2018 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Review

The MINI JCW Counrtyman is the big brother in the family. It’s the biggest and fastest vehicle in the MINI line up.

For 2018, the new MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 is powered by the brand’s most powerful engine to date – 2.0 litre, twin turbo 4-cylinder producing 228 horsepower. The JCW Countryman can sprint from 0 – 100 km/h is just 6.5 seconds. It was fun to drive paired with the 8-speed Steptronic sports transmission.

As the flagship rally-inspired John Cooper Work model, the Countryman is upgraded with sports suspension, 19-inch John Cooper Works Course Spoke wheels and Brembo sports brake system.

My test vehicle is also fully equipped with panorama sunroof, heated seats, on-board navigation, wireless charging, MINI Connected XL, SiriusXM and Harman Kardon sound system.

You can listen to your Spotify or iTunes playlist on the amazing 12-speaker Harman Kardon system specifically for MINI. The 5.1 surround sound system feature 5 tweeters, 5 mid-range speakers, and 2 central bass speakers.

On the inside, the JCW Countryman is decked out in MINI Yours Lounge Leather Carbon Black seat and steering wheel. The seats feature braided welt trim, a union jack signet and Union Jack headrests, and the steering wheel is hand-finished with aluminum coloured contrast stitching.

One of the customizable feature is ambient lighting colour in the cabin and LED ring in the centre dashboard. The colour change in response to certain events like engine acceleration, climate control adjustments, incoming calls or set to a constant colour depending on your mood.

MINI Connected XL is the smart enhancement to MINI Connected with a series of standalone apps. The Journey Mate app plots your trip, integrating real-time traffic, weather and gas mileage. It alerts you of gas stations along the way and will help find parking near your destination.

There’s even a GoPro app that syncs with MINI Connected allowing you to control your GoPro camera from the 8.8″ centre console screen. It’s a fun app to capture your road trip memories.

The handy backup camera and parking sensor makes it easy to manoeuvre through tight areas and blindspots. The parking sensor on the rear bumper measure the distance between the vehicle and an object. As you move closer to the object the sounds become more rapid until it changes to a full tone when you are within a foot.

There’s also the optional Parallel Park Assistant. Using ultrasonic sensors, all you have to do is shift into reverse and the MINI can automatically park itself.

One of the futuristic feature is the Head-Up Display which projects speed and navigation info within your field of vision, so you can keep your attention on the road.

In addition, the MINI comes with active and passive safely features like adaptive headlights, drive-off assistant, cornering brake control (CBC), dynamic stability control (DSC), dynamic traction control (DTC), anti-lock braking system (ABS), intelligent airbags, crash sensor system and run-flat tires.

My go-to setting is Sport mode for more responsive acceleration and handling. You can customize the stiffness of the MINI’s suspension for extra performance. Loosen the shocks to get stronger grip on the road or stiffen it up for ultra-responsive drive.

On the other hand, you can switch to Green mode for fuel-friendly driving in the city or highway.

During my test drive, there was a snowstorm and the ALL4 All-Wheel Drive system works flawlessly. The MINI’s ALL4 All-Wheel Drive system handles the snowy and icy road well. The system calculates the ideal traction distribution required and distributes variable power between front and rear axles.

Overall, the 2018 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 was fun to drive in the urban streets to the country roads. It’s the fastest MINI on the market powered by a 228 horsepower turbo-charged engine. The Countryman is a cool crossover with retro styling and equipped latest driver assistance and connectivity tech.

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: james@hellovancity.com

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