A refreshed and greener version of the biggest and beefiest Mini is launched today for families who want a compact car that doesn’t skimp on space.
It’s evolution rather than revolution for the Countryman, which looks like a small car on steroids and is far cry from design genius Sir Alec Issigonis’s original tiny Mini – a 10-foot square box on wheels – from 1959.
But for small families and active couples who want to squeeze in lots of kit, it’s the most practical of the Mini range – and still with go-kart like performance for less than £24,000.
Not so Mini: This is the revised Mini Countryman SUV – and it’s a complete contradiction of the brand name
How does the Countryman compare to the original Mini? It completely dwarfs the 1959 icon
First launched a decade ago in 2010, the Countryman accounts for nearly one in three Mini sales.
Last year 17,248 Mini Countryman models were sold in the UK out of 98,825 sold globally.
Since launch in 2010, some 124,878 have been sold in the UK out of 274,593 around the world.
While it might carry the Mini name, it doesn’t share the original’s dimensions, with the new Countryman measuring in at 4.3-metres long and over 2-metres wide.
For those who want to save on fuel costs and keep their emissions down there’s a frugal petrol-electric plug-in hybrid version which combines a three-cylinder 1.5-litre twin turbo petrol engine driving the front wheels with an electric motor on the rear axle and a high-voltage 9.6kWh lithium-ion battery.
You can charge up at home or work and run in electric only mode for up to 38 miles, while still having the benefit of an internal combustion engine and all-wheel drive as standard.
That’s in addition to two twin-turbo petrol engines – a 1.5-litre three-cylinder and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder – plus a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel.
All are compliant with the forthcoming new ‘Euro6d’ emissions standard which will be binding from 2021 to make veicles greener.
While it might carry the Mini name, it doesn’t share the original’s dimensions, with the Countryman SUV measuring in at 4.3-metres long and over 2-metres wide
Like the hatchback, the Countryman now gets the Union Jack rear lights to signify the Mini’s UK origins
The Mini Countryman is a far cry from design genius Sir Alec Issigonis’s original tiny Mini from 1959
The first Mini measured in at a dinky 10-feet square box on wheels, though was incredibly spacious for it’s puny dimensions
There are seven variants of the Countryman at launch, with manual and automatic gearboxes, and a sporty tweaked John Cooper Works version to follow.
The Countryman model is not however built at the firm’s Oxford plant, home to the hatchback and electric Mini. Instead it is built under contract at VDL Nedcar, at Born, in The Netherlands
Prices start at £23,500 for the entry-level manual 136 horse-power petrol Mini Cooper Countryman that accelerates from rest to 62mph in 9.7 seconds up to a top speed of 127mph. It has CO2 emissions of 129 to 135g/km and will do around 50 miles to the gallon.
Priced from £32,400, the 220 horse-power petrol-electric Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) ALL4 accelerates from rest to 62mph in 6.8 seconds up to a top speed of 121mph. It has low CO2 emissions of 40g to 45g/km and will do around 140 miles to the gallon.
First launched a decade ago in 2010, the Countryman accounts for nearly one in three Mini sales
The cabin gets a new digital dashboard display with 5-inch colour screen as standard
There are seven variants of the Countryman at launch, with manual and automatic gearboxes, and a sporty tweaked John Cooper Works version to follow
The petrol 178 horse-power Mini Cooper S Countryman ALL4 costing from £29,600 accelerates from rest to 62mph in 7.3 seconds up to a top speed of 138mph. Co2 emissions are 142g to 149g/km, with fuel consumption of around 44mpg.
There are two twin turbo diesel variants – standard manual from £25,500, automatic from £27,100 and all wheel drive from £28,800. The latter Countryman D ALL4’s 150 horse-power diesel engine helps it accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 9 seconds up to a top speed of 131mph, CO2 emissions are 4.6g to 4.8g/km with fuel economy of around 60 miles per gallon.
A John Cooper Works version is to follow costing from £36,000 but specs are not yet available.
Last year 17,248 Mini Countryman models were sold in the UK out of 98,825 sold globally
Prices start at £23,500 for the entry-level manual 136 horse-power petrol Mini Cooper Countryman
The Mini Cooper S Countryman and Mini Cooper Plug-In Hybrid ALL4 models now come with Piano Black interior surfaces for the cockpit and door bezels as standard
Depending on model, cars have an 8-speed, 7-speed or 6-speed Steptronic transmission or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Cars are fitted as standard with either 16 or 17-inch alloys, with up to 19 inches available as optional extras.
Mini Countryman: Will it fit in my garage?
Price: from £29,600
Mini Countryman range : from £23,500 to £36,000.
Built: VDL Nedcar, Born, The Netherlands
Width(with mirrors): 2050mm
Width (without mirrors): 18220mm
Weight: 1955kg to 2270kg depending on variant
Engine: turbo-charged 4 cylinder 2.0 litre 178 horse power. All wheel drive.
0-62mph: 7.3 seconds
Top speed: 138mph
CO2 emissions: 142g to 149g/km
MPG: around 44mpg
Roof rails give room up top for extra carrying space. The redesigned radiator grille has hexagonal contours surrounded by a slim, one-piece chrome frame.
There are three full rear seats which fold down with a 40:20:40 split, boosting storage from 450 litres up to 1,390 litres.
The Mini Cooper S Countryman and Mini Cooper Plug-In Hybrid ALL4 models now come with Piano Black interior surfaces for the cockpit and door bezels as standard.
There is also a redesigned bumper trim, Piano Black exterior, new alloy wheels and newly added colours – White Silver metallic and Sage Green metallic. Design of the radiator grille has been tweaked, LED headlamps and fog lights are now standard, there are new light alloy wheels and a new digital dashboard display with 5-inch colour screen as standard.
There is also lots of scope for customisation with colour and trim. A new central instrument in Piano Black high gloss is also available among trim options and there is an extended range of Mini accessories.
To improve visibility at night, adaptive LED headlamps are a new option: ‘In urban traffic and when visibility is limited due to the weather conditions, the side area of the road is illuminated more intensely by adding the dimmed turning light. When driving on motorways it is possible to selectively increase the range of the high beam.’
The headlamps also feature an automatic selective dip function for the high beam at speeds of up to 43mph: ‘As soon as the front camera of the new Mini Countryman detects an oncoming vehicle or one driving ahead, the space that vehicle occupies is only illuminated at low beam brightness, while the other high beams continue to illuminate the rest of the road.’
‘The matrix high beam is able to increase the range of vision while at the same time avoiding any dazzle effect on other road users.’
No shrinking violet: At over 2-metres wide, the Countryman is almost double the width of the original Mini
Cars are fitted as standard with either 16 or 17-inch alloys, with up to 19 inches available as optional extras
The headlamps feature an automatic selective dip function for the high beam at speeds of up to 43mph:
For those who want to save on fuel costs and keep their emissions down there’s a frugal petrol-electric plug-in hybrid version in the range
The Countryman was first launched in the UK in September 2010. It received a facelift in 2014 and a second generation version was launched in 2017 along with a plug in hybrid (PHEV) model. A John Cooper Works version was introduced in 2012.
The firm said: ‘The Mini Countryman, the biggest and most versatile member of the Mini model family, has an updated design, additions to the equipment range and new innovative technology. The latest version optimises space, versatility, functionality and ride comfort.
‘The car’s upright stature and increased ground clearance indicate its generous interior space and robust character. ‘
‘The ALL4 all-wheel drive system provides a noticeable boost in terms of traction, driving stability and agility.’
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