and practical with touches like hard wearing materials and grippy surfaces, plus clever storage.

There are big door pockets with moulded compartments, shelves under the dashboard, a covered area between the driver and front passenger and four cupholders.

There’s plenty of space up front even for me at 189cm with wide seats and good elbow room. There’s plenty of space up front even for me at 189cm with wide seats and good elbow room.

There are plenty of power outlets, too, with four type-C USB ports, two 12V outlets and a wireless phone charger.

If you were wondering how roomy the Countryman is, don’t fear, there’s plenty of space up front even for me at 189cm with wide seats and good elbow room. Space in the back is excellent with plenty of legroom and headroom. All up there are five seats on board.

If you’re going to be using the rear doors for passengers a lot, take a look at the size of the opening. If you’re going to be using the rear doors for passengers a lot, take a look at the size of the opening.

If you’re going to be using the rear doors for passengers a lot, take a look at the size of the opening. It’s small and getting in and out might be a problem for older and less flexible people.

As for cargo space the Countryman has a 505L boot with all seats upright.

  • As for cargo space the Countryman has a 505L boot with all seats upright. As for cargo space the Countryman has a 505L boot with all seats upright.
  • The Countryman’s BMW X1 twin offers better practicality and space, but lacks the cute, quirky looks. The Countryman’s BMW X1 twin offers better practicality and space, but lacks the cute, quirky looks.

The Countryman’s BMW X1 twin offers better practicality and space, but lacks the cute, quirky looks. Having lived with both cars it’s clear the X1 makes a better family car.

Something to keep in mind if you’re looking for better practicality for about the same price, size and performance.

This is the biggest Mini ever made. This is the biggest Mini ever made.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 8/10

The Mini Countryman S has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine making 150kW and 300Nm - the same one powering the BMW X1.

This is a more powerful engine than the three-cylinder found in entry-grade Countryman C, but doesn’t have the grunt of the more hardcore Countryman JCW that sits above it in the range.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic flips through gears quickly and smoothly. If only there were shifting paddles on the Countryman S so the driver could be a bit more involved.

As mentioned earlier the Countryman S is all-wheel drive which is great for extra traction but doesn’t make this little SUV a capable off-roader, so keep your adventures no wilder than dirt or gravel roads that aren’t too challenging.

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 6/10

Mini says the Countryman S should use 7.6L/100km of premium unleaded petrol after a combination of open and urban roads, but also says if you’re driving is restricted to just the city consumption will jump to 9.9L/100km. Our own testing was mainly urban and we measured 11.2L/100km at the fuel pump.

Thanks to a 45-litre tank, driving range between fills is around 450km using the official consumption figure and just over 400km using our real-world average.

The relatively heavy fuel consumption is a weakness in the Countryman S’s urban suitability. The three-cylinder Countryman C is more fuel efficient but the electric Countryman E is a much better alternative and only costs about $5000 more than our test car.

Driving – What's it like to drive? 8/10

The Mini Countryman S is a fun and comfortable car to drive with sporty handling. That 2.0-litre engine has plenty of oomph, the all-wheel drive offers flawless traction in rain and the transmission shifts decisively.

The drive mode list lets you flip through 'Experiences' using a switch under the media display. The Experiences range from 'Efficiency' for better fuel economy to 'Go Kart' which is a sport mode that shifts gears quicker or holds them to keep the engine in the most responsive rev range.

It would have been good if Mini gave the Countryman S Favourerd shifting paddles. I’m a fan of these, but they’re only available on the grade above.

The Mini Countryman S is a fun and comfortable car to drive with sporty handling. The Mini Countryman S is a fun and comfortable car to drive with sporty handling.

If there is a downside it’s that visibility from the driver’s seat isn’t great and this comes down to the design of the vehicle which is undoubtedly cute but has small windows and blind spots caused by thick pillars. Even the All4 badge on the side of the car obstructs visibility through the window it’s fixed to. 

The Countryman S isn’t tiny, either, at 4.44m long and 1.84m wide, and the visibility actually makes this small SUV feel larger than it is. You’ll get used to this as well. If you are concerned about the size, there are smaller Minis like the three-door which feels a lot more… mini.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 8/10

The Mini Countryman S has yet to be assessed by ANCAP, but its BMW X1 twin scored the maximum five-star score in 2022 and we’d have no reason to suspect the Mini won’t achieve a high mark.

Coming standard is AEB, blind-spot warning, lane keeping assistance and rear cross-traffic alert with braking.

There are front airbags, curtain airbags covering both rows and a centre airbag between the driver and front passenger.

For child seats you’ll find two ISOFIX points and three top tether anchor mounts across the second row.

The lack of a spare tyre is disappointing but there is a puncture repair kit that’s easy to use.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 7/10

The Countryman is covered by Mini’s five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty. When it comes to servicing the car will let you know when it’s needed and although there’s no capped pricing servicing costs Mini does have a five-year/80,000km plan for $2275.

The Mini Countryman S All4 Favoured is cute, practical, fun to drive, good value and has the latest safety tech. But its urban fuel consumption is high for a small SUV. If you are staying mainly in the city the electric Countryman might make this already excellent SUV just about perfect for you and your urban lifestyle.

$61,990

Based on new car retail price

Daily driver score

4/5

Urban score

3.8/5
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.