Added 18th August, 2017
By Jonathan Crouch
Back in the late Fifties, the story goes that the engineers behind the original British Mini proposed to Austin company Chairman Leonard Lord that a faster version should be introduced with a 950cc engine and a top speed of 90mph. He declared it excessive, limiting production versions to a far more sensible 75mph. What on earth then, might he have made of this Countryman JCW model?
More importantly, what are buyers on the used market to make of it? It's not really a hot hatch or a small sporting SUV, though you could think of it as either. Better perhaps just to think of it as a bit of fun you could sensibly justify, a practical yet compact sporting family five-door backed by BMW standards of engineering
True, the John Cooper Works Countryman is never going to be the obvious answer to any 'which car?' question. It's just too niche a thing for that. Even so, we have a sneaking suspicion that this MINI might suit quite a significant number of used market people very well, assuming that they could be persuaded to consider it in the first place. It's very fast, brilliant fun, is nicely built, looks good, feels unique, swallows a small family and won't cost a fortune to run. If those don't sound like the ingredients for a very promising car, then we're not sure what does.