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2011 MINI Countryman

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2011 MINI Countryman Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

We can be pretty certain that the terms "cute," "small," "fun" and "fuel efficient" have been used to describe the Mini Cooper since its U.S. inception in 2001. And while the Mini line-up has always consisted of different flavors like the standard Cooper hardtop, the sun-friendly Cooper convertible and the slightly larger, Cooper Clubman, buyers and enthusiasts alike have probably wondered if the word "practical" could ever be associated with a Mini. A bigger backseat? More cargo room? More headroom? Well, wonder no more, as the all-new 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman is here to answer all those questions. And the answers are, "yes," "yes" and "yes." The Mini Countryman is the fourth addition to the brand's lineup and brings to the table everything one would expect in a Mini – including exceptional handling and a solid build - but with the welcomed addition of more people and cargo space and all-wheel-drive capability. Competitors in the Mini Countryman's category include the Nissan Rogue, Suzuki SX4 and the Toyota RAV4.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you've always been infatuated by Mini's unique styling, but wished they offered something bigger, the Countryman could be for you.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Like the other vehicles in Mini's lineup, the Countryman reaches out to a niche market both in terms of styling and driving dynamics. While it exudes the same fun driving characteristics as its Cooper siblings, the Countryman's ride-comfort level is at the lower end of the 10-point scale; which might not be everyone's cup of tea.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 4-seat 2011 Mini Countryman broadens the brand's horizons by offering more flexibility in the inherent retro design, both in passenger and cargo room, and by introducing the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system. The Countryman is available in three trim levels: Cooper Countryman, Cooper S Countryman and Cooper S Countryman with ALL4.

Driving the Countryman

Driving Impressions The Mini Cooper's driving dynamics have long been compared to that of a go kart, and while we can technically say the same for the Countryman, we'd compare it more...

to "a go-kart that's hauling 100-pounds of cargo." Actually, the Countryman weighs about 400 more pounds than the standard-issue Mini Cooper, so in a related sense it has the same sporty driving dynamics of its siblings – including the razor-sharp steering and crisp handling - but not the same overall tossability. The ride quality is a little firm, but we found it comfortable enough for a long road trip. On the inside, the seats could be softer, but they are adequately contoured and bolstered for the everyday drive and visibility is good from all angles. One note: We found the side mirrors to be placed too low, making them hard to see for shorter drivers.

Mini Connected w/ Navigation
The 6.5-inch screen is easy to navigate and the system offers Bluetooth and smartphone integration to stream music from a device and Internet radio. Users with iPhones will benefit from the Mini Connected App, which allows access to social-media programs, RSS news feeds and Google Local Search.

ALL4 (All-Wheel Drive)
We like the availability of a permanent all-wheel-drive system in a Mini to improve traction on slippery surfaces and challenging terrain.

2011 MINI Countryman Details
Interior

The 2011 Mini Countryman's retro styling carries over to the interior where the most noticeable feature is the oversized speedometer in the center of the dashboard. The look is eccentric and stylish, from the chrome flip switches for the window to the 2-toned color scheme and symmetrical ovoid patterns that extend to the rear doors, the interior of the Mini Countryman can be considered a lesson in art-deco fashion. There's plenty of headroom and legroom for both the front and rear-seat passengers (a first for a Mini), although seating is limited to four at a time.

Exterior

Novelty meets functionality when it comes to the styling of the 2011 Mini Countryman. It has the same retro look as every other Cooper in the Mini lineup with the main differences being the additional rear doors, the larger size and the taller ride height. It's almost hard to tell it's that much bigger at first glance, but it is. Like all other Minis, the Countryman can be painted in a multitude of different colors both inside and out and every trim level comes with 17-inch wheels, although different styles can be chosen.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

While the 2012 Mini Countryman carries a higher entry price than its competitors, the decision to purchase a Countryman can be reinforced by a long list of standard equipment. On the outside, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, and the on the inside are 6-way manually adjustable seats, a 3-spoke leather steering wheel and air conditioning. Also on the list is a start/stop button to turn the engine on and off, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with HD radio and SiriusXM that's in charge of the tunes, and a 6-speed manual transmission.

Optional Equipment

As with the other vehicles in Mini's stable, the Countryman can be configured in over 10 million different ways. While we don't have the space to list them all, we can say that many of the standalone options are grouped together in packages. The technology package comes with a harmon/kardon sound system, rear parking sensors, a center armrest and the "Mini Connected" in-car entertainment system (with navigation optional). The premium package includes automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and the comfort access system which locks/unlocks the doors via a button on the outside handles. The sport package adds 18-inch Turbo Fan wheels, black hood stripes, a rear spoiler and dynamic traction control for more spirited cornering. In addition to these packages, a multitude of wheels, interior/exterior color combinations and graphics are available to build a custom Countryman to the owner's content.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Mini Countryman is powered by the same engines that power its siblings. The option of all-wheel drive is a bonus. Both engine choices displace 1.6 liters, with the Cooper receiving a naturally-aspirated version while the Cooper S gets the help of a twin-scroll turbocharger. Despite the increase in weight over its smaller stablemates, the Countryman is still a joy to drive. The Cooper Countryman scoots to 60 mph in under ten seconds and the Cooper S Countryman lowers that time to just over seven seconds.

