Mini reveals 2017 Countryman  26 | 10 | 2016

    THE NEW MINI Countryman crossover will go on-sale in Scotland next February with prices starting at £22,465; the range will top-out at £29,565 for the SD All4. Mini’s first hybrid model, the Countryman SE Hybrid, will be added late in 2017.

    The largest Mini yet, the new Countryman is 20cm longer, at 4.3 metres, and 3cm wider than the six-year-old outgoing model. A full 7.5cm has been inserted into the wheelbase.

    According to paint company BMW, Mini is now a strong alternative to the likes of the VW Golf and Audi Q3 in the hugely competitive and congested C-segment.


    And Mini product boss Nicolas Griebner highlights that 85% of Mini sales are to private buyers specifying their own car.

    There’s no denying the new model looks chunky and meaningful, thanks to its deep sides, large wheels and notably squared-off rear corners. And while the headlights are a similar shape to those of its predecessor, they’re less dominant.

    Interestingly, the Mini’s classic grille is also slightly less prominent.

    Mini designers have retained the car’s distinctive three window profile, but have made the rearmost side windows much longer; the result highlight’s the new model’s extra length. All models will also get large silver roof bars designed to highlight the fact Mini sees the new Countryman as a true crossover.


    Larger doors make access easier, and it’s no surprise that the extra length has resulted in additional legroom in the rear.

    There’s also a new look to the Countryman’s all-new dashboard. While it retains the giant ‘dinner plate’ central screen, it now has rectangular air vents; this is a move away from Mini’s traditional circular vents.

    Naturally, the interior remains distinctively Mini, but there’s been a noticeable step-up in build quality and material finishes.


    The new Countryman also benefits from a bigger boot  — 470 litres — than the typical C-segment hatch, as Mini focuses on ensuring the latest model is big enough to act as a sole family car. There’s also the option of a rear bench seat which will slide 13cm and a rear seatback that reclines and splits in three sections (40/20/40).


    As for powerplants, the new Countryman range starts with the 136bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol Cooper model, while the Cooper S the 192bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol. Diesel lovers get the choice of the 150bhp 2.0-litre Cooper D — which covers the 0-62mph ‘sprint’ in 8.9secs, emits 113g/km CO2 and returns 64.2mpg — or the 190bhp Cooper SD, which knocks 1.2s off the 0-62mph time, emits 121g/km CO2 and is good for 61.4mph, according to Mini.

    All four engines have the option of a tweaked version of Mini’s All4 four-wheel drive system, for around an additional £1600.


    Mini is quick to highlight the latest model comes with a healthy array of standard equipment, including 17in wheels, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth and sat-nav. The newcomer also benefits from collision warning and city braking

    The almost never-ending list of options Mini uses to allow buyers to ‘customise’ their car includes an XL navigation system with an 8.8in touchscreen, a Harman/ Kardon audio system, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display and a detachable tow bar.


    In true Mini tradition, most of the options are bundled up in one of the company’s famous ‘packs’.

    Most popular — bought by 75% of Mini Clubman owners, and expected to again be purchased by the majority of new Countryman owners — is the £2980 Chili Pack which includes automatic air conditioning, switchable driving modes, sports seats and LED headlights.

    A John Cooper Works Chili Pack will also be available — adding an aero kit, sports suspension and 18in alloys — costing £4950 on standard Cooper and £4250 on Cooper S models.

    Related: BMW previews new X2

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    Jim McGill

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