It also offers a good balance of versatility and performance with a four-door sedan that stays true to the car’s retro design. With engine output up 39 horsepower over the previous JCW-engine Minis, there is 228 horsepower on tap with an enhanced drivetrain and suspension to make good use of the additional power.
The car is well-balanced, with solid road-holding and little body lean. The engine provides lots of torque for spirited driving and provides a nice-sounding exhaust note.
The car is great fun to drive in sport mode, where the driver manually shifts the automatic transmission with the shift lever. The car’s interior provides a polished fit and finish. The controls and gauges are a little different from the usual Mini offering but are user-friendly. The seats are firm, but comfortable.
The ride is noisy on concrete roads or pavement strips and the heads-up display is obscured by reflections in the windshield when the sun hits it at certain angles.
The Mini, no matter what version, has always been a fun and zippy car to drive. The JCW Countryman ALL4 is certainly that but provides a high level of usefulness with its size and all-wheel-drive. Far from an econobox, this entry into the small SUV crossover market provides enough options and upscale packages to satisfy all.
BASE PRICE: $38,890
PRICE AS TESTED: $48,730
ENGINE: 2.0-liter inline four, turbocharged.
POWER/TORQUE: 228 HP, 258 LB-FT.
FUEL MILEAGE: 9.2L/100 km, overall.
DRIVETRAIN: Eight-speed automatic with 3.2:1 final drive ratio / Six-speed manual with 4.05:1 final drive ratio / Brembo brake system / P225/35R/19 tires.
SPECIFICATIONS: Weight: 1657 KG (3653 LB) / Wheelbase: 2669 MM (105.1”) / Fuel capacity: 61 L / Storage space: 450 L (1390 L with rear seats folded).