2022 MINI Countryman Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.
Even though it is still small compared to its rivals, the 2022 MINI Countryman is MINI's largest vehicle. This small crossover SUV gives you more cargo and cabin space than the smaller models in the MINI family, but it still feels cramped when compared to other similarly priced and equipped small crossovers. While MINI claims that the Countryman can seat five people, four would be a lot more comfortable.
Cargo space feels small as well. There are 17.6 cubic feet behind the rear seat, and when you fold it down, this number maxes out at 47.6 cubes. While this is less than what you get in the Countryman's top competitors, those who drive MINI models probably aren't that focused on cargo area utility as it is.
There are four Countryman versions being sold on the market: the base Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE Hybrid, and the line-topping John Cooper Works (or JCW for short). There are also three sub-trims to choose from: the Classic (which comes at no extra cost), Signature, and Iconic. These sub-trims give you all of the features while the main trim levels are focused on mechanics. All-wheel drive is an available option, and the Cooper SE Hybrid offers 17 miles of all electric range before the other powertrain components kick in. All told, this hybrid will get you 29 miles per gallon in combined driving.
The most appealing part about buying any MINI vehicle is how thoroughly you can customize it. The MINI can truly be yours - uniquely so. We dare you to find two MINI models that are exactly alike. You can mix and match the main and sub-trims, choose different body paint jobs, stripes or no stripes, upgraded wheels or standard alloys, a number of upholstery types, and more.
Let's explore what each trim and sub-trim has to offer. This way, you can decide how you want to customize your 2022 MINI Countryman - that is, if you indeed decide to go with this personality-driven small crossover SUV.
Compare the Cooper vs Cooper S Trims. What is the difference?
The base Cooper is followed up by the Cooper S. The Cooper is powered by a 1.5-liter twin-turbo 3-cylinder engine that generates 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. This engine is matched up with the 7-Speed Steptronic dual clutch automatic transmission, and you get Dynamic Cruise Control with an integrated braking function. This vehicle also has Dynamic Stability Control andfour-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). The suspension is composed of a MacPherson front strut and rear multi-link suspension.
As far as technology goes, the base Cooper comes with an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment display with a connected media system; this includes remote and connected services. There is a standard six speaker sound system with an AM/FM setup, HD radio, and SiriusXM satellite radio with a complimentary one-year subscription. You also get the MINI central instrument display with a LED ring, Bluetooth connectivity for your phone usage and audio streaming, and a multifunctional digital instrument display.
Now, let's talk about the creature comforts offered in the base Cooper trim level. This trim comes with a multifunctional leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, a panoramic glass moonroof, roof rails, and rear seats with a split-folding seatback and a fore-and-aft sliding base. The six-way manually adjustable driver and front passenger seats allow for you to find a comfortable driving position. Fore and aft, you get standard floor mats.
There are some standard safety features attached to the Cooper trim level worth noting. This trim is outfitted with a total of eight airbags including side curtain and front knee airbags. It also has the Active Driving Assistant with forward collision warning and lane departure warning. On the front end, you get LED headlights and fog lights. There is a standard rear view camera and rear Park Distance Control sensors. Teleservices and Emergency Call are also there to assist you when you need them most. Other features include the ISOFIX (LATCH) Child Seat Restraint System, a tire pressure monitoring system, and automatic modes for headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
If you want something more powerful, consider getting the Cooper S model. Power and torque are enhanced by the beefed-up turbo 2.0-L four-cylinder engine. This engine puts forth 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. This engine gets matched up with either the DCT automatic in the front-wheel-drive versions or an eight-speed automatic that is included on the all-wheel drive variants.
Compare the Cooper S vs Cooper SE All4 Hybrid. What is the difference?
Unlike the Cooper and Cooper S, the Cooper SE All4 is a hybrid model of the MINI Countryman that utilizes the Cooper's turbo 3-cylinder engine but matches it with a six-speed automatic transmission that delivers power to the front wheels. There is a separate battery pack that is paired to an electric motor that sends power to the rear wheels of the Cooper SE All4. This hybrid produces a combined 221 hp.
Compare the Cooper SE Hybrid vs John Cooper Works. What is the difference?
