Known for its unmistakably iconic styling and lively handling, the quirky Mini brand applies this blueprint to the Countryman. It shares its platform with the 10Best-winning BMW X1, which lends a refined ride and a spacious rear seat. Available with front-wheel drive, the Countryman packs a turbocharged engine of 134-hp. While Mini's funkiness isn't for the mainstream, the Countryman definitely puts the fun in functional.
The Countryman's interior is typically Mini in its design, including gimmicky elements such as an infotainment system set in a large circular housing in the center of the dash and toggle switches for controlling items such as the interior lights, ignition, and the standard automatic stop/start system. If you can get past the whimsical design, there's a lot to like about the Countryman's cabin, which is assembled from high-quality materials and offers adequate passenger space. The rear bench seat is mounted high and offers enough space for long-haul comfort, although adding a rear-seat armrest requires the purchase of the convenience package. The gas-powered three-cylinder Countryman and four-cylinder S model have nearly identical EPA city and highway estimates that are competitive with rivals.