If there’s a reason to buy the 2022 Mini Countryman, it’s the 301-hp turbo four that’s under the hood. Available only on the John Cooper Works (JCW) model, this BMW-sourced mill is much mightier than the feeble 134-hp three-cylinder and 189-hp four-pot found in non-JCW versions (reviewed separately). It produces 331 pound-feet of torque and pushes the Countryman JCW to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, making it the quickest Mini we’ve ever tested. The JCW comes standard with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. But while straight-line speed is this car’s superpower, the Countryman fails to embody Mini’s go-kart-like driving ethos. For those content with trading some fun behind the wheel for more cargo and passenger space, this car makes sense. That is, of course, if the funky styling and firm ride aren’t deal breakers.
What’s New for 2022?
Mini has expanded the availability of the Convenience and Driver Assistance packages and raised the Countryman JCW’s electronically limited top speed from 149 to 155 mph.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the Signature model offers the best value. It also unlocks more paint-color options and standard features than the Classic, including dual-zone climate control, a Harman/Kardon sound system, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. We’d select the Signature Upholstery package for its nicer interior materials, such as black leather seats with microsuede inserts. We’d also consider the Convenience and Driver Assistance packages, which together add adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a rear-seat armrest, and a picnic cushion that folds out of the cargo area, giving you a place to relax with the liftgate up.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Cooper Countryman JCW is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that churns out 301 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters routes that torque to all four wheels. It’s the quickest Mini we’ve ever tested, and all that grunt sounds good when trumpeted through the JCW’s exhaust system. While the maximum sound level is reserved for the sportiest drive mode (Sport), the hi-po Countryman can still be soothing in Comfort mode. This subcompact crossover comes with a sport-tuned suspension that delivers entertaining handling and a stiff ride, and it shines as one of the most athletic picks in its class.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Countryman JCW is expected to earn 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. Not bad for one of the hottest baby SUVs you can buy. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the Countryman JCW delivered 32 mpg. For more information about the Countryman JCW’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Cooper Countryman JCW offers cheerful design elements and premium materials. The infotainment display sits above the center stack in a circular housing, which is very Mini. The Countryman offers reasonably spacious accommodations for passengers, with a good amount of legroom for people in both rows. The Countryman provides 18 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear bench, fitting six carry-on suitcases in that space. That’s one more than the Mini Cooper Clubman station wagon can manage, but one fewer than the BMW X1 holds. With the seats down, the Countryman offers 48 cubes of cargo room and accommodates 16 suitcases. The Volvo XC40 fits 25 in the same configuration.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Mini has equipped the Cooper Countryman JCW with a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary input jack, and Bluetooth for hands-free calls and music streaming. You can upgrade your setup with available features such as a Harman/Kardon audio system and an 8.8-inch touchscreen. The options list also includes navigation, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and wireless device charging. Android Auto isn’t available.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Mini has equipped the JCW with useful driver-assistance features, but lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring are noticeably absent. For information about the Countryman JCW’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mini provides respectable warranty coverage and three years of included scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles