Britannia Banner

MINI Countryman 2.0 S Exclusive ALL4 Level 2 5dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Petrol
  • 42.2 mpg
  • 5 door suv
  • 152 g/km CO2
  • 152 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 42.2 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 7.1 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 218 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

The five-door MINI Countryman isn't the obvious choice for hot hatch John Cooper Works treatment but the result might just surprise you. No other MINI offers more power, 300hp in this case, enough to skittle you to sixty two mph in just 5.4s, helped by prodigious all-wheel traction. It's quite a package.

Background

Welcome to this, the third generation MINI John Cooper Works Countryman. A few decades ago, the kind of performance figures we're talking about here would have been delivered by a junior level supercar. Times have changed. On first acquaintance, the very name seems contradictory. 'John Cooper Works', after all, is a brand that gives fashionable little MINI models a frantic feel. But there's nothing very little - and you'd think, nothing especially frantic - about the company's Countryman model, a beefy five-door crossover-style design focused on families. Not the kind of thing you'd naturally want to be flinging about the lanes. Yet this is exactly what this car claims to have been designed to do. It's the only John Cooper Works MINI to get four wheel drive and no other JCW model in the range is firmer or more powerful. Yet it still manages to offer standards of fuel economy, safety and space that would shock most MINI buyers. A crossover with a point to prove. And a MINI likely to make its mark.

Driving Experience

There's no getting away from the fact that this car is quick. Seriously rapid, smashing through the 62mph mark from a standing start in just 5.4 seconds. The package is based on the Countryman S ALL4 model, which means that a four cylinder 2.0-litre petrol turbo beats beneath the bonnet, distributing its power via a four-wheel drive system that can split power equally between the axles in normal driving but if necessary, can send up to 100% to either end, depending on where traction is needed. And there's certainly enough power on offer to ensure that the tractional hardware will be fully used. Poke from the little engine has been boosted by 82hp over the standard 'S', providing for a 300hp total that's virtually as high as that boasted by what was previously the ultimate fast MINI, the track-tamed John Cooper Works GP model. But where that car feels like a race track refugee, this one is far more refined in the way that it delivers its pulsating punch. The tyres don't smoke away from rest. Nor does the steering wheel tug away at your arms when powering out of slow corners. It's all very un-John Cooper Works-like. Or at least some of it is. The ride is exactly what you'd probably expect the JCW badge to deliver, the 15mm-lowered suspension noticeably firm - to a point you'd have to like if you were to live with this car. Of course, the payoff comes with quite astonishing levels of body control and lateral grip that pins you into the sculptured sports seats through tighter bends, cornering aided by larger anti-roll bars that are there to keep the high-sided body in check. Plus there's plenty of electronic aid as well, with traction also helped by the fitment of Dynamic Stability Control with Dynamic Traction Control and Electronic Differential Lock Control. In other words, you'll not want for grip, wet or dry. Power is deployed through a seven-speed dual clutch auto gearbox, top speed is a reassuring 155mph; there's a bassy exhaust note (though most of that's artificially embellished by the audio speakers); and peak torque is rated at a chunky 400Nm. The transmission's left hand steering wheel paddleshifter operates a 'Boost' setting; just tug upon the paddle for a few seconds of extra overtaking thrust. For rapid driving, you'll want to match that with the most eager of the provided 'MINI Experience' drive modes - 'Go-Kart'; this allows for the introduction of a brilliant bass pop and crackle from the exhaust on the over-run. Lovely. There are plenty of other 'Experience' settings, though most of them seem to have more to do with coloured ambiance and chimes than driving: choose from 'Core', 'Green', 'Vivid', 'Timeless', 'Personal', 'Balance' and 'Trail'.

