A Buyer's Guide to the 2012 Mini Countryman

If you’ve always wanted a Mini Cooper, but couldn’t reason giving up so many practical features, you’re not alone. That’s why, in 2012, BMW added the Countryman to its lineup. As a subcompact crossover SUV, this vehicle should make it a lot easier to own a Cooper.

Key Features

Perhaps the most prominent feature of the 2012 Mini—or any Mini, for that matter—is its actual design. This Mini Countryman may not be a Cooper, but the look is still there.

The potential of having a turbo four-cylinder like the one available in the Countryman S is also very exciting and helps perpetuate the reputation of this family of vehicles as being fast and sporty.

Still, some of us want the look and feel of a Mini, but don’t know how to drive a stick. That’s why the option of choosing a 6-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual is appreciated.

Changes for 2012

For 2012, the Mini Countryman was given a couple updates to its equipment. This included an optional rear bench seat that comes at no cost, but can increase seating to five passengers.

You also have a few looks to choose from for your steering wheel.

What We Like

Despite the way it looks on the outside, the interior of the Mini Countryman is actually very impressive. Aside from the room provided for the driver and passengers, there is 41.3 cubic feet of cargo space for storage.

Obviously, having four doors instead of two is more practical for most of us too, meaning the 2012 Countryman is great for those who just can’t justify owning a Cooper.

The 2012 Countryman is wider than the Cooper, but also enjoys an elevated ride height too, which is great for seeing what’s going on around you.

What Concerns Us

Despite all the room it has to offer, the 2012 Mini Countryman isn’t a midsize SUV. If you’re looking for that kind of vehicle, a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V would make a lot more sense.

Also, it would’ve been nice if all-wheel-drive came as a standard feature.

Available Models

There are two models to choose from. The major difference between them is that one has AWD while the other is front-wheel. Choosing AWD will hurt mpg slightly, dropping it from 26/32 to 25/31. You can also add the sports package to your Countryman.

Major Recalls

The 2012 Mini Countryman has never been recalled.

Common Issues

If you go over bumpy roads, this fun speedster may be a bit uncomfortable when you hit those higher numbers on the speedometer.

Some people have reported reliability issues where any Mini is concerned.

Mini Countryman 2012 Interior


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