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Ted's MINI Countryman JCW Review

Seasons greetings, Beagle fans! Welcome to another review from your best friend's point of view! Yesterday, I took a look at the MINI Countryman JCW - a surprisingly spacious not-really-MINI with John Cooper Works engine boost. Does MINI's take on the SUV get the Snifferscope seal of approval?

Checking out the Mini Countryman. Sniff, sniff.

Well, yes and no. I must admit, on our way to review the Countryman JCW, my expectations were low. Historically, MINI haven't put much stock in being able to fit things in the back seat, whether it be a dog, a human, or really anything larger than a small chew toy. Not so here, Beagle fans. Despite being smaller than any other SUV you can think of, the Countryman manages to match a lot of them for interior space. On top of this, it handles smoothly, clings to the road like a rubber-soled greyhound, and retains that quirky MINI charm. The Countryman JCW feels like a husky-sized chihuahua, which is a very good thing for people who love chihuahuas.

A surprising amount of boot space

"... though personally, I prefer Beagles."

However, MINI's mini SUV suffers from being just that: a little car made bigger. Some will still find it too small, and this canine defies anyone to not notice how much petrol it drinks. Compared to other SUVs in its class (in the same price range), the Countryman JCW is probably the least practical option, probably the least efficient option, and certainly one of the least comfortable. Why one of the least comfortable? Because the suspension is terrible. Pooper scooper terrible.

For those dog lovers heart-set on owning a MINI, this is paws-down the clear choice. For anyone with a broader palate, neither the Countryman or Countryman JCW can compete with a proper SUV. In this humble hound's opinion, buyers would be better off looking at market leaders like BMW's X3 if you want real bark for your buck.

Good bark for your buck. I shall get my coat.

But alas, dear Beagle fans, we must part again. Till next time!