For weeks we have been treated to images, videos and the impressive specs of the MINI All-4 John Cooper Works Countryman. We knew the Countryman wouldn’t come cheap; the BMW Group produces quality automobiles and the quality is always reflected in vehicle MSRP. It was a safe assumption that an all-wheel-drive, performance-tuned compact crossover MINI would be expensive. Our suspicions have been confirmed.
The JCW Countryman will enter the U.S, market retailing at $35,550 including destination fees. Of course, this price is sure to hover around $40,000 once customers have finished selecting the additional features and options that match their lifestyle and needs. Owners will be treated to MINI’s All-4 all-wheel-drive system, as well as a 208-hp 1-6 liter turbocharged engine that propels the vehicle from 0-62 mph in 7 seconds flat and tops out at 127 mph. The JCW also features a lower ride height, performance brakes and a sport suspension.
The JCW Countryman packs a lot of punch for a vehicle of its size and class. Performance, it seems, is not something this Countryman lacks. However, the $35k+ base price leaves us wondering how it will perform in the most important metric: sales. There are few vehicles that compare directly to the JCW Countryman, though the BMW X1 instantly comes to mind. Also produced by the BMW Group, the X1 is a luxury compact crossover that starts with a base price just north of $31,000. Customers willing to spend more (to the tune of $39,345) can enjoy the xDrive 35i model which comes with an impressive 300 hp and all wheel drive (the base model xDrive28i comes standard with rear-wheel-drive).
The JCW Countryman will also receive competition from the Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forrester, Suzuki Grand Vitara and the king of the marketplace, the Toyota Rav4. Granted, most of these vehicles do not compare to the JCW Countryman in terms of pedigree or performance, but prospective buyers in the marketplace will undoubtedly be tempted by the lower prices of the aforementioned group. It will be fun to see how the JCW Countryman fares. We wish it the best!
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