Consumer Reports Recommends the Overlooked 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman

The Mini Cooper boasts a base of passionate fans. Though they’re not as excited about variants of the original Cooper, enthusiasts might be missing out. Consumer Reports raves about the latest Mini Cooper Countryman, which has enough going for it to appeal to Mini aficionados, luxury subcompact SUV consumers, and other prospective buyers. What’s so special about the Countryman? Let’s find out.

How Consumer Reports rates the 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman

2022 Mini Cooper Countryman Consumer Reports
2022 Mini Cooper Countryman | BMW of North America, LLC

Well known for its score-based reviews, Consumer Reports gave the 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman an 83-out-of-100 overall score and ranked the luxury subcompact crossover number one in its segment. Its luxury styling, performance, and features impressed CR’s testers. And though 83 isn’t exactly an A, the Countryman beat the runner-up by a whopping 11 points.

In addition, the 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman scored an 82 on its road test, a score CR generated from multiple subcategories. In most of the subcategories, CR gave the Countryman a 5 or 4 out of a possible 5. But the little SUV scored only 1 out of 5 in cargo space, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen a Cooper.

The Countryman fared better in predicted reliability, with a perfect 5 out of 5. But it didn’t do as well in predicted owner satisfaction. CR gave it a 3, dinging it most for value. However, though the market for resold Minis might be smaller than, say, Buick Encores, there’s quite a bit of value to be found in the Countryman.

What consumers should like about the 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman

Consumers have far more to like about the 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman than its middling predicted owner satisfaction score would suggest. As CR notes, it’s a fun drive and handles well for a premium SUV. It also boasts high reliability and decent fuel economy (25 mpg combined) for a vehicle in its class.

It gets that gas mileage despite a somewhat underpowered 1.5-liter turbo-three engine that comes standard on the base model. For your money, the 2.0-liter turbo-four is a better bet because the three-cylinder is not only underpowered but also noisy. With an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Countryman will also get you from 0 to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds and can handle braking as well as acceleration.

Beyond its powertrain, the Countryman provides a comfortable and spacious cabin for a vehicle in this segment. It’s also filled with solid tech features.

An 8.8-inch touchscreen is standard on base models, but if you’re looking for Apple or Android compatibility, you’ll need to purchase the Touchscreen Navigation package. But that package also comes with a 5.0-inch wireless instrument display and a wireless charging pad. Those features also come with Countryman S trims and higher (along with the recommended turbo-four engine).

Where this small crossover might disappoint

Despite its solid ride, the 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman is not without its faults. In addition to the low power and noise of the turbo-three version, its cabin is subject to wind noise at high speeds. It also requires a bit of a learning curve for its sporty handling, especially when performing sharp cornering. Bumpy rides are also strongly felt given the Countryman’s stiff suspension, which also takes some getting used to.

Another area requiring a bit of mastery is the infotainment system. Partially controlled by a central control knob, it is not as intuitive as screen-based systems. And though it’s not particularly difficult to use, it might not be everyone’s first choice.

And for those looking for safety, it’s odd that the Countryman lacks blind-spot warning as a driver assist, especially when rear parking sensors come standard on all trims. On other vehicles, the latter feature frequently comes only on higher trims levels or bundled in optional packages, so the fact that blind-spot warning is unavailable is doubly perplexing.

Still, even with those missteps, Consumer Reports believes the Countryman is the best luxury subcompact SUV on the market. Here’s to hoping more prospective buyers take one for a test drive.

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