Design and Build

This is certainly no Countryman for old men. In fact, it's actually quite a stylish thing in this guise, which might surprise those who may have dismissed more mundane versions of this model as being rather frumpy. A body kit delivers a ground-hugging appearance emphasised by the 15mm lower ride height of the adaptive suspension system and offset by large alloy rims - our test car had the optional 20-inch John Cooper Works Flag Spoke 2-tone wheels. Roof rails are included and the rather unique C-pillar panel is model-branded. In JCW trim, the muscular nose gets a big, wide grille with a central chequered flag motif and a JCW badge, plus there are red strakes in the corner cut-outs. And at the rear, there's a menacing roof spoiler and a deep lower diffuser to house twin tailpipes on either side. Up-front, the most familiar MINI design cue - the huge dinner-plate-sized 9.4-litre OLED centre screen - is present and correct, but as with an ordinary Countryman, not much of anything else feels very MINI-like. JCW spec is based on the standard model's 'Sport' trim, which means you get red slashes in the fabric dash top, silver pedals and red seat stitching for the synthetic leather front sports chairs. Specific JCW touches are limited to a chequered lag motif on the seats and a badge on the chunky steering wheel. There's no instrument binnacle screen to view through it, but a Head-up display comes as standard. Right, let's consider the back. All the sporty design cues rather disguise the fact that like any Countryman, this one is actually a relatively large car - and one that would appear positively enormous were you to park it next to a 1960s original Mini. The payoff comes at the rear, where the stretched floorplan means that a couple of six-footers could be easily accommodated. The rear seats can recline for greater comfort on longer journeys and slide backwards and forwards so that you can have a large boot or plenty of legroom. Sadly, there's not quite enough space for you to have both at the same time. Out back, there's a 460-litre boot, extendable to 1,450-litres with the 40:20:40-split rear bench folded.

Market and Model

At the time of our test in Spring 2024, this John Cooper Works Countryman required around £42,000 from you, but with all the various options added, as was the case with our test car, you'd be looking at closer to £50,000. That kind of required budget is either a lot for a MINI or not very much for a rapid all-wheel drive sporting crossover model, depending on your viewpoint. We happen to take the latter view and these days, there are plenty of very boring compact SUVs that can approach this sort of sum and not be particularly rewarding to own. So, what does your budget buy you here? Well as we told you in our 'Design' section, this top 'John Cooper Works' model comes only with the brand's 'Sport' level of trim, but also has some extra embellishments. There's an even more overt body kit, with a deep lower rear diffuser incorporating this top powerplant's four potent exhaust pipes. Adaptive Suspension's standard, which lowers the car by 15mm and includes frequency-selective dampers. There's special exterior and interior badging, plus an artificially-embellished exhaust note. And if you pay the small amount extra to add the 'Level 2' equipment package (as almost all JCW customers will), you get 20-inch John Cooper Works Flag Spoke 2-tone wheels. The 'Level 3' equipment package on this top model adds special JCW Performance Brake discs too. Safety kit includes all the usual things, along with MINI's 'Front Collision Warning' system that scans the road ahead for potential accident hazards. There's Lane Departure Warning. And, irritatingly, thanks to the Brussels bureaucrats, you have to have a 'Speed Limit Warning' 'speed limit exceeded' warning beep, something you'll probably be fishing around to turn off every time you start the car. If you want more, then optional 'Level 2' spec adds MINI 'Driving Assistant Plus' pack of camera and drive assist features, including Automatic Active Cruise Control. Even more of these features can be had with the 'Driving Assistant Professional' package you get with the 'Level 3' equipment pack.

Cost of Ownership

You might remember the original JCW cars as horrendously thirsty things, but of course this latest generation model uses a far more fuel-efficient engine. The 2.0-litre turbo unit fitted to this Countryman gets almost universal praise and it turns in some very decent fuel economy figures too. For a 300hp car, the combined fuel consumption of up to 36.2mpg isn't at all bad. Emissions are rated at up to 177g/km. No obvious rival can significantly better these figures. As for resale values, well remember to factor in the cost of any options when calculating the likely residual figure. Stick to the basic car and you shouldn't be stung with heavy depreciation. Insurance is group 33 and you can keep maintenance costs down with MINI's great value servicing packages. As expected, there's the usual unremarkable three year unlimited mileage warranty. And the deal also includes a 'MINI MOT Protect' assurance guarantee stating that in the unlikely event your car should fail its first, second or third MOT test, MINI will cover the cost of repair or replacement on an array of selected parts.

