Battle of the Minis: What's Better, the Mini Cooper or the Countryman?

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The Mini Cooper has long been the face of the Mini brand, but its cousin of sorts, the Countryman, is an alternative option for drivers looking for a little more edge in their new car.
Stylish with well-appointed interiors and respectable performance, both crossovers represent solid choices for fans of Mini’s iconic look. But looking at the Mini Cooper vs. the Countryman overall, does one offer a better experience than the other?
A Mini Countryman being driven down a road with greenery on either side and tall hills in the background
The Countryman has some distinct differences when compared to the Mini Cooper.

Overall size and storage space in the Mini Cooper vs. Countryman

With many of today’s popular vehicles being larger trucks and midsize SUV options, these Minis are on the smaller side, but don't let that fool you. They are still both relatively comfortable and accommodating. 
The two Mini models may look initially the same, but as HotCars mentioned, the Countryman is the slightly larger of the two.
That difference in size is noticeable upon closer examination. It's almost as though the Countryman is a slightly inflated version of the Mini Cooper.
The Cooper has a maximum of 40.7 cu-ft of cargo space while the Countryman has roughly seven cubic feet more, with a total of 47.6 cu-ft.
On the exterior, the Countryman offers roof rails that increase your ability to carry additional items and cargo.

Mini Cooper vs. Countryman: what are the differences in performance?

One of the top concerns among car aficionados and those looking for a sporty model involves performance. The Mini Cooper and Countryman both offer the same engines and comparable fuel economy.
According to Vista Mini, the Mini Cooper 4-door hardtop and the Countryman pack the same 1.5-liter, three-cylinder, TwinPower Turbo engine. What's more, they both dole out a decent 134 hp along with 162 lb-ft of torque.
If power is your top priority, the Cooper S has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine offering a more impressive 301 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque, according to Vista Mini.
Presumably due to the sizing of the models, fuel economy differs in the Mini Cooper vs. the Countryman. The Cooper is rated for 28 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. The Countryman, on the other hand, is slightly less efficient at 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway.
However, one significant difference between the Mini Cooper vs. Countryman is the drivetrain. According to Vista Mini, the Countryman is considered the better all-terrain option with its standard all-wheel drive.
In addition, the Countryman has a Steptronic Sport automatic transmission and selectable driving modes, providing better control when navigating challenging terrain.

Leather-accented interiors, modern technology, and respectable safety features

HotCars noted that the Mini Cooper and Countryman offer leather upholstery, heated seats, and a head-up display, but the Countryman adds a little extra flair with a generous panoramic sunroof.
According to Vista Mini, both vehicles come standard with a 6.5-inch entertainment screen. An 8.8-inch screen is available as an optional upgrade if you prefer.
A navigation system, wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, and an impressive Harman Kardon stereo system can be added to either vehicle at extra cost, according to HotCars.
With regard to safety in the Mini Cooper vs. Countryman, both have standard driver assistance features, which are increasingly popular, as well as eight airbags in the cabin.
When it comes down to it, determining the better of the two cars will depend on your needs. If you're in the market for a slightly larger, all-terrain-capable vehicle that still has the traditional Mini looks, go with the Countryman.
As HotCars explained, “The Countryman operates more like a small SUV,” while “the Cooper operates more like a car.” If a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle fits your lifestyle, the Mini Cooper would be ideal.
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