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2013 MINI Countryman

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2013 MINI Countryman Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

Think of the 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman as the "big Mini." Though still small by regular-car standards, the Countryman is the roomiest, most passenger-friendly vehicle in the expanding Mini lineup. With four real doors, seating for five and a rear cargo hatch, the Mini Cooper Countryman breathes more everyday practicality into the British marque and BMW sub-brand. As a crossover SUV, the Countryman doesn't have the cargo-hauling or towing capability of bigger vehicles such as the Ford Escape or Honda CR-V, but it does offer something those others can't match: The nimble driving characteristics for which all Minis are known. Given these traits plus fuel efficiency and the availability of all-wheel drive, the Countryman may just be the motivator needed for those who yearn for a Mini but need more room.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the go-kart driving dynamics that Minis offer but need everyday practicality to haul people and cargo, the Countryman could be your happy medium to happy motoring.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want a compact SUV that's more comfortable and offers more room and versatility for the money, look to a mainstream crossover such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, or Toyota RAV4.

What's New for 2013

Among the changes to the 2013 Countryman is a little one that's a rather big deal in Mini Land: The power-window controls are integrated into the armrests vs. the cute-but-frustrating prior setup of tiny toggles in the center dash. For 2013 the Countryman will be available in even more potent John Cooper Works form, marking the first JCW model with all-wheel drive.

Driving the Countryman

Driving Impressions Minis are known for their go-kart handling. Though not necessarily lightning fast, these diminutive British vehicles are immensely fun to fling around corners. That dynamic nature extends to the 2013...

Countryman, but due to its larger size and added weight, it isn't quite as agile as its smaller and lighter siblings. For a crossover SUV, though, the 2013 Mini Countryman is immensely fun to drive, especially for drivers willing to shift for themselves via the snappy 6-speed manual transmission. Those drivers will also likely prefer the higher-powered Cooper S version of the Countryman that features a turbocharged engine. Mini enthusiasts willing to take the financial plunge of the new, $35,000-plus John Cooper Works edition of the Countryman will be rewarded with an invigorating little mover that has an intoxicating exhaust note that growls with the best of them. On the flip side, the Countryman's stiffer suspension results in a firmer overall ride.

TRADITIONAL WINDOW SWITCHES
Don't get us wrong: We love the eccentricity of Mini's retro-style switches. But having to target the awkwardly placed metal toggles in the low center dash gets to be a pain in daily driving. After a chorus of criticism, Mini has finally relented and placed the switches where you expect to find them: in the door panel.

MINI CONNECTED INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM
In addition to the usual tech features such as navigation and Bluetooth connectivity, Mini's system uses a driver's smartphone and apps to play Web-based audio, access social-media sites, and even utilize Google Send to Car, which emails destinations you've chosen beforehand to check out. Further, the digital goodness is presented on a color 6.5-inch screen housed within Mini's ginormous speedometer.

2013 MINI Countryman Details
Interior

The Countryman's cabin is just as charismatic as others in the Mini lineup. That's to say there is the usual dichotomy of the massively oversized speedometer in the center of the car with scads of small buttons and dials below. Thankfully the power window switches have finally been removed from this area and placed in the door housings like the majority of other cars. For 2013, the Countryman now comes standard with a 3-person rear bench, with the pair of individual rear seats now a no-cost option. With that latter setup is a unique rail system that runs between the seats. Available as one or two sections, the rail enables you to attach cup holders, an iPod cradle, eyeglass case and more.

Exterior

Picture a Mini that's gone muscular, and you'll probably imagine something like the Countryman. In addition to being more than 16 inches longer than a Mini Cooper Hardtop, the Countryman is distinguished by its two rear passenger doors, extra height, and additional curves. Like the Mini's interior, the exterior is highly customizable. There are a wealth of choices for everything from paint scheme to wheels and headlight housings. The performance-oriented John Cooper Works models are fitted with an aerodynamic kit and, like the Cooper S version, twin exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman comes in three major trims: Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works, with the biggest difference being their engine power output. Standard on all models are a 6-speed manual transmission, leatherette seats, AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio with six speakers and an auxiliary input, a climate-controlled glove box, and remote entry. On the safety front, there are seven airbags, 4-channel antilock brakes, and traction and stability control. Like other new Mini models, the Countryman comes with no-cost maintenance that includes oil changes, wiper blades, brakes and rotors for three years or 36,000 miles. Roadside assistance comes standard for four years and unlimited models.

Optional Equipment

As with other vehicles in Mini's growing stable, the Countryman can be configured over 10 million different ways. We won't count them here, but will instead mention some of the bigger options that can be had, often grouped in packages. The Mini Connected package is available with or without navigation and includes a nifty infotainment system and color screen that syncs with smartphones. Other goodies include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a harman/kardon premium sound system, parking sensors, leather seating, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Configuring a Mini online is meant to be a fun experience as you tailor the interior and exterior to your individual taste.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Mini Countryman is powered by the same 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine as its smaller siblings. Like them, it comes in various power outputs. The base S model makes a just-adequate 121 horsepower, while the S model makes a more robust 181 horsepower. The top dog is the John Cooper Works,which delivers a potent 208 horsepower that can shuffle this vehicle from 0-60 mph in about seven seconds. Base Mini Countryman models are front-wheel drive only. The Cooper S Countryman can be had with Mini's ALL4 all-wheel drive, which comes standard on the John Cooper Works model. Standard on all models is a snappy 6-speed manual transmission, with a 6-speed automatic optional. The Mini Countryman has good fuel economy, but it also requires premium fuel. Towing is not recommended.

1.6-liter inline-4
121 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/35 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)

1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
208 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
192 lb-ft of torque @ 1,850-5,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (manual), 23/30 mpg (automatic)

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2013 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."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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."

25 people out of 40 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!!!!!!!"

20 people out of 37 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"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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