Summary

Back in the late Fifties, the story goes that the engineers behind the original British Mini proposed to Austin company Chairman Leonard Lord that a faster version should be introduced with a 950cc engine and a top speed of 90mph. He declared it excessive, limiting production versions to a far more sensible 75mph. What on earth then, might he have made of this, the current face of fast MINI motoring and a car capable of what were once seen as supercar speeds? More importantly, what are we to make of it? It's not really a hot hatch or a small sporting SUV, though you could think of it as either. Better perhaps just to think of it as a bit of fun you could sensibly justify, a practical yet compact sporting family five-door backed by BMW standards of engineering. True, the John Cooper Works Countryman is never going to be the obvious answer to any 'which car?' question. It's just too niche a thing for that. Even so, we have a sneaking suspicion that this MINI might suit quite a significant number of people very well, assuming that they could be persuaded to consider it in the first place. Yes, you'll have to adjust to the rather firm ride. But it's very fast, brilliant fun, is nicely built, looks good, feels unique, swallows a small family and won't cost a fortune to run. If those don't sound like the ingredients for a very promising car, then we're not sure what does.

  • DAB Digital radio
  • Harman Kardon surround sound system
  • Wireless charging tray
  • Auto tailgate
  • Logos in Vibrant Silver
  • Opening panoramic roof with slide and tilt functionality, Retractable sun shade with fully opaque fabric
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Roof rails
  • Vibrant Silver Grill Surround
  • Anthracite headliner
  • Front armrest
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Height and length steering column adjustment
  • Lidded storage box in Petrol knit
  • Luggage compartment separating net
  • Sport Vescin Steering Wheel
  • Vescin synthetic leather upholstery
  • Vibrant Silver sill inlay
  • Driving assistant plus pack - Mini Countryman
  • Interior and exterior mirror package - Mini Countryman
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • 6 Airbags - front, side, head and seat belt tensioners
  • Front ISOFIX (iSize)
  • Manual rear child locks
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle
  • Alarm system with tilt sensor, monitoring doors, bonnet interior and tailgate
  • Auto drive away locking
  • Comfort access system
  • Deadlocking function
  • Electronic vehicle immobiliser
  • Locking wheel bolts
  • Remote control locking
  • Start/stop toggle with keyless go
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 152
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 169
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 151
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High: 158
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEH: 165
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Extra High - TEL: 154
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High: 130
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEH: 134
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - High - TEL: 127
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low: 197
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEH: 201
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Low - TEL: 195
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium: 144
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEH: 147
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Medium - TEL: 142
  • CC: 1998
  • Compression Ratio: 11.1:0
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): 82
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 94.6
  • Engine Code: B48A20M2
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO INJECTION
  • Gears: 7 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 6.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 7.2
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 7.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 6.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 5.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 5.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 8.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 8.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 8.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 6.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 6.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 6.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 42.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 39.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 40.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 38.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 41.5
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 49.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 47.9
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 50.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 32.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 31.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 32.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 44.1
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 43.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 44.8
  • AdBlue: False
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 218
  • Coin Series: Cooper S Exlusive
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 25E
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.1
  • Engine Power - BHP: 218
  • Engine Power - KW: 160
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 266
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 36.7
  • Engine Torque - NM: 360
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
  • Top Speed: 141
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 225/55 R18
  • Tyre Size Rear: 225/55 R18
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: ASTEROID SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 18" ALLOY
  • Height: 1661
  • Length: 4444
  • Wheelbase: 2692
  • Width: 1843
  • Width (including mirrors): 2069
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 54
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2195
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1450
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 450
  • Max. Loading Weight: 555
  • Max. Roof Load: 75
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1640
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.6