"Even in Cooper S trim, the Countryman isn't as chuckable as I'd like it to be. The steering weight and feel are both good, and the suspension doesn't beat you up like some of the smaller Minis, but in that tradeoff it loses some of its character. If someone could put this suspension feel with the fastest and smallest JCW Cooper, that would be about the perfect setup.
Power, at 189 hp is just 30 or so shy of what this car needs to feel like a Cooper. In the basic Mini, even the new three-cylinder feels peppy. This needs to be revved to the stratosphere. The brakes are fine -- small stroke, strong bite -- but the shifter is a little sloppy/wobbly. I had recently driven the Honda Civic Si, which has perfect, perfect shifter feel, so that may have skewed my perception."
-- Jake Lingeman, Autoweek