What's New For 2018
For 2018, the Countryman gets a couple of new trim levels. The John Cooper Works model is geared towards the sports and performance enthusiasts. The S E plug-in hybrid if something for the environmentalists, or anyone who appreciates good fuel economy.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 MINI Countryman – The Pros
1. Unique Style
MINI has their own unique style that is present in all of their vehicles. The 2018 MINI Countryman continues this trend. You can always tell a MINI from the rest of the pack, with just one glance. Some would describe this look as boxy, but there's more to it than that. MINI evokes the classic lines and shapes of some iconic, small European cars.
MINI had the difficult task of creating a small crossover that retains their style and is fun to drive. They succeeded in this task with the Countryman.
2. Functional Interior Space
For such a small car, the 2018 MINI Countryman manages to feel large inside. There is plenty of room for your head and legs. The seats are all comfortable and well designed. The overall interior design is smart. MINI makes good use of the space they do have. The rear passengers will never feel squeezed or cramped during long drives.
3. Smart AWD System
The 2018 MINI Countryman features a unique, AWD system. Having all-wheel drive means that the Countryman is functional in all weather and on most terrains. If you need to drive through snow, rain or down a dirt road, you can do so in style in your Countryman.
4. Optional Manual Transmission
Most models of the Countryman come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This works well enough and you can even opt for paddle shifters on your steering wheel. This leads to perfect control of your shifts, while still allowing you to keep those hands on the wheel. The Countryman offers the choice of a standard, manual transmission as well. This is nice to have on the sporty models. Manuals are becoming increasing rare on too many vehicles.
5. Good Performance
You can expect 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque out of the 2.0-liter I-4 turbo engine. This is plenty of power for great acceleration. The 2018 MINI Countryman even gets good acceleration with a load of cargo or a bunch of passengers. You can get up to 60 mph in just over 7 seconds.
The 8-speed automatic transmission is paired with every engine, unless you choose a manual. The automatic functions well and shifts when it needs to. Shifting is smooth and precise.
6. Excellent Handling
Braking is firm and powerful, while the pedal itself has only light to moderate resistance. The MINI is stable at high speeds and tracks well on the highway. Steering is sporty and fun. This is even more so when you select the sport driving mode.This is a true highlight for the Countryman. Handling is more fun in a MINI than it is in most of the cars in this class.
7. Comfortable Interior and Good Ride Quality
The ride quality is smooth and comfortable. The seats are comfy and ergonomic. The suspension system does its job well and soaks up whatever the road throws at it. MINI has done a fine job of reducing the sound of the road and wind to almost nothing. The MINI provides an extremely quiet ride.
8. High-Tech Features
The main infotainment screen gets touch technology for the first time in 2018. The screen is large and features crisp graphics. The navigation system works well and the audio system sounds great.
Smartphone integration is offered via Bluetooth technology and through USB ports. rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera are included here as well. The 2018 MINI Countryman features voice-command technology that works extremely well.
9. Child Seat Accommodation
The 2018 MINI Countryman is an excellent vehicle for families with infants and small children. There is a lot of accommodation for child seats in this crossover. There are four different latch ports and tethers to keep your children safe.
10. Good Fuel Economy
All models of the MINI Countryman get good gas mileage. The base model gets a combined rating of 25 mpg. The hybrid gets even better with a combined rating of 28 mpg. This is based on 24 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 MINI Countryman – The Cons
1. Expensive Trim Levels
The base model of the MINI Countryman is a very affordable vehicle. The problem is, when you start moving up trim levels and opting for more features, it gets expensive quickly.
2. Base Model is Underpowered
The base model's engine gets okay horsepower. It does, however, feel under-powered when compared to competitive vehicles. There are a lot of options in this class that do better, even with the budget base model.
3. Less cargo Space Than Competition
The amount of cargo space is a bit lacking for a crossover vehicle. MINI makes small cars, even when it's a crossover SUV. They used most of their space to make the passengers comfortable, leaving no room for your belongings.
How it Stacks up to the Competition
Compact crossover SUVs is a crowded market in the U.S. The main competitors for the 2018 MINI Countryman are the Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V.
The MSRP for the base model of the Mazda comes in just a bit lower than the MINI. Performance and comfort are about the same. The MINI does better when it comes to steering and handling.
The Ford Escape costs a little bit more than the MINI Countryman. It has more interior room and cargo space, but lacks the handling and fuel economy of the MINI.
The Honda CR-V is very close to the MINI in most areas. It features more cargo room, but like the Escape, does not handle as well on the road as the MINI.
If you want a compact crossover geared towards hauling passengers and not much cargo, the 2018 MINI Countryman is hard to beat. There are a lot of vehicles in this class and price range. Few of them match the MINI when it comes to driving fun and unique styling.
• Why buy a 2017 MINI Countryman? w/ pros vs cons