What Should MINI Make: Beachcomber vs Countryman Coupe

So MINI has a decision to make. In order to leverage the Countryman platform, they’re considering green-lighting either the MINI Beachcomber concept (seen last year in Detroit) or a two (or four) door coupe version of the Countryman (internally known as the Canyon). While they may end up making both, there’s a good chance that there will be just one produced at the Magna Steyr plant where the Countryman is currently made. So our question to you; which one do you want.

Beachcomber vs the Countryman Coupe

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  • JonPD

    Tough choice. Seems though I’ve read a lot lately about other manufactures working on small two-door SUVs (crossover if you prefer). I think the COUPE would stand for better sales as its potential market I think is above that of the Beachcomber.

  • I say build the Beachcomber. Keep the coupe for the twins and hatchback!

  • steve u

    Put both these on the backbuner and build the Mini Mini Cooper!

  • Countrymen Coupe

    Reason 1: Customer base There are ton of Dad’s that would buy a Countryman Coupe for their daughter heading off to college. The stance of the Countryman make a parent “feel” more safe. It sits up higher than the Cooper line. Casual track guys and gals would love it. I would drive a Countryman Coupe over my R55. As long it was an S and a 5spd. Living in Colorado I would love an AWD option in a two/three door. Oh I had to be able to put some lowering coils on it too. 🙂

    Reason 2: Marketing Look at the Ford Explorer. Stop! I’m not comparing the vehicles, but the market of consumers that buy 2dr&4dr 4×4 or AWD vehicles. The Explorer Sport was a very successful vehicle for Ford. During the Explorer’s heyday I worked at Ford Motor Company. That model was used over and over in advertising. Ford would advertise the 4dr model, then quote the pricing on the 2wd Sport(2dr) model. It worked very well for us. Mini does this when marketing the Cooper S vs the Cooper. Pricing quoted in advertising is usually the JACooper price. It make more sense for this reason alone.

    Reason 3: Doorless Have a semi doorless model is really cool for car shows, but not particle in the real world. How would it pass side impact safety standards?. It would have to have real doors that can be removed.

  • lavardera

    I think neither. Fast forward to the car based on the R60 underpinnings. Something that is actually in the C class size, that will be the natural comparison to the Golf and the Mazda3.

    And make sure you kick their ass.

  • I thought about adding a 3rd option but I figured I’d keep this question laser focused on these two cars. Perhaps we’ll do more broad poll later in the week.

  • that.guy

    I need that 3rd option.

  • At what point is it no longer a MINI?

  • D. J.

    Totally would go for the Beachcomber. Right now, I have a Cooper S Convertible and a Land Cruiser. The Beachcomber seems like a perfect blend of the two for everyday and vacation driving.

    As long as it could tow a small trailer and have a good roof rack to hold skis and bikes, I’d be ALL over it. As would a whole lot of Subaru Outback drivers looking for something more sporty. Boulder would be packed with Beachcombers if they existed.

  • JonPD

    Did not vote for either, not to surprisingly I am waiting for a future poll with a third option.

  • Alexandre

    I would vote for the Coupe. Like JohnJohn, I think the Beachcomber is nice for a car show but not that practical in real life, except maybe in CA;) In my opinion the Coupe stands out as it adds something to the MINI model range while they could propose a Beachcomber package as an option for the Countryman.

  • i say coupe… but hope they keep the the countryman, front it just looks mean… and less subaruish…

  • Neither. Pointless waste of resources. The market is already glutted with non-MINIs.

  • superc00per

    You mean they haven’t green lighted the beachcomber yet? A light off road 4×4 with open roof that’s actually reliable? What’s not to love?

  • r.burns

    Frederic Haberer you’re right, but it’s like Porsche, forced to sell Cayenne and Panamera, they cannot only sell 911 or the classic Mini

  • lavardera

    I’d like the fourth option too, which is the Mini at the same size as the classic.

  • goat

    @lavardera: +1 * 1000!!! yes, a more mini MINI, closer in size to the classic… that would be more of a halo car than any JCW even! I’d buy it in a heartbeat…

  • JonPD

    Actually r.burns I have heard this many times over the years. The base fact though is that while its ideal that likes of MINI and Porsche are able to stand on their own. MINI like Porsche are just a small part of the overall brand. I would argue if having either of them loosing their unique point of views is worth them trying to become fully profitable. VW just like BMW should be viewed as a whole when it comes to profitability.

