2021 Mini Countryman Oxford Edition review: Value, but at what cost?

Maria J. Danford

You will under no circumstances confuse this automobile for anything at all else, other than a different Mini, probably.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Mini’s Oxford trims are meant to deliver fantastic value for new automobile purchasers without breaking the bank. New for 2021, the Mini Countryman Oxford Version wraps individuals initiatives in a compact SUV shell, offering purchasers further space without a major footprint. Issues is, when you strip away the fripperies that Mini shoehorns into its a lot more costly variants and begin comparing it to the levels of competition, what continues to be would not exactly sense like a fantastic value.

Like

  • Exclusive aesthetics
  • Decently roomy

Don’t Like

  • Incorrigible nickel and diming
  • Asthmatic inline-three
  • Unpleasant trip

The 2021 Mini Countryman is a quirky minimal factor. In a entire world of at any time-sharpening creases and intense styling, the Mini’s Hardtop-but-stung-by-a-bee curvature presents a friendlier aesthetic alternative. The headlights are anime-character major and the Union Jack style in the taillights is exciting. The Oxford Version rides on eighteen-inch wheels (the base model receives 17s), creating the whole shebang glance a minimal less entry-amount than it is.

Inside, the Countryman’s aesthetics again different it from the pack, but at the exact time, it feels a minimal meh for a automobile carrying a $30,000 cost tag. None of the softer plastics sense particularly top quality, but they do a fantastic position at selecting up and holding on to a lot more dust than more challenging resources generally would. The large swath of trim throughout the middle layer of the dashboard appears to be great on a lot more costly variants, but the Oxford’s shiny grey piece appears to be variety of uninteresting and cheap. It is superior than piano black, nevertheless, since this a person at least hides fingerprints superior. Then you can find the aviation-fashion switchgear, which will eternally keep on being the most rewarding toggles to flip in the auto market.

Irrespective of its little form aspect, the Countryman is decently useful. The tray in advance of the cup holders is excellent for stashing a cell phone or a mask, even though an exposed tray beneath the armrest is sizable adequate for a little purse. Visibility is strong, as well, thanks to tall glass and styling that would not sacrifice substantially for an attractive roofline. The Countryman’s shape also suggests you can find ample interior space for grownups throughout the two rows.

The 2021 Mini Countryman is not without its disadvantages, nevertheless. The cargo region has a minimal load flooring, which is great, but its over-all capacity of seventeen.six cubic ft powering the next row lags powering just about just about every feasible competitor, from top quality choices like the Volvo XC40 (20.7 cu. ft.) to mass-market subcompacts like the Kia Soul (24.two) and Hyundai Kona (19.two). The solitary USB-A port up front smashes your cable in opposition to whatever’s in the cup holders. The interior door handles are the reverse of ergonomic, a aspect I have disliked from the beginning. Potentially most galling, nevertheless, is the next-row heart armrest, which would not exist without a $850 Usefulness Package that just isn’t even obtainable on the base trim. 

BMW’s perseverance to squeeze just about every milliliter of blood from the stones that are its customers’ wallets extends to the Mini Countryman’s in-automobile tech. As a younger, strapping new-automobile consumer, possibly you’ve got read of these minimal issues named Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Potentially you’ve got seen that they’re now conventional tools in a staggering selection of new cars and trucks throughout the socioeconomic spectrum. Though the Oxford Version does provide an 8.8-inch touchscreen display that’s larger sized than the conventional six.five-inch getup, you are unable to get it with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or navigation. It’s going to however participate in audio from your app of option by way of USB or Bluetooth, but if you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar, you’re stuck attempting to stare at a tiny Google Maps display down in the cup holder. Thinking of you get CarPlay conventional in a Chevrolet Spark, Mini’s final decision to lock value-trying to get purchasers out of a generally critical technological inclusion is, frankly, stupid and pointless positive, it is obtainable on other trims, which would make the omission below sense totally pointless. The large, LED-bedecked circular bezel all-around the display would make it tough to press the tiny icons alongside the touchscreen’s edges, but generally, this iteration of BMW’s iDrive software package is high-quality.

Given that the Oxford Version is meant as a no-haggle, what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of trim, security units are limited to the most noteworthy types. This Countryman arrives conventional with forward-collision warning, automatic unexpected emergency braking and rear parking sensors. If you want entry to adaptive cruise regulate, a head-up display or self-parking support, you may have to shift to a a lot more costly trim and throw a $1,250 offer into the mix. If you’re hunting for lane-departure warning, lane-maintaining support or blind-spot checking, you may have to glance at a diverse automobile totally.

The Mini’s interior hasn’t adjusted as well substantially more than the yrs.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

That leaves us with the driving working experience. Guess what? That is underwhelming, as well. The Countryman Oxford’s sole motor giving is the base 1.five-liter inline-three that produces 134 horsepower and 162 pound-ft of torque. It’s going to crank out adequate oomph to dart by urban website traffic with relieve, but it feels dead beneath the belt in wider-open suburban and exurban options. Regularly sounding as if it is doing beneath duress, this a few-banger does not like the highway, and even anything as very simple as accelerating from 70 to 80 mph requires preparing. The problem is dire even on paper, with my all-wheel-travel tester established to attain 60 mph in a leisurely 9.six seconds.

The seven-velocity dual-clutch transmission is at its ideal when it would not need to modify gears pushing off from a stoplight feels clunky, deceleration incurs minimal-velocity driveline vibrations and the quit-begin process is so annoyingly obvious that I’m prepared to pay out the further gasoline funds to retain it off completely. It is not really successful, either, giving just 23 miles for each gallon city and 32 mpg highway as it attempts to shove all-around three,300-furthermore lbs . with 4 driven wheels. Oh, and it requires top quality gas.

Possibly the trip is Alright? Nah, fam. In its individual web-site copy, Mini refers to the Oxford Edition’s mounted suspension as “tremendous-restricted,” which is correct to the advantage of nobody. The Countryman is perennially rigid, transferring all method of bumps and humps immediately to the occupants’ skeletons, and in urban locations exactly where the inline-three thrives, that suggests the trip will pretty much normally be not comfortable. Certain, its managing is flat as a pancake, which could make for some remarkable situations on curvy roadways, but not when an motor this weak has to shift this substantially mass with a transmission that is loath to act with any degree of haste.

Mini’s minimal a few-cylinder motor may be high-quality in purely urban environments, but when the roadways open up, it is tough for this minimal man to retain pace.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

I could forgive a ton of this if the 2021 Countryman Oxford basically presented a strong value, but BMW’s impact bleeds into the cost, as well. Such as $850 in place prices, my all-wheel-travel tester rings in at $29,350, which I sense is about $4,000 as well superior offered what you are unable to get. Indeed, there is some value inherent in some of the conventional tools, which features automatic climate regulate, heated front seats and the larger sized touchscreen, but when you line this wannabe-top quality giving up in opposition to mass-market subcompact competition like the Hyundai Kona or Mazda CX-30, it is tough to advise the Mini when its rivals provide so substantially a lot more. Slightly a lot more costly base-trim variants of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40 sense much a lot more entirely baked, as well, even if the window sticker asks a little bit a lot more from your paycheck.

That is the hassle with the 2021 Mini Countryman. Even in its Oxford Version trim, attempting to stand out from the crowd just isn’t adequate to outweigh an undermotivated powertrain and odd aspect packaging with some really noteworthy omissions. If you just must worm your way into the BMW life-style prior to possessing the money suggests to place a Roundel in your garage, the Countryman will serve its mission, but when you acquire a wide range of other things (and cars and trucks) into account, its luster fades speedily.

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