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2012 MINI Countryman

Overview
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2012 MINI Countryman Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.3

The 2012 Mini Countryman is the "Jumbo Shrimp" of automotive world. With an elevated seating position and ample cargo space, the Countryman's dimensions strike the balance between the Mini Clubman and conventional small SUVs. Competing against segment powerhouses like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, it may appear as if Mini brought a knife to a gunfight. However, the Countryman is prepared to confront its seasoned challengers with enticing features such as all-wheel drive (AWD), a snappy turbocharged engine and dynamic handling unmatched by traditional compact SUVs.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you have always wanted a Mini but your daily driving responsibilities require a more practical vehicle, the 2012 Countryman's four doors, rear liftgate and 41.3 cubic feet of cargo space might be the answer you were looking for.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a compact SUV with a forgiving, comfortable ride along with cargo space comparable to most midsize SUVs, a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 might be the better choice.

What's New for 2012

The Mini Countryman receives minor equipment updates for 2012 including a no-cost optional rear bench seat, which increases the Countryman's seating capacity to five. A 2-tone steering wheel and new wheel options are also added to the Countryman's expansive menu of available features.

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 hauling 100-pounds of cargo. Actually, the Countryman weighs about 400 pounds more than the standard-issue Mini Hardtop, 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 agility. 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 outward 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 Infotainment System
Mini's newest infotainment option, Mini Connected, offers drivers a variety of multimedia and entertainment functionalities. Utilizing Bluetooth wireless technology, the system leverages your smartphone's data plan for a range of connected services through Mini's free mobile app. Features such as social-media timelines, a customizable news feed, Pandora Internet radio and Google Local Search are clearly displayed on a brilliant 6.5-inch screen.

ALL4 All-Wheel Drive
The Cooper S Countryman ALL4 trim is the only vehicle in Mini's lineup that delivers the sure-footed traction of full-time all-wheel drive. Suitable for various on- and off-road driving conditions, the system seamlessly distributes power between the front and rear axles depending on the Countryman's speed, steering angle and acceleration rate.

2012 MINI Countryman Details
Interior

The Mini Countryman's cabin is just as distinctively charismatic as its exterior. Like all Mini interiors, the center stack is home to a massive, platter-sized speedometer with an integrated audio system display. The climate control interface takes some getting used to and the assortment of chrome flip switches, while attractive, are difficult to distinguish. A unique (though fragile) 2-piece Center Rail system positioned between the outboard seats runs the length of the cabin offer an array of customizable configurations for armrests, cup holders or storage bins. At their most rearward setting, the rear seats offer generous legroom and an uncharacteristic- for a Mini - amount of headroom.

Exterior

Despite its broader dimensions, the 2012 Countryman's design is undoubtedly Mini. The Countryman embodies the versatility of conventional SUVs with its rear liftgate, elevated ride height and four doors. A low load-in height combined with a wide opening liftgate at the rear makes stowing cargo a cinch. A key selling point with any Mini vehicle is aesthetic customization, and the Countryman is no exception. A myriad of colors, paint schemes, accessories and wheel options present an unparalleled level of factory-offered personalization.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

While the 2012 Mini Countryman carries a higher entry price than many of 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 and roof rails are standard. Inside, you'll find 6-way manually adjustable seats, a 3-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette seating surfaces, an engine start/stop button and a 6-speaker audio system with HD Radio. Safety features include seven airbags and Mini's crash sensing system that automatically triggers the hazard lights, unlocks the doors and deactivates the fuel pump during certain types of collisions.

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 includes a harman/kardon sound system, rear sonar proximity parking sensors for difficult parking situations, a center armrest and the "Mini Connected" in-car entertainment system (with optional navigation). The Premium Package contains 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 without ever removing the key fob from your pocket or bag. 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 2012 Mini Countryman is powered by the same engines of its smaller siblings. Both engine choices displace 1.6 liters, with the Cooper trim receiving a fuel-efficient naturally-aspirated version, while Cooper S models add a twin-scroll turbocharger for a 33-percent boost in horsepower. Both versions are available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. While the standard Countryman is no slouch in Cooper trim, the additional thrust of Cooper S models shaves nearly two seconds off the base model's 0-60 time.

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 mpg (manual), 25/30 mpg (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 mpg (manual), 25/32 mpg (automatic), 25/31 mpg (manual, AWD), 23/30 mpg (automatic, AWD)

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2012 MINI Countryman Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 63 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

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

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!!!!!!!"

3 people out of 4 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."

3 people out of 4 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!"

16 people out of 26 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"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

LOVE this car!

By on Monday, March 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "FUN, cute"

Cons: "none"

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

"I've had my MINI now since Oct 2013. I haven't had one ounce of trouble with it and look forward to driving her every day. I've driven up in the mountains and the run-flat tires that came on her work amazingly in the snow. This is the first car I've ever had that I LOVE to drive."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

It's my 4-door, all wheel drive Sports Car!

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Yes it's like driving a big go-kart, very fun!"

Cons: "The ride is "sports car" stiff, fine by me!"

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

"I've owned more than 25 vehicles including BMW, Benz, Porsche, Subaru and VW, and this is one of the most fun and reliable cars of them all. The Turbocharged engine and all wheel drive make this a perfect go-anywhere, anytime car, and don't be fooled, there is plenty of room inside for four good sized adults, plus a big dog in the back."

7 people out of 10 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?