The introduction of the MINI Cooper Countryman charted completely new territory for the brand. Of course, MINI is a marque unafraid of expanding its product line; since the reintroduction of the Cooper Hardtop to North America in 2002, MINI’s offerings have proliferated so quickly the company mascot ought to be a bunny rabbit rather than a bulldog.
Currently, MINI offers seven different models; that’s more than Buick, more than Acura, more than Lincoln, and just as many as Cadillac. In addition to the original Cooper hardtop, there are now a pair of two-seat MINIs in both Coupe and Roadster formats (for the rest of this year at least), a convertible version of the Hardtop, the Clubman crossover coupe, a four-door version of the Hardtop, and the subject of this road test and review, the 2015 MINI Cooper Countryman.
Now here, we have to admit, when we first heard MINI was planning a crossover SUV-ish version of the Cooper, we were somewhat less than impressed. In fact, we pigeonholed it as one more example of jumping on a bandwagon. And honestly, as predisposed as we were to the idea of what a crossover SUV should be, when we saw it, we were even less impressed.
Which is why prejudice has no place in this world.
Turns out the Cooper Countryman is a pretty neat little car.