Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman Is Actually 1 of the Best Subcompact SUVs

If you’re in the market for a new SUV, it’s easy to feel like the options are endless. SUVs are the champions of car sales, to the point where automakers have stopped producing sedans to concentrate on SUVs. With so many options, how are you to decide which one is right for you?

Don’t fret — we’ve done the research for you. U.S. News recently released a list of the best subcompact SUVs of 2021, and we want to talk about the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman. You might be surprised to see where it ranked.

The 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman’s ranking

On U.S. News’ list “20 Best Subcompact SUVs for 2021,” the Mini Cooper Countryman ranks high at number four. The decision to shop for a subcompact crossover versus a full-size SUV is getting harder and harder to make, as larger SUVs continue to get better fuel efficiency. And subcompact crossovers are becoming more popular as everyday drivers for people who don’t need three rows of seating, like empty-nesters and first-time car buyers. 

The Mini Cooper Countryman shares the top four with the third-place 2021 Kia Soul, second-place 2021 Mazda CX-30, and number-one Hyundai Kona. It was a close race, but roomier cabins, slightly better handling, or more technology features helped boost those three contenders past the Countryman. 

The 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman at a glance

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The roomiest Mini Cooper on the market, the 2021 Countryman crams a lot into its subcompact frame. It packs a 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo engine producing 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, U.S. News reports. It gets 26/33 mpg city/highway, which isn’t the best but still decent. 

In the cabin, you’ll find room to seat five adults, with more legroom than usual for a Mini. The 2021 Countryman comes standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, navigation, and wireless device charging are also available as options. 

The Countryman also comes standard with several safety features. They include a backup camera, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Optional driver-assist features include parallel parking assist, a head-up display, and front parking sensors. 

What earned it the #4 spot?

Fourth place on a list of 20 subcompact crossovers is worth bragging about. What put the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman ahead of most of its competitors is its driving experience. It’s simply fun to drive. And it handles well and can take tight corners like a pro.

However, a few things keep it from breaking into the top three. The 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman has a significantly higher price point than many rivals, including the three SUVs that ranked higher. Starting at $29,100, the Countryman cost nearly $12,000 more than the third-place Kia Soul.

Also, despite boasting the most room of its Mini siblings, the Countryman still lacks in cargo space compared with other subcompact SUVs. But you can’t have “Mini” in the name without expecting it to be on the smaller side. And overall, the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman is an excellent subcompact SUV with plenty to offer in a small package.