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

Victoria D. Doty

You’ll in no way confuse this motor vehicle for anything at all else, apart from one more Mini, it’s possible.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Mini’s Oxford trims are meant to deliver wonderful worth for new motor vehicle customers with no breaking the lender. New for 2021, the Mini Countryman Oxford Version wraps those initiatives in a compact SUV shell, supplying buyers further area with no a considerable footprint. Issues is, when you strip away the fripperies that Mini shoehorns into its far more highly-priced variants and begin comparing it to the competitors, what remains does not just experience like a wonderful worth.


  • Exclusive aesthetics
  • Decently roomy

You should not Like

  • Incorrigible nickel and diming
  • Asthmatic inline-three
  • Not comfortable journey

The 2021 Mini Countryman is a quirky minor point. In a world of at any time-sharpening creases and intense styling, the Mini’s Hardtop-but-stung-by-a-bee curvature offers a friendlier aesthetic different. The headlights are anime-character big and the Union Jack design in the taillights is pleasurable. The Oxford Version rides on eighteen-inch wheels (the foundation design will get 17s), producing the complete shebang seem a minor fewer entry-level than it is.

Inside, the Countryman’s aesthetics again separate it from the pack, but at the same time, it feels a minor meh for a motor vehicle carrying a $thirty,000 selling price tag. None of the softer plastics experience particularly high quality, but they do a wonderful work at selecting up and holding on to far more dust than tougher supplies commonly would. The large swath of trim throughout the middle layer of the dashboard seems amazing on far more highly-priced variants, but the Oxford’s shiny gray piece seems type of boring and cheap. It is superior than piano black, although, for the reason that this 1 at least hides fingerprints superior. Then you can find the aviation-model switchgear, which will forever remain the most satisfying toggles to flip in the vehicle sector.

In spite of its compact form variable, the Countryman is decently practical. The tray ahead of the cup holders is excellent for stashing a cell phone or a mask, while an uncovered tray beneath the armrest is sizable sufficient for a compact purse. Visibility is stable, as well, many thanks to tall glass and styling that does not sacrifice much for an desirable roofline. The Countryman’s shape also means you can find ample inside area for older people throughout both equally rows.

The 2021 Mini Countryman is not with no its negatives, although. The cargo region has a reduced load ground, which is great, but its over-all potential of seventeen.six cubic feet at the rear of the next row lags at the rear of nearly each and every possible competitor, from high quality offerings like the Volvo XC40 (20.seven cu. ft.) to mass-industry subcompacts like the Kia Soul (24.two) and Hyundai Kona (19.two). The one USB-A port up entrance smashes your cable towards whatever’s in the cup holders. The inside doorway handles are the opposite of ergonomic, a aspect I have disliked from the starting. Possibly most galling, although, is the next-row heart armrest, which does not exist with no a $850 Usefulness Offer that is just not even offered on the foundation trim. 

BMW’s perseverance to squeeze each and every milliliter of blood from the stones that are its customers’ wallets extends to the Mini Countryman’s in-motor vehicle tech. As a youthful, strapping new-motor vehicle consumer, perhaps you’ve got read of these minor factors named Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Possibly you’ve got noticed that they’re now normal equipment in a staggering number of new cars throughout the socioeconomic spectrum. Even though the Oxford Version does offer you an 8.8-inch touchscreen show that’s more substantial than the normal six.5-inch getup, you can’t get it with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or navigation. It’ll nonetheless enjoy new music from your app of decision by using USB or Bluetooth, but if you happen to be driving somewhere unfamiliar, you happen to be caught trying to stare at a small Google Maps display screen down in the cup holder. Considering you get CarPlay normal in a Chevrolet Spark, Mini’s selection to lock worth-seeking buyers out of a commonly important technological inclusion is, frankly, stupid and pointless absolutely sure, it is really offered on other trims, which would make the omission listed here experience fully needless. The large, LED-bedecked circular bezel close to the display screen would make it hard to push the small icons together the touchscreen’s edges, but commonly, this iteration of BMW’s iDrive software is wonderful.

Because the Oxford Version is meant as a no-haggle, what-you-see-is-what-you-get form of trim, safety programs are minimal to the most noteworthy ones. This Countryman arrives normal with forward-collision warning, automated crisis braking and rear parking sensors. If you want entry to adaptive cruise control, a head-up show or self-parking aid, you will have to transfer to a far more highly-priced trim and throw a $one,250 package deal into the blend. If you happen to be searching for lane-departure warning, lane-retaining aid or blind-place checking, you will have to seem at a various motor vehicle fully.

The Mini’s inside hasn’t improved as well much in excess of the years.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

That leaves us with the driving experience. Guess what? That is underwhelming, as well. The Countryman Oxford’s sole motor featuring is the foundation one.5-liter inline-three that makes 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. It’ll produce sufficient oomph to dart as a result of urban targeted visitors with relieve, but it feels lifeless underneath the belt in wider-open suburban and exurban options. Continuously sounding as if it is really performing beneath duress, this 3-banger does not like the highway, and even one thing as basic as accelerating from 70 to eighty mph requires scheduling. The situation is dire even on paper, with my all-wheel-drive tester set to access 60 mph in a leisurely 9.six seconds.

The 7-velocity twin-clutch transmission is at its ideal when it does not require to change gears pushing off from a stoplight feels clunky, deceleration incurs reduced-velocity driveline vibrations and the prevent-begin method is so annoyingly apparent that I am eager to pay the further gasoline funds to hold it off permanently. It is not extremely productive, possibly, featuring just 23 miles for each gallon city and 32 mpg highway as it attempts to shove close to three,three hundred-furthermore lbs . with four driven wheels. Oh, and it requires high quality gasoline.

Perhaps the journey is Alright? Nah, fam. In its personal internet site duplicate, Mini refers to the Oxford Edition’s preset suspension as “super-limited,” which is correct to the benefit of nobody. The Countryman is perennially stiff, transferring all way of bumps and humps specifically to the occupants’ skeletons, and in urban locations where the inline-three thrives, that means the journey will nearly normally be not comfortable. Sure, its dealing with is flat as a pancake, which could make for some thrilling occasions on curvy roads, but not when an motor this weak has to transfer this much mass with a transmission that is loath to act with any degree of haste.

Mini’s minor 3-cylinder motor may possibly be wonderful in purely urban environments, but after the roads open up, it is really hard for this minor guy to preserve pace.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

I could forgive a good deal of this if the 2021 Countryman Oxford in fact introduced a stable worth, but BMW’s impact bleeds into the selling price, as well. Including $850 in destination costs, my all-wheel-drive tester rings in at $29,350, which I experience is about $four,000 as well significant given what you can’t get. Of course, there is some worth inherent in some of the normal equipment, which involves automated climate control, heated entrance seats and the more substantial touchscreen, but when you line this wannabe-high quality featuring up towards mass-industry subcompact rivals like the Hyundai Kona or Mazda CX-thirty, it is really hard to advise the Mini when its rivals offer you so much far more. A little far more highly-priced foundation-trim variants of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40 experience far far more completely baked, as well, even if the window sticker asks a little bit far more from your paycheck.

That is the problems with the 2021 Mini Countryman. Even in its Oxford Version trim, trying to stand out from the crowd is just not sufficient to outweigh an undermotivated powertrain and weird aspect packaging with some extremely noteworthy omissions. If you simply just should worm your way into the BMW way of living ahead of possessing the economical means to put a Roundel in your garage, the Countryman will provide its mission, but when you acquire a range of other things (and cars) into account, its luster fades swiftly.

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