2021 Mini Countryman SUV Changes Shine Spotlight on Overlooked SUV

Christian Wardlaw | May 28, 2020

What is a 2021 Mini Countryman? For starters, it is the biggest Mini ever made. Positioned as a premium compact crossover SUV, a Mini Countryman seats five people and holds up to 47.6 cu.-ft. of cargo (17.6 cu.-ft. behind the back seat). All-wheel drive is an option, but 6.5 inches of ground clearance means you’ll want to keep it primarily on pavement.

2021 Mini Countryman Cooper S Blue Front View

Given its premium positioning, a Mini Countryman’s main competitors are the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Lexus UX, and Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLB. With a straight face, you could also include the Buick Encore GX, Fiat 500X, and Mazda CX-30 Signature on that list. Or not.

Part of the BMW Group, Mini uses plenty of German engineering in the Countryman, which is based on the same front-drive platform as the BMW X1. Wrapped in classic Mini design and steeped in British tradition, the goals for the 2021 Countryman are an expressive personality, a high degree of personalization, and a fun-to-drive feeling.

Why rehash this detail about an existing vehicle? In spite of its accounting for 40% of Mini’s U.S. sales, the Countryman is a rarity on American roads. Changes to the 2021 Mini Countryman could help to change that.

Changes to the 2021 Mini Countryman - Find the best MINI deals!

The Countryman lineup gets a minor refresh this year. Leading the charge is a redesigned grille, flanked by new standard LED headlights. New wheel designs debut, and around back new LED taillights feature a “Union Jack” motif. The front and rear bumpers are restyled, and now come in full body color trim. Adaptive LED headlights are a new option, and gloss black exterior trim is now available.

New technology is the story for the Countryman’s interior. Revised infotainment systems correspond to the SUV’s trim levels, and most of them include a larger 8.8-inch touchscreen display. Mini Connected services include Intelligent Emergency call, Amazon Alexa voice assistance, and more. Revised controls and piano black gloss trim are new for 2021, and tucked behind a new standard sport leather steering wheel, an available 5-inch digital instrumentation panel debuts for the model year.

2021 Mini Countryman Models and Trim Levels - Find the best MINI deals!

Multiple versions of the 2021 Countryman are available: Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper SE, and John Cooper Works. Trim levels include Classic, Signature, and Iconic, and Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system is either optional or standard.

The engine lineup is unchanged, ranging from the standard 134-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder to the 301-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the John Cooper Works. Most people will find the 189-hp turbo four in the Cooper S satisfactory, while the Cooper SE is a plug-in hybrid with short all-electric range and better fuel economy when driven on gasoline.

New transmission choices include a standard 7-speed dual-clutch automatic with front-drive models and an 8-speed automatic with AWD. The Cooper SE plug-in hybrid continues with a 6-speed automatic.

Mini also adds a handful of new colors, leather choices, and interior trims to the 2021 Countryman, along with a fresh Mini Yours designer appearance scheme. The SUV goes on sale toward the end of the summer of 2020, with prices to be announced closer to that date.

The information in this article is from Mini USA, and it was accurate on May 28, 2020. It may have changed since that date.

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