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To be clear, by “bizarre,” we don’t mean “bad.” There are a set of typical choices that most automotive publications tend to hit. In the small SUV category, most folks will lean toward the mainstream models like the Kia Seltos, Honda CR-V, or Ford Bronco Sport. So when a publication goes rogue and picks something like the 2022 Mini Countryman as the best small SUV, it makes you take note. 

J.D. Power names the 2022 Mini Countryman the best small SUV

*Full disclosure: I love Mini. I have a 2015 Mini Countryman, and it brings me heaps of joy. So, if this gets a little gushy, don’t pay me any mind* 

The 2022 Mini Countryman had to outrank popular small SUVs on J.D. Power like the Kia Soul and the Ford Bronco Sport to take the small SUV crown. It makes sense; the Mini Countryman is unique, properly sporty, and extremely stylish. This is something the SUV world doesn’t often do. 

2022 Mini Countryman specs

Mini Countryman S ALL4 parked on the beach.
Mini Countryman S ALL4 | Mini

The Mini Countryman has grown a little since it debuted nearly 10 years ago. The 2022 model is the largest Mini in history. That isn’t to say it’s big, per se, but it is bigger. The interior is surprisingly roomy, and even storage feels oddly abundant. 

The Mini Countryman isn’t a sports car, but it’s damn close. Mini’s biggest offering comes with four engine options: 1.5-liter 3-cylinder hybrid (221 hp), 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder (134 hp), 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (189 hp), and the top-dog JCW 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder (301 hp). The Countryman gets all this performance for only a combined 29 mpg overall. 

What truly makes the Countryman a special SUV is the handling. Mini’s are the most powerful cars on the road, but they are some of the best-handling cars out there. The short wheelbase and the years of racing history come through in every quick corner. Like it or not, the SUV can take a corner with the best in the business. Eat your heart out, Porsche nerds. 

Is the 2022 Mini Countryman worth the money? 

2022 Mini Countryman parked in the surf
Mini Countryman in Water | Mini

The 2022 Mini Countryman starts at $31,369 and goes up to the admittedly wild price of $52,239. Again, I love the Countryman, but it’s still a glorified go-kart – $52,000? Really? I digress. 

Even still, it pains me to admit that although that is a lot of money, the new Mini Countryman is worth it, as long as you don’t need to carry a bunch of people and tons of stuff. The Countryman is a great way to have your cake and eat it too. It is light, nimble, quick, and sharp-looking while still being easy to park, good on gas, and has enough room to live with as a proper daily driver. 

Is the 2022 Mini Countryman reliable?

Mini does have a bit of a spotted past when it comes to reliability. Take it from me; the older ones can get a modest man cursing in the street. However, the new models have gotten their act together and are actually reliable cars. Hell, Consumer Reports gave the 2022 Mini Countryman a 5/5 on predicted reliability. That’s the same score as the Toyota Tundra. 

More than any of these other reasons, the main reason to consider a Mini Cooper is because they are designed to make you smile. The performance, reliability, and practicality are there, but it’s the spirit of the car that will sell you on it. The goofy round gauges, the silly, overly designed details, and the peppy breath of the turbo will endear you to the little British cutie before anything else will. 


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