Hitting the 10,000 mile mark on our longterm 2023 MINI Countryman S Untamed Edition felt rather anticlimactic. When a car is this reliable, easy to live and yet still fun to drive, it seems to blend into your life in the best way. While all isn’t perfect, there’s a lot to love about this small crossover that punches above its weight with a style that’s completely unique to the segment. Even if it’s about to be replaced by something bigger and all new.
What Exactly Does Untamed Mean?
It means an embarrassing name and an awful logo. Untamed is arguably the worst name we’ve ever seen from MINI. I say arguably because Untold and Resolute are neck and neck with it in terms of awkward and even embarrassing names for special editions. While stickers can be taken off (looking at that rear quarter window) the word is everywhere; the side scuttle, rear side windows, steering wheel and even built into the illuminated dash. The good news is that MINI nailed just about everything else with this car.
Our 2023 Countryman Cooper S Untamed edition is finished in the exclusive Momentum Grey metallic with the gorgeous Highland Green leather inside. Momentum Grey metallic is extended to the air curtain inserts in the front apron and the side sills, as well as on the reflector inserts and the lower insert in the rear apron. The background to the MINI brand logo on the bonnet and tailgate is in Momentum Grey metallic. It’s a unique look you’ll notice if you’re a MINI fan.
It’s combined with a contrasting black finish on the roof and exterior mirror caps as well as on the roof rails and headlight housings. Then there are those stripes finished in Frozen Bluestone on the lower section of each door. The inlays and the carrier plates of the side scuttles are also finished in this color. Like the door sill finishers, the side scuttles also feature a graphic pattern inspired by a mountain landscape, together with the inscription “UNTAMED”.
The interior of the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Untamed Edition is our favorite part of the car. It features nature-inspired shades of green and blue. The exclusive Highland Green Lounge Leather is combined with blue and green contrast stitching on the surfaces of the heated and power operated MINI Yours Leather Lounge sports seats. It’s really our favorite part of the car as it’s both striking and restrained at the same time.
MINI Countryman Cooper S Still Defines Engagement in this Segment
Six years into the Countryman’s lifecycle this is a car that still feels fresh in most ways. Part of that is due to how it drives. There’s an engagement and performance here that is not found in most small crossovers. There’s also a playfulness in both how to drives but also how it goes about its business as a family car. From the design to the lighting to even the sound MINI has crafted an experience that feels unique and endearing in a segment that is mostly forgettable.
While the steering still feels artificially boosted (it’s hard to find anything in this segment that does it better) there’s still some feel and connectivity to what’s going on underneath. The car is well damped and easily the most compliant MINI we’ve ever had. Of course if you’re looking or something a bit more extreme we cannot recommend the JCW Countryman enough. With dramatically more power, better brakes and a more engaging driving experience, it’s one of the best MINIs we’ve ever experienced. It’s also pricey with our test car last year nearing $50,000. This current Countryman Cooper S Untamed has an MSRP of $45,250 which isn’t as much of a pricing difference as you’d assume driving the two back to back. In other words, as good as this Countryman is, if you can spring for the JCW you’d be pretty pleased.
MINI Countryman Untamed – Quality & Reliability
We’ve had two issues over 10,000 miles. The first was the a rear seat-back that was stuck in the upright position when a strap broke. While it was easily replaced it did require a bit of disassembly to do so (all under warranty of course). The second is an issue that we haven’t had in years with a MINI – a dash rattle. This one is currently emanating from the HUD and only seems to show up in warmer weather. Suffice to say we’ll have MINI of Glencoe take a look when it’s in for an oil chance next month.
Colors, Options and What We’re Missing
With that out of the way let’s talk about what we do love. This Countryman Cooper S Untamed edition is finished in Momentum Grey metallic with Highland Green leather inside. The combination is modern and elegant while being unique. Our car is basically loaded with almost every option missing only adaptive cruise, power rear hatch and rear seat center armrest. The only one that really hurts is the Adaptive Cruise. Given that we’re pretty fond of road-trips here at the MF HQ, the omission of Adaptive Cruise has been rather annoying over the past 10,000 miles. And having had it on our last several MINI we can attest to it being a must have option for anyone who drives their MINI long distance.
The good is plentiful with this car starting with the car itself. Seven years into a production cycle is not usually an exciting moment for a car but the Countryman still feels fresh both in how it drives and how it looks.
Infotainment, CarPlay And Touch-sceens.
While the overall MINI OS took a step backwards in 2022 with the introduction of a new home screen, the experience of wireless CarPlay remains excellent. It’s worth noting that in 2021 MINI updated the Countryman’s infotainment with faster processing that thankfully made everything all the more responsive. This extends to CarPlay which we’ve found to be one of the better integrations of the technology in any car at any price-point. Combine this with the digital cluster this is a car that doesn’t feel it’s age as you might think.
Summing Up 10,000 Miles
This Countryman has been a workhouse for us. Sun, rain or snow it’s been near faultless while providing a driving experience that few other small crossovers can touch. Even in its sixth year of production it feels relatively fresh in design and offers just enough tech to feel relevant. It’s also the perfect size in our view. Small enough to feel like a MINI (in a sea of massive crossovers) yet still offers loads of utility. That’s really unique as we watch models everywhere grow in size year over year. And it’s also something we’ll see next year as MINI debuts an entirely new and larger Countryman.
That last bit makes this current F60 feel a bit special. We’ll never have another internal combustion MINI crossover this small and nimble. And while we’re excited about the new U25 Countryman, we will miss the F60’s excellent blend of size and utility which we’ve found near perfect for our needs.