Mini Countryman review - Mini looks, but where's the Mini fun? - Mini Countryman design

Mini’s new SUV has grown up, but it’s lost the Mini fun factor along the way

Evo rating
Price
from £22,465
  • Refined, comfortable, quality cabin, effective all-wheel drive
  • Grown up at the expense of enjoyment, grabby brakes

We’re blowing hot and cold on the new Countryman’s shape. From the front it’s an undoubted improvement on the previous model - the squared-off headlights and slimmer grille make the front look wider and less surprised-looking than before. From the front three-quarters it also looks a little more mature, and less barrel-sided than before.

But around the sides it all gets a bit messy, with the impression of blistered arches (but not the squat stance those typically entail), and at the back it’s a rather awkward shape, less distinctive than before and looking more like a regular Mini whose features have been inflated.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

There’s no doubting at all which manufacturer has created the Countryman - and if you’re worried about people mistaking your Mini for anything else there’s still a huge range of personalisation options to drive the point home - but Mini’s products continue to look ever more contrived.

Rival products may also be an acquired taste - we’re thinking of the Toyota C-HR here - but at least designers at other firms have freedom to not base their cars on the design of a city car from 1959...

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/maserati/granturismo/201792/maserati-granturismo-zeda-run-out-model-revealed
Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo Zéda run-out model revealed

It’s out with the old, in with the new as the final GranTurismo paves the way for Maserati’s ambitious electrified future
12 Nov 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019