The countryman is a practical bigger MINI crossover its looks are controversial but is fun to drive.
- More space whilst retaining MINI features
- Efficient diesel engines
- Fun to drive
- Looks are controversial and a personal taste but 30% of Brits seem to like it
- Road noise can be loud
- Few second hand bargains as keeps its value well
Adding a bit of practicality to the MINI range the Countryman is longer than the usual models adding more flexibility and practicality. Almost 1 in 3 MINI sales in the UK opt for the Countryman. The size of a medium hatchback such as Golf or Focus. A high standard of specification as standard with front wheel drive or four-wheel drive ALL4 option. Inside is quite spacious even in the back with decent head and legroom. The dash is the same as in all MINI's so clean and clear with distinctive dials. 350-litre boot space that increases to 450-litres with rear seats pushed forward. Choice of 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre engine in petrol and diesel and a huge choice of trims. The 1.6-litre diesel engine returns a great 64mpg with road tax at £30.00 offering good running costs, however the Countryman isn't cheap it is over 16k new for the entry One D and residual values are high so there are few second hand bargains around. The Brits seem to like the additional space and flexibility of the Countryman.
Best Models: 1.6-litre diesel
- VW Golf
- Ford Focus
- Vauxhall Astra
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money
Reviews - Kia
The Kia Picanto has grown in size and looks, efficient engines and a high spec.
The Picanto has grown up in looks for Kia's smallest model. The girly feminine edge has gone for a more mature, shaper angled look with a large rear window and strong bumper. Available as 5-door and 3-door body styles. The 3-door has a moulded sporty edge which is distinctly different from the 5-door and will appeal to the younger driver. The Picanto has also grown in size increasing passenger space and a larger boot. Inside has a simple layout with automatically controlled air-conditioning, electronic and heated folding door mirrors with side repeaters, automatic light control, steering wheel mounted audio controls, retractable dual cup holders, heated front seats and Intelligent Stop and Go that further enhances fuel economy. Engines are Kappa four-cylinder, 1,248 cc petrol engine that generates 85 ps and a three-cylinder, 998 cc petrol engine produces 69 ps. This combination of advanced technologies means that exhaust emissions have been significantly reduced, so that the new, petrol only, Picanto line-up will have a CO2 rating of 99 to 125 g/km. Fuel economy will range from 67.3 to 42.2 mpg, contributing to lower running costs. Competitively priced and cheap to run the grown up Kia Picanto is a small car that's grown up.
Need To Know
Best Models: 1.25-litre