Posted Apr 14th 2014 2:58PM
The standard Mini Countryman is a bit of an odd duck against the backdrop of 'normal' small crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Escape, but I sort of get it. Apply the same winning Mini formula to a CUV, and you get a smaller-than-average entry in the segment, one that is far more entertaining to drive than the norm, more stylish inside and out and pretty expensive when cross-shopped. That list of qualities doesn't appeal to all crossover shoppers, sure, but it intrigues a big enough list that the Countryman has reason for being.
Now, add the expensive John Cooper Works package to the Countryman's already niche goodies list, and Mini starts to lose me. So, I'm getting the softer suspended, taller, generally less dynamically joyful version of the brand's core values, but now you're charging me at least $38,500 to start ($13k more expensive than the basic, $25,500 front-drive Cooper Countryman and $8,600 more than the starting MSRP of the $29,900 Cooper S All4 version)? What's that? You're going to make it look like a garish, tippy-toed tuner car in the process? Take my money. Or, actually, let me keep it. I can swing with a lot of the weirdness that Mini has to offer, but this car pushed me past my limit... READ FULL REVIEW