Some UK Road tests of MINI Countryman and Nissan Joke...
"On the road is where the Countryman really earns its stripes, and fears that it would lose the driver appeal of the standard hatch are forgotten when the first corner arrives. We tested the Countryman in four-wheel-drive ALL4 Cooper S specification, and it’s confident and composed at speed with minimal body roll and impressive damping.
The steering feels a little more muted than it does in the regular model, but it still offers lots of feedback and suits the more grown-up demeanour. The 184bhp, 1.6-litre turbo engine offers plenty of urge – it isn’t fazed by the 170kg 4WD system and pulls willingly in all gears.
By comparison, the Nissan’s 187bhp 1.6-litre turbo is equally responsive and the Juke closely matches the Countryman for pace, but the handling just can’t match up to the MINI’s involving experience.
So, which car takes the honours? Well, the Countryman is better to drive, more spacious and feels like a higher quality product. But then at Ł5,115 more than the Juke, that’s exactly what we would expect. One thing is for sure, families after a cool alternative to run-of-the-mill hatchbacks now have plenty of choice!" Read more: MINI Countryman Nissan Juke Review | First Drives | Review | Auto Express
"The Nissan Juke has price on its side, and more standard kit. Its punchy DiG-T engine also ensures performance is lively – if only it had the chassis to match. The Countryman provides more passenger space, a bigger boot and is far better to drive. Superior refinement and better quality also help to justify its hefty price premium. It is a stronger family choice than the cramped Nissan, and the ownership experience strengthens its appeal. Solid residuals and low running costs ensure the Cooper S Countryman is our victor." Read more: Nissan Juke Turbo vs MINI Countryman | Twin Test | Auto Express