Although the Countryman -- the biggest Mini yet -- is designed to compete with compact premium SUVs, it still embodies Mini's trademark character. That uniqueness extends beyond the car's physical shape to the brand's cheerful, irreverent demeanor as well as the fun-to-drive nature of the car.
The uplevel 189-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder suits the Countryman well. The 3-cylinder turbo is rather underpowered and has an unpleasant sound.
On the road, the Countryman proves agile thanks to its quick steering and distinct exhaust sound, which combine to make the Mini fun to drive. At 3,600 pounds the Countryman may not be the go-kart its pint-sized hatchback brethren are, but it still corners with remarkable enthusiasm.