    BMW is happy to bring the MINI into their brand stats when efficiency of the brand is touted. I think they need to stop thinking about MINI as a separate company and more of a division of BMW as a whole. Instead of having the two brands compete for the same market I think leveraging both to specialize in what they do the best. Leave small fwd vehicles with MINI and upscale SUVs and sedans with BMW. I have not heard anybody talk about Rolls Royce producing a myriad of vehicles to become self sufficient. Instead they specialize in producing vehicles that are in tune with their are of specialization.

  • MatthewW

    I would vote, but I haven’t seen the Countryman in person yet.

    I’m in the mini MINI camp, too (as I’ve mentioned here a lot 🙂

  • r.burns

    JonPD I understand your point of view, but who does not grow up, dies… Mini wants to grow up, they don’t have the choice of a middle way, it is a full rise up, or nothing.

    Look at Lotus, they were gently starving, they just found that their only hope was to sell 100,000 vehicules rather than 10,000…

  • Paul

    I say Beachcomber.

    We already have a coupe… it’s called the Cooper.

    What we don’t have is an off-road capable vehicle (for those of us who do actually go off-road).

  • Borinot

    The fashion for off-road is over and the SUV is ending. SUVs are becoming less off-road and more and more urban, soon only will be a hight car. I think MINI has come late to the SUV´s race and will only get crumbs in the medium and long term.

  • KPH

    If Saudi Arabia wants a Beachcomber they’ll let MINI know. The Coupe is now equally as clumsy looking as the latest over sized Outback iteration and it seems to be selling well, so the Coupe might be an upscale success. Not fascinated with either choice or the Countryman actually.

  • glangford

    Coupe. If I want an off road vehicle, I’ll buy a real off road vehicle.

  • Aaron

    I’m with Steve U and Lavardera (and probably Jon PD):


    I’ve been a supporter of the R60 throughout its development, but I really would like to see MINI stay small and unique. The coupe and roadster are positive developments (just the other day I mentioned the roadster to a friend who was considering whether to buy a MINI or a Miata, and his eyes literally lit up when he heard about the roadster on the way). I absolutely love my R56 and while I could see the need for an R60, I would really love to see them bring back something akin to the classic. MINI could tear SMART a new one in that market.

  • CraigE

    JohnPD I hope you realize that it makes absolutely no sense at all to compare MINI and Rolls Royce the way you did? In one case you have a consumer level vehicle produced in mass quantities at a $20,000-40,000 price point. You are attempting to compare that to a brand that sells cars for $250,000 to over $1,000,000. I daresay that when you sell a car for that much, you should not need to sell as many to be profitable. Rolls Royce also has few competitors whereas MINI has many.

  • Bor

    absolutely the Beachcomber – I would take a lighter MINI any day.

    It will also broaden the MINI addressable market by quite a bit – just take a look at how many Wranglers are driving around !

    The coupe seem to be just a Countryman with 2 doors removed (so what?)

  • Greg W

    BOTH – an easy conversion from one to other if designed to suit. Big MINI commentators – GET OVER IT – MINI is here to stay in the size it is now.

  • For small cars don’t forget FIAT ABARTH 500 will be here soon…

  • Hoover

    Beachcomber! Fun! C’mon! No brainer. Of course, I live in California.

  • Beachcomber! More ground clearance during snow.

    Saying a door less version is impractical is a bit harsh. Let us not forget the first Jeep. No doors, sold millions and still selling.

  • MINIme

    BEACHCOMBER!!! Don’t need a 2-door Countryman. MINI should continue to offer fun and Beachcomber = fun!

  • Joe

    If the jeep wrangle can have the kind of success that it has, why can’t the beachcomber.

  • grueinthebox

    The Jeep Wrangler is successful in no small part to having actual off-road chops. Unless the Beachcomber had the same kind of all-terrain capabilities a comparison between the two is pointless.

  • Wolfgang Gullich

    The Beachcomber would look mighty nice sandwiched in between my two JK Wranglers! 🙂 along with my trusty old ’06 MCS too.

    As to the naysayers questioning the side impact without doors, the Jeeps seem to do just fine (since they’re higher than most other vehicles) and it looks like the Beachcomber is tubbed a bit to have the impact protection hidden in there.

  • DavidT


    I thought I read that Porsche did not have to sell the Cayenne or Panamera to make money and that Wolfgang Duerheimer is planning to kill them both after the current life cycles are through. Porsche went from being a profitable company to having to sell out to VW. They got burned for being overly ambitious. Please correct me if I have this all wrong, otherwise, I think Porsche is not a good example to use.

  • Arbil

    Both are an abomination, prostituting the MINI name.