Winter is upon us, which means that ‘tis the season for skiing and snowboarding if you’re into that kind of thing. And if you are, then you’re probably looking for a car or SUV that can get you up to the mountains safely. In that case, we suggest checking out a used Mini Countryman because it’s quirky, affordable, and it can get you up to the slopes with ease. However, you might want to take a few precautions when it comes to reliability.
Finding a cheap, used Mini Countryman is easy
If you do decide to check out some of the Mini Cooper Countrymans (Countrymen?) on the used market, then you’re in luck as there are plenty to choose from. The Mini Countryman has been produced since the 2011 model year and is currently in its third generation garnering a new look and new electronics, which can all be configured in a myriad of ways. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $30,000 to $48,000 for one of those.
But if you’re looking to stay in the sub-$20,000 range, then you can always opt for a 2011 to 2017 Countryman, as many of them are listed for anywhere from $5,000 up to $17,000 depending on the car’s location, age, condition, and trim level.
Mini Countryman trim levels
If you end up looking for a first-generation Mini Countryman, which was produced from 2011 to 2016, then you’ll have four different trim levels to choose from: Base, Cooper S, Cooper S All4, and John Cooper Works All4. The base Cooper model is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque while the Cooper S trim level adds a turbocharger that ups the power to 181 and 171, respectively. But if you want the most power out of your Mini, then you can get the John Cooper Works trim, which puts out 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque.
Opting for the base trim will include a leatherette interior, 17-inch wheels, all of the power amenities, and a six-speed manual transmission while going with the Cooper S will add on a hood scoop, larger brakes, sport seats, and dual tailpipes. The John Cooper Works trim beefs the Countryman up with a JCW-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, a unique steering wheel, and JCW interior trim pieces.
What about the Mini Countryman’s reliability?
While an older Mini Cooper Countryman can easily lure you in with its funky styling, potent engine choices, and affordable pricing, due take heed when it comes to the car’s projected reliability. The Mini Countryman has always been labeled as a “premium” car, considering it’s essentially made by BMW, so it’s repairs and maintenance do carry a premium as well. According to Repair Pal, the Mini Countryman has a 3.5 out of 5 stars, which puts in 19th place out of 21 for subcompact cars.
Additionally, Repair Pal also estimates that the average annual repair cost for a Mini Countryman is $880, which is rather high compared to other subcompact cars, which tend to have an average repair cost of $456. Furthermore, Consumer Reports has rated the Mini Countryman an average of 3 out of 5 when it comes to projected reliability.
Is it worth it to buy a Mini Countryman?
Considering you can find a plethora of first-generation Mini Cooper Countryman models in a configuration that you will like for an affordable price with the option of all-wheel drive, we think it’s definitely worth it to buy one. There aren’t many cars with the same type of style and capability on the market that the Mini Countryman has, and especially not for the same reasonable price that it is currently going for.