Mini vehicles are an acquired taste. Most people love them or hate them, and for some folks, it’s love at first sight. That said, the brand makes some tiny models. Even its SUV, the Mini Cooper Countryman, is, well, mini. These petite vehicles aren’t for tall people, but they hold a certain appeal that can’t be denied. However, before rushing out to purchase one of these zippy crossovers, you should know which model years to avoid.
Never buy these Mini Cooper Countryman model years
Few vehicles on the road don’t have at least one model year that critics can’t recommend. And for the Mini Cooper Countryman, it’s 2011, 2012, and 2013 models. According to CoPilot, “The run from 2011 to 2013 was a little rough for the Mini Countryman as each of these year models had serious engine issues.
“The 2011 and 2012 both have engine failure issues and are prone to catching on fire, and this sort of catastrophe makes them worth avoiding at all costs. The 2011 also has difficulty shifting gears and has had a report of an oil filter housing gasket leak. The 2012 year model also had a turbo failure around 80,000 miles.”
Though CoPilot recommends the 2014 Countryman, Consumer Reports named Mini the least reliable car brand in the U.S. that year. This revolved heavily around costly transmission problems.
This can be sort of depressing because even older Countryman models tend to have plenty of the tech features that drivers want while remaining affordably priced. But there are plenty of other Mini Countryman model years that don’t cost much but still have good reliability ratings.
Recommended Mini Cooper Countryman model years
Now that you know which Mini Cooper Countryman models to avoid, here are some models you should consider buying. CoPilot highly recommends model years 2010 and 2014 through 2020.
Consumer Reports isn’t so enthusiastic about the Countryman and typically gives it low to average reliability ratings. In fact, most model years score only 1 to 3 in reliability.
That’s not exactly confidence-inspiring. Still, Consumer Reports shows rather high scores for owner satisfaction. So what does that mean for you? If you purchase a Mini Cooper Countryman, you’ll probably be happy with it, even if the critics aren’t over the moon.
Is the 2021 model worth buying?
The Mini Cooper Countryman has come a long way over the years. The 2021 model offers an all-wheel drivetrain, sure to please drivers. It’s also rather comfortable, a nice change for Mini.
However, there isn’t much in the way of standard driver assists. Expect forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. That’s not much, especially for a brand owned by BMW.
And if you’re interested in the Countryman plug-in hybrid, you should be aware of a major recall. Debris on the battery is causing many Countryman models to go up in flames. If a Countryman PHEV is parked in your garage when this happens, your house could burn down along with the SUV.
Mini isn’t messing around and is taking steps to correct this safety issue. With that being said, the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman seems to be holding its own. Only time will tell if it lives up to the Mini name, but so far, it seems to be doing well.