The 2023 Cooper Countryman JCW SUV isn’t the sportiest model in the Mini family, but it’s definitely the speediest. Thanks to its 301-hp turbo-four engine, eight-speed automatic, and standard all-wheel drive, the chunky little crossover charged to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, making it the quickest Mini we’ve ever tested–even beating out the smaller and lighter Cooper JCW GP. Unfortunately, the Countryman JCW isn’t as engaging to drive when the road coils, a byproduct of its hefty curb weight and high center of gravity. Still, its plus-size proportions (for a Mini, anyway) will entice anyone looking for a quirky subcompact SUV with a useable back seat. Its interior looks unique and boasts nice materials that match its price tag. We just wish the 2023 Countryman JCW had a bigger cargo area and a smoother ride.
What’s New for 2023?
For 2023, the Countryman JCW doesn’t receive many updates. A space-saving spare tire and adaptive cruise control are both now standalone options. The latter feature used to be included in the Driver Assistance package, which now adds a head-up display and self-parking assist.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the Signature model offers the best value. It also unlocks more paint-color options and standard features than the Classic, including dual-zone climate control, a Harman/Kardon sound system, heated front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. We’d select the Signature Upholstery package for its nicer interior materials, such as black leather seats with microsuede inserts. We’d also consider the Convenience and Driver Assistance packages, which together include a head-up display, a rear-seat armrest, and a picnic cushion that folds out of the cargo area, giving you a place to relax with the liftgate up.
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Cooper Countryman JCW is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that churns out 301 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters routes that torque to all four wheels. It’s the quickest Mini we’ve ever tested, and all that grunt sounds good when trumpeted through the JCW’s exhaust system. While the maximum sound level is reserved for the sportiest drive mode (Sport), the hi-po Countryman can still be soothing in Comfort mode. This subcompact crossover comes with a sport-tuned suspension that delivers entertaining handling and a stiff ride, and it shines as one of the most athletic picks in its class.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Countryman JCW is expected to earn 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. Not bad for one of the hottest baby SUVs you can buy. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the Countryman JCW delivered 32 mpg. For more information about the Countryman JCW’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside, the Cooper Countryman JCW offers cheerful design elements and premium materials. The infotainment display sits above the center stack in a circular housing, which is very Mini. The Countryman offers reasonably spacious accommodations for passengers, with a good amount of legroom for people in both rows. The Countryman provides 18 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear bench, fitting six carry-on suitcases in that space. That’s one more than the Mini Cooper Clubman station wagon can manage, but one fewer than the BMW X1 holds. With the seats down, the Countryman offers 48 cubes of cargo room and accommodates 16 suitcases. The Volvo XC40 fits 25 in the same configuration.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Mini has equipped the Cooper Countryman JCW with a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary input jack, and Apple CarPlay. You can upgrade your setup with available features such as a Harman/Kardon audio system and an 8.8-inch touchscreen. The options list also includes navigation, and wireless device charging. Android Auto isn’t available.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Mini has equipped the JCW with useful driver-assistance features, but lane-keeping assist and blind-spot monitoring are noticeably absent. For information about the Countryman JCW’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mini provides respectable warranty coverage and three years of included scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2020 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works ALL4
front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$50,100 (base price: $42,250)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
122 in3, 1998 cm3
301 hp @ 6250 rpm
331 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 14.2-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli Cinturato P7 Run Flat PNCS, P225/45R-19 92W ★
Wheelbase: 105.1 in
Length: 169.8 in
Width: 71.7 in
Height: 61.3 in
Passenger volume: 97 ft3
Cargo volume: 17 ft3
Curb weight: 3745 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 4.4 sec
100 mph: 11.6 sec
130 mph: 22.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.9 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.4 sec
¼-mile: 13.1 sec @ 105 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 144 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.91 g
Observed: 21 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 32 mpg
Highway range: 510 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 26/23/30 mpg
More Features and Specs