The New Mini Cooper Countryman (2017)

Comment is Closed

The new Mini Countryman is MINI’s biggest product yet. Based on the same architecture as the BMW X1, the new Countryman has many expectations to meet. It is 20cm longer than the previous car and approximately 3cm wider. Its wheelbase has been extended by 7.5cm. The raised seating position ensures an excellent view and hallmarks driving fun.

Mini Cooper Countryman

This new Countryman is a versatile, five-seater Sports Activity Vehicle that is more comfortable than ever.

Overall the new Maxi-sized Countryman’s styling is milder than the previous car. This new edition has a more curious looking appearance, with a gaping mouth of a grille. Surrounding the headlamps are daytime running lights which are again surrounded by a chrome ring.

Side profile styling carries a few discreet bulges, pushing out the front and rear wheel arches, which are in-turn framed by very large plastic wheel guards.

Unlike the Clubman, which has a rather flowy shoulder line and window sill, the new Countryman’s window sill lies near-perfectly straight, making the car bolder looking.

The Countryman gets the same dashboard as other MINIs out there; mood lighting has found its way to the dash panel, adding a little more life to the interior. The bezel surrounding the infotainment unit stays and the unit is easy to navigate.

One thing we truly liked, MINI has stepped up on the interior quality of the Countryman. Plastic and switchgear is way better. Those air-conditioning vents on the previous car felt “toy-like”. On the new Countryman, they shut with German-like precision and quality.

The Countryman’s adjustable rear bench helps increase seating comfort and also expands storage space at the rear. The rear seats can be shifted longitudinally by to 13cm. The folding rear backrest offers a 40:20:40 split. It also provides a variable tilt angle so as to be able to either increase seating comfort or gain additional storage at the rear. The luggage compartment volume is 450 litres and can be extended as required to a total of 1,390 litres. This constitutes a maximum increase of 220 litres compared to the predecessor model.

I love the car, as it is quirky and a step away from how others have designed their SUVs / Crossovers.

You can choose from 3 turbocharged petrol and 3 turbocharged diesel engines. All engines use the powerful and efficient MINI Twin Power Turbo technology.

The test car Cooper D Countryman with 110kW and 330Nm of torque on tap, hits 100km/h in a respectable 9.6 seconds. While there are sport settings for the Countryman, these only affect the way engine and transmission behaves.

Trying some tight corners and bumpy surfaces the dampening felt a little soft, which is good for comfort, but having softer springs also would give a more comfortable ride in “Comfort” and “Eco” modes. However, flick the car to “Sport” and drive harder and it ploughs forward noticeably. Driving at more normal speeds you are rewarded with a very controlled drive. There is however a little more side roll compared to other MINI's, mainly due to the added ride height.

The new Countryman is a huge step up from the previous version in terms of practicality, space and ultimately desirability as a family car. Even with its BMW X1 underpinnings ( BMW has owned Mini since 1994 ), MINI has managed to produce a car that retains its 'MINI' soul, it just feels like a greatly improved modernised BMW version of that, with hybrid battery and all-wheel drive versions also available.
  • Engines: 1.5-litre three-cylinder or 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol, 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel.
  • Power: 100kW (Cooper), 110kW (Cooper D), 141kW (Cooper S), 140kW (Cooper SD)
  • Torque: 220Nm (Cooper), 330Nm (Cooper D), 280Nm (Cooper S), 400Nm (Cooper SD)
  • Transmission: Six or eight -speed automatic, front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.
  • Fuel use: 6.0L/100km (Cooper) 4.8L/100km (Cooper D) 6.5L/100km (Cooper S) 5.2L/100km (Cooper SD)
  • Tank: 51L
  • Dimensions mm: L 4299 W 1822 H 1557 WB 2670
  • Mini Countryman Cooper 1.5 petrol auto - $39,900
  • Mini Countryman Cooper D 2.0 diesel auto - $43,900
  • Mini Countryman Cooper S 2.0 petrol auto - $46,500
  • Mini Countryman Cooper SD 2.0 diesel auto - $51,500

  • (Plus dealer and on-road costs)