Mini is completely renewing its range of cars and the new generation Countryman is its latest model. It was officially unveiled along with its hybrid version, which becomes the first Mini to ever get this architecture.
The new Countryman is also the biggest and most versatile model to be launched in the brand’s 57-year history. It is some 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor and three centimetres wider, while its wheelbase has been extended by 7.5 centimetres.
The familiar ‘floating roof’, large headlamps and hexagonal radiator grille are all present, albeit having undergone careful evolution. From the front, the headlamp units differ from other MINI models by having an asymmetric shape, with LED lighting now an option. And at the rear, the vertically arranged light units help create the family ‘look’.
Inside the car, the central instrument is integrated in the instrument panel and is surrounded by an LED ring that provides a lighting display in response to driving situations by way of feedback from the controls.
Both driver and front passenger benefit from extended head and shoulder space, while the adjustment range of the seats has also been extended. Electrical adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats is now an option, including a memory function on the driver’s side.
The second row of seating now contains three fully-fledged seats, and the rear door openings have been enlarged, enabling easier entry and exit. In addition to overall interior width, leg space is now significantly more generous too, with an extra five centimetres of knee room over the previous model. The rear seats can be shifted back and forth by up to 13 cm, prioritising either passenger legroom or boot capacity depending on the situation. The folding rear backrest offers a 40:20:40 split.
The luggage compartment volume is 450 litres and can be extended by folding the rear seats to a total of 1,309 litres. This constitutes a maximum increase of 220 litres as compared to the previous generation model.
The new Mini Countryman is available at launch with a choice of four new engines: two petrol-powered variants and two diesels. In addition, for the first time there will be a plug-in hybrid Mini, the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.
The petrol engines, a 1.5-litre three-cylinder in the Cooper Countryman and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the Cooper S Countryman, feature turbocharging, direct fuel injection with centrally positioned injectors.
The result is 136 hp and 220 Nm of torque in the Cooper, which enables a 0-62 mph time of 9.6 seconds and fuel consumption and emissions figures of 51.4 mpg/126 g/km. The Cooper S produces 192 hp with 280 Nm of torque, and completes the sprint to 62mph from rest in just 7.5 seconds, yet still manages 45.6 mpg with 141 g/km of CO2 emitted.
The 2-litre diesel engines in the Cooper D Countryman and Cooper SD Countryman both also feature TwinPower Turbo technology, with high pressure common rail injection. The 150 hp / 330 Nm engine in the Cooper D enables a very competitive 0-62 mph time of just 8.9 seconds (considerably quicker than the previous model) but with 64.2 mpg and 113 g/km of CO2 emitted. The high performance Cooper SD Countryman features 190 hp and a full 400 Nm of toque, providing a 0-62mph sprint of just 7.7 seconds but with 61.4 mpg and 121 g/km of CO2 emitted.