1.6-liter inline-4
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/35 (manual), 25/30 (automatic)

1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
181 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
177 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,600 - 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/32 (manual), 25/32 (automatic), 25/31 (manual, ALL4), 23/30 (automatic, ALL4)

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2011 MINI Countryman Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 65 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.6/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.2/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.0/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Cute and fun but horrible gas mileage!

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Cute nice interior, easy to park, zippy to drive"

Cons: "Awful gas mileage, driver interfaces clunky"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I've had this car about a year, standard city driving, with some long highway trips occasionally. Bought it because I wanted something good for driving and parking in a city, and driving around a couple kids, but also with a little style and oomph. The model I have is pretty loaded, with the GPS system, leather interior, fancy sound system and others. After a year, pretty disappointed. It super cute and fairly fun to drive, though a little stiff. However the navigation system is so counter-intuitive that I literally never use it- weird menus, no touch screen, takes forever to input addresses etc. The sound system interface is similarly unwieldy, the sound is great, but it is much more complicated than it should be to save radio stations, seek channels, switch inputs etc. All first world problems, admittedly, but it does diminish your enjoyment of the car when it feels designed by people who were trying to drive you crazy. Similarly, it lacks basic conveniences for the price point, like a back up camera. Even the fact that it doesn't have a simple clock on the dashboard (you have to toggle three buttons to see the time) is annoying. The worst part of the car is the gas mileage. With such a little car, you'd think it would be great. Manufacturer says it should be about 25 city, 32 highway. Hah! On the back of a tow truck, maybe. I put only premium unleaded gas in (never had to do that with another car) and still only get about 17 mpg with normal city driving, maybe 23 on the highway. When I took it in to be checked, they said there was nothing they could do, and that they had had a number of people with similar complaints. Overall, though I like the style and fun, I would not recommend. And will probably be trading mine in pretty soon."

JCW fast but rough

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Rides on rails, very fast, great quality"

Cons: "harsh ride on bumppy roads"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I've had my Countryman for about a year. Bought it used with 17K miles. It easily seats 4, same leg room as my Acura MDX. VERY fast. Hits 100MPH in the blink of an eye. I also own a BMW 330ci and used to own a Porsche 911. Lots of great features. Handles like on rails. Gets 24 MPG. Tons of fun. Great fit and finish on the inside. Paint quality (red/black) shines like glass. What I don't like. While the stereo, Bluetooth, GPS are all very good, the single pane of glass in the center console requires me to hit the home button all the time to get from one screen to the other. So if I'm in GPS and want to change the radio station, I have to hit home, turn dial to radio then select the other channel. The other is the harsh ride. The roads in NoVa are horrible. Pot holes and cut up payment everywhere. I bounce around, and when I hit the sport button, it tightens up the steering and suspension, (adds 20 HP too) but the ride is almost jarring. Fantastic on well paved roads, but we don't have many of those around the nations capital."

21 people out of 35 found this review helpful

I LOVE this Car!

By on Thursday, May 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to DRIVE!"

Cons: "Clutch issues reported by some owners in Manuals"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Buy this car...you'll love it! People literally stop me in the street, blow at me to roll down my window to admire this car. It is FUN to drive! Be aware if you get a manual there have been some issues reported with the clutch. I did have an issue with the clutch smelling burnt and I was told to "not drive it so hard". FYI- I've been driving a stick for 22 years and I've never had to replace a clutch, so to have this smell with less than 10k miles is curious. Mini will replace your clutch if it goes out within 36k mile warranty, but it seems crazy to me to burn a clutch that fast. I am thinking of trading it before warranty expires for this reason, just to be safe. But again, if I traded it, it would probably be for a new Countryman! That is how much I love this car!!!!!!!"

19 people out of 36 found this review helpful

I LOVE my MINI Countryman

By on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Not inexpensive - it was a splurge"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've been looking forward to the day I was able to purchase a MINI for a few years now. I decided that I wasn't ready to downsize to a MINI entirely, so looked for a Countryman. It is everything I've expected from driving experience to reliability to even other driver envy:) It is comfortable inside on longer trips - even the back seats are comfortable and roomy too (unlike the MINI). The previous owner was 6'2" and had not problem with leg or head room). This car is so much fun to drive that I don't mind that I get just above 30 mpg. It handles very well - it's quiet inside, and music is wonderful with its Harmon Kardon sound system. I've had no mechanical problems other than a fuel pump that was covered."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I LOVE MY CAR!

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Performance, Great in the snow"

Cons: "No where to put things in the front seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought my 2015 Countryman S ALL4 brand new and I love it. It is a manual and so much fun to drive. I do different racing events such as Autocross and Rallycross and EVERYONE comments on how impressive the handling is on this vehicle! I survived snow storms and had no issues whatsoever. The inside could have some improvements since most Countrymans do not come with a middle console, but you can always buy it! Yes, the MINI Cooper is more fun to drive, but I wanted something ALL4. I always get compliments on my car and for the price, I could not resist!"

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

DON"T BUY ONE

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Trying to sell and get the heck out of it. Nobody"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Car just isn't put together well, I have 15,000 and it has been to the shop twice, gas mileage on the Countryman with ALL4 is barely 23 mpg. Service centers try and bleed you when you go in. Never again"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?