Don’t be fooled by the Cooper badge on the D All4 Mini Countryman; it doesn’t necessarily represent sparkling performance. The propulsion provided by BMW’s new 1.6-litre N47 diesel is fine for everyday transport – given time, it will cruise along in the outside lane happily enough – but when asked to provide all it’s got, the motor reveals a few weaknesses.
While a 0-60mph time of 11.1sec is competitive for a diesel engine of 110bhp and 199lb ft, for a car with semi-sporting positioning, the Cooper D feels disappointingly slow. Beyond 60mph it needs another 9.9sec to reach 80mph.
Opting for the four-wheel drive ALL4 version takes the edge of performance in all models, including the 1.6 turbo in the Cooper S models. Where that engines feels torquey and zesty in the regular car, adding four-wheel drive makes it feel a little more ordinary, adding over half a second to 0-60 times, too.
The entry-level diesel, a 1.6D feels struggles to serve up any kind of thrills. Upgrading to the Cooper SD, with its 2.0-litre diesel, offers the power to offset the Countryman's weight. Offering 225lb ft from just 1750rpm makes for decent low-speed response. However, the Cooper SD falls down on refinement and is an expensive purchase, with prices starting at £23,190.