Spending 5,000 miles in a car tells you a lot. Behind the wheel of the Countryman Untamed it’s confirmed just how great an all-round small crossover this is. But coming off of the JCW version of the same model, how can our 2023 Countryman Cooper S really stack-up?

No it’s not as fast but with the Untamed spec and used strictly for daily driving duties you don’t necessarily miss the extra power of that JCW powerplant. In fact the only thing that we really do miss are those massive JCW brakes which not only provide great stopping power but excellent pedal feel.

countryman untamed

A Winter With All4

Our Countryman feels decidedly broken in after 5,000 miles. It’s always amazing to me how quick MINI’s all wheel drive system can be and how it magically transfers torque ahead of wheel-spin.. There have even even been times that I’ve felt the front tires lose traction in the wet due to the torque not being transferred quickly enough. But all told this is a system that is almost bulletproof in its daily operation. It creates a car that feels feels confident as much on the highway as on wet and snowy country roads.

countryman untamed

The Untamed Interior

As we mentioned above we love the utility that MINI has designed into the Countryman. There’s also a quality here that makes this Countryman feel (maybe for the first time) an actual premium product. It’s an inviting and comfortable place to spend time time in both the front and the back.

Adding to the overall comfort were the excellent young leather Untamed edition seats – perhaps our favorite seats ever offered in a MINI. The shape perfectly balances aggressive bolstering with long-term comfort while the supple leather is generally more comfortable than the standard stuff.

We’ll have much more on our Countryman Untamed edition as we head into the warmer weather and more than a few roadtrips.