Crossover & Midsize

Is the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman a Reliable SUV?

Reliability is a big factor when choosing a vehicle. After all, no one wants a car that breaks down or has numerous recalls. Though the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman doesn’t suffer from either of these complaints, its hybrid version has one major recall that’s sure to make some shoppers think twice before they buy that model.

The Mini Cooper Countryman’s strengths and flaws

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Plug-in hybrids are becoming more popular thanks to their ability to get you places even if you run out of gas. But you won’t get very far in the Countryman PHEV. You’ll make it only about 16 miles before it calls it quits and sputters to a stop. Considering this isn’t an all-electric vehicle, that’s not bad, but don’t try to risk it on a road trip.

The good news is the Countryman has all-wheel drive, which gives the vehicle better traction and control. Also comforting is the fact that Consumer Reports considers this to be the most comfortable Mini to hit the pavement yet. It’s not so pleasant that non-Mini fans will enjoy the ride, but for those living their Mini dream, it’s a nice change of pace.

The interior is a mix of hard plastics and soft lining. Though not as nice as the real thing, the leatherette seats are comfortable enough to pass muster.

On the flip side, the only safety features that come standard are forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. If you’re looking for systems like blind-spot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts, you’ll have to skip the Countryman and go with another vehicle because Mini doesn’t offer them.

The Mini Cooper Countryman earned an average reliability score

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Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman a reliability score of 3 out of 5. That puts it squarely in the middle, which doesn’t do much to recommend it but also doesn’t turn consumers away.

As of this writing, no owners have reported any major issues with the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman, but that could change. It’s always possible that no one will have any complaints, but it hasn’t happened yet. So it’s only a matter of time.

That time might be closer than Mini thinks. That’s because one 2021 Countryman version already has a recall.

This Countryman model is too hot to handle

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Recalls are never fun to deal with, but they’re usually easy fixes. You take your vehicle to the dealership and have service technicians perform repairs. It might take a bit of your time, but at least you don’t have to pay for it.

The good news about the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman is that there’s only one recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports. The bad news is this recall is sure to make owners feel hot under the collar. That’s because debris in the battery could cause the Mini Cooper PHEV to go up in flames.

It’s not uncommon for cars to catch fire, but it’s still alarming. Seeing a vehicle you just paid $29,100 to $41,500 for is even more so, especially when it’s brand-new.

If you’re unsure if your 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman is on the recall list, visit the NHTSA website and enter your SUV’s VIN. You can find this 17-digit number in the lower-left corner of the dashboard. It might take some time out of your day, but it’s better than your Countryman burning down.