The John Cooper Works - which is lovingly referred to by its acronym, JCW - is powered by an even more powerful turbo four-cylinder engine that generates a power output of 301 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission delivers power to all four wheels. Along with a sport suspension, the JCW is outfitted with its own special design elements and sport-bolstered seats.
Compare the Classic vs Signature Trims. What is the difference?
Let's talk about the sub-trims since this is where all the features come into play. At no extra cost to you is the base sub-trim, the Classic. Its standard array of features includes alloy wheels, LED headlights and fog lights, roof rails, and windshield wipers up front that have the ability to sense when it is raining. The side mirrors are heated.
Inside of the Classic trim level, you get simulated leather upholstery covering the seats. The front seats are six-way manually adjustable, and the rear bench seat is a sliding one with a 60/40-split folding design. The Classic comes with keyless ignition,
a digital instrumentation display, and the brand new 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment display. There is a panoramic glass sunroof that allows for extra ventilation into the cabin.
Safety features include parking sensors, which will alert you when it detects any obstacles in your path that might not be visible to you behind the vehicle when you go to park it. You also get forward collision mitigation, which warns you of a potential impending collision; it then applies the brakes for you in scenarios in which the system thinks you will not be able to do so in time. Also, you get lane departure warning, which warns you if the vehicle starts drifting out of its intended driving lane.
Now, the Signature trim level sits right in the middle of the list of sub-trims and gets you a few more features and upgrades than what comes on the Classic. Of course, you will have to pay more for it. The Signature comes with upgraded alloy wheels, a power liftgate, and passive keyless entry. Up front, you get treated to heated front seats that provide extra comfort on cooler days. The vehicle's dual-zone automatic climate control lets you set the temperatures for two zones of the cabin and works well at maintaining them.
Compare the Signature vs Iconic Trims. What is the difference?
The sub-trim topping Iconic costs more than the Signature but gives you a plethora of extra features to enjoy. There are bigger wheel sizes available for the Iconic trim level, and you can take your pick between them. On the outside, you get power-folding side mirrors that are also heated.
Leather upholstery graces the interior of the Iconic trim level, and up front there are sport seats that are power adjustable for better comfort and ease of finding a good driving position. You also get a heated steering wheel for extra comfort while driving on a cold day, which feels nice before your vehicle has warmed up. Another upgrade includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror that has an integrated and programmable garage door opener from Home Link.
The infotainment system is enhanced with the addition of an integrated navigation system. You also get standard Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. Sorry, Android users - Android Auto is not available on any MINI model. We don't really know why, but we assume that there is some sort of exclusive deal. It just doesn't really attract as wide of a buyer range as it could if Android Auto were included in the line-up.
The premium Harman Kardon sound system is definitely worth making the upgrade. Its speakers fill the cabin with crystal clear sound quality that will not distort at higher volumes. You can enjoy cranking it up while you cruise around. The Iconic sub-trim also comes with a head-up display that projects important driving information onto the windshield in front of your eyes for easy viewing.
The standard adaptive cruise control does a good job of maintaining a safe but tight driver-set distance between the Countryman and the vehicle in front of it. Automated parking assist makes parallel parking a whole lot easier, as it will guide the Countryman in without hardly any actions taken by you.
Which Trim to Choose?
Choosing the right 2022 MINI Countryman is all about finding the combination of things you want the most. What makes you, you? Which design elements and features speak most to your unique personality? That is the beauty of a MINI - you can design it as a reflection of who you are as a person.
Where we would put our money is on the Cooper S and equip it with the Signature sub-trim level. Why do we recommend going this way? The Cooper S has an engine that delivers supple power to the vehicle, and it avoids the overly harsh ride quality that comes with upgrading to the JCW and its sport tuned suspension. And, with the Signature sub-trim equipped, you get a respectable list of standard features. You get more room to customize the Countryman this way too.
Of course, the Hybrid model is a solid choice too. It gives you a nice boost in fuel economy without compromising on power. But it is more expensive than the Cooper S and has many of the same pitfalls.
Overall, the 2022 MINI Countryman is a capable little crossover SUV. Sure, it lacks on space and some utility, but MINI buyers typically go into ownership knowing this full well. While the Countryman might not be the biggest vehicle in this segment, it has a lot of personality - just like you, we're sure.
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