• Mon 9:00am-6:00pm
  • Tues 9:00am-6:00pm
  • Wed 9:00am-6:00pm
  • Thurs 9:00am-6:00pm
  • Fri 9:00am-6:00pm
  • Sat 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Sun Closed


MINI of Rochester

3875 W. Henrietta Rd
Directions Rochester, NY 14623

  • Sales: 585-334-9440
  • Service: 585-334-9440
  • Parts: 585-334-9440

MINI Cooper Countryman ALL4 vs Mazda CX-3

The 2017 Mini Countryman the biggest version of the iconic Cooper. It's bigger and better mannered than its previous iteration, and is better constructed and designed both inside and out. The biggest, most versatile Mini in history, the 2017 Countryman takes aim at becoming a CUV among compact cars, trying to transcend the MINI Cooper and hit the crossover sweet spot many buyers are craving.

But it isn't the only re-tooled import on the streets with tons of pizazz under the hood and along its chassis lines. The 2017 Mazda CX-3 is Mazda's smallest crossover, a wagonish SUV that sports the typical rowdy Mazda design scheme. It doesn't pull any punches, and is positioned to hit the same sweet spot the Countryman ALL4 is. But can it compete with MINI in an arena the iconic automaker knows intimately?

Solid Designs make for Solid Compacts

This year, the Countryman ALL4 is larger than previous versions, with the wheelbase growing by 2.9 inches, its overall length by 7.7 inches, and its width increased by 1.3 inches. 

Under the hood, the new Countryman in Cooper and Cooper S are available in both front-wheel drive or Mini's ALL4 all-wheel drive. The Cooper and Cooper S powertrains both come with turbocharged engines, perfect fits to adequately create an exciting driving experience for the larger MINI Cooper. The Cooper Countryman has a 134-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, with the Cooper S getting a 189-hp 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, but here the available automatic has eight forward speeds.

On the other side of this matchup is the subcompact Mazda CX-3, the company's smallest entrant in the crossover segment, in fact it's so small it's more closely related to the subcompact Mazda 2 hatchback than a regular crossover SUV. In fact, the Mazda CX-3 sacrifices some function for form by putting an all-wheel-drive system into a short platform, which only serves to limit available cargo space, offering up only 12-cubic-foot capacity with the seats up.

Mechanically, the CX-3 only gets a single engine this time around, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 146 horsepower. The AWD is optional, but as mentioned, it significantly reduced interior space at the cost of not too much driving benefits. The Countryman ALL4 makes significantly better use of its turbo-4 ALL4 drivetrain combo, creating a much better ride for a larger compact.

Devil is in the Design

The Mini Countryman is based on the same platform underpinning the BMW X1, and as such, it takes some stylistic cues from its Bavarian brethren. It keeps most of the design looks of the outgoing model, but adds a dose of angularity, as well as MINI's typical customizability. Inside, MINI once goes for broke with a fun array of paddle and toggle switches, and, for the first time, the rectangular central TFT screen positioned in the round central element can be ordered as a touchscreen.

Mazdas are always forward-thinking in their designs, with fun outward designs competing with the interior ones. The sharp-looking sheetmetal and an interior has looks and feels much more expensive than its modest sticker price, but the plastic surfaces, albeit coated in soft touch materials, belies that upscale impression.

Overall, the combined effects of both the added cargo room, and the added performance bonus that comes with the Countryman, the MINI Cooper is the definite winner over the Mazda CX-3. But don't take our word for it. Come visit us at MINI of Rochester and take one for a test drive to see for yourself how the MINI Countryman ALL4 edges out the Mazda CX-3.