Mini's Oxford trims are meant to provide great value for new car shoppers without breaking the bank.
New for 2021, the Mini Countryman Oxford Edition wraps those efforts in a compact SUV shell, giving buyers extra space without a significant footprint.
Trouble is, when you strip away the fripperies that Mini shoehorns into its more expensive variants and start comparing it to the competition, what remains doesn't exactly feel like a great value.
Including $850 in destination charges, my all-wheel-drive tester rings in at $29,350.
Yes, there is some value inherent in some of the standard equipment, which includes automatic climate control, heated front seats and the larger touchscreen.
But when you line this wannabe-premium offering up against mass-market subcompact competitors like the Hyundai Kona or Mazda CX-30, it's hard to recommend the Mini when its rivals offer so much more.
Slightly more expensive base-trim variants of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and Volvo XC40 feel far more fully baked, too, even if the window sticker asks a bit more from your paycheck.
Even in its Oxford Edition trim, trying to stand out from the crowd isn't enough to outweigh an undermotivated powertrain and strange feature packaging with some very notable omissions.
If you simply must worm your way into the BMW lifestyle before possessing the financial means to put a Roundel in your garage, the Countryman will serve its mission, but when you take a variety of other factors (and cars) into account, its luster fades quickly.
Keep scrolling or clicking to check out even more pictures of the 2021 Mini Countryman.