2012 MINI Countryman Review


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4.4 5 stars
Based on 9 reviews

2012 MINI Countryman Overview

Entering its second year of production, the 4-door, 4-passenger 2012 MINI Countryman, which has a lengthy options list, made no major changes to its configuration for this year, with only a couple of minor option additions, such as changes to the steering wheel cover and tweaks to the wheels and upholstery.

The three trim levels for the 2012 MINI Countryman are the Base, S and S ALL4, all of which come with a standard 1.6 liter 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder aluminum-alloy premium gasoline engine, which is turbocharged in the S trim levels. The standard engine achieves 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, while the turbocharged powertrain reaches 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. All trims come equipped with a 6-speed manual Getrag transmission with overdrive (which is upgradeable to an Aisin 6-speed automatic transmission). The Base and S trims are front-wheel drive (FWD), and the S ALL4 is all-wheel drive (AWD).

Fuel economy varies depending on trim and transmission. The Base trim with a manual transmission is estimated to get 27 mpg city/35 highway, while the Base with an automatic transmission is estimated to get 25/30. The S gets 26/32 with a standard transmission and 25/32 with an automatic transmission. Mileage drops slightly with the S ALL4, achieving 25/31 with a manual transmission and 23/30 with an automatic.

The Base Countryman has a number of standard features, including air conditioning, cruise control, tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel (with audio and cruise controls), leatherette upholstery, height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear bucket seats or bench seat, roof rails, trip computer, 6-speaker sound system with an AM/FM/HD radio with a CD player and MP3 capability, Sirius XM satellite radio (with a 1-year subscription to the Sirius Select package), auxiliary audio jack and 17-inch 5-spoke or tunnel-spoke alloy wheels (with performance run-flat or all-season tires), which can also be had with a black finish. The Countryman S trims add sport seats and fog lamps as standard equipment.

Numerous upgrades and packages can personalize the 2012 MINI Countryman. For example, the Cold Weather Package adds power-folding heated side mirrors and heated front seats, while the Premium Package adds a keyless entry system, chrome interior finishes, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rain-sensing windshield wiper, automatic headlights and automatic air conditioning. The Technology Package adds a 480-watt Harman Kardon sound system (with 10 speakers), rear park distance control, Bluetooth HandsFree technology and iPhone integration system. A navigation system, part of the MINI Connected configuration, can be added for an additional fee to the Technology Package. The Sport Package can be configured with either 18-inch Turbo Fan spoke wheels (in either aluminum or white with premium run-flat or all-season tires) and/or Bonnet Stripes. Many of the package options are also available individually, depending on the trim level. Other available individual options include chrome mirror caps, a rear spoiler, Anthracite headliner, sport suspension, Xenon headlights, alarm system and dual-pane panoramic sunroof.

Standard safety features for all 2012 MINI Countryman trims include 7 airbags (driver and front passenger frontal air bags, driver and passenger side-impact airbags, 2 ceiling-mounted side-curtain airbags and a front passenger knee airbag), 4-wheel disc brakes with an antilock braking system and adjustable traction control system.

Body color options for the 2012 MINI Countryman are Light White, Bright Yellow, Light Coffee, Absolute Black, Cosmic Blue, Oxford Green, Pure Red, Surf Blue, Royal Gray, Crystal Silver and True Blue. Roof and mirror color options are body color, Black or White, and the available interior colors are Carbon Black and Pure Red in cloth; Carbon black in leatherette; and Carbon Black, Pure Red, Polar Beige, Light Coffee, Light Tobacco, and Lounge Black in leather. Not all interior options are available for all trim levels.

Given that the 2012 MINI Countryman is equipped in a similar fashion as the lighter MINI Cooper 2-door hatchback, it should not be that surprising to find that owners, while reveling in the extra space that the Countryman provides as well as its customizable options, are not as enamored with its handling, which is described as sluggish, plodding and just plain slow. The AWD Countryman gets slightly better reviews for shifting and handling, but still places it behind similar compact crossovers such as the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Soul.


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