The iconic MIni is one vehicle that has captured the hearts and minds of many over the decades, and it has certainly been given a new breath of life in recent decades thanks to a relaunch. Volkswagen also did the same with their classic Beetle, but our focus is on the 2017 Mini Countryman that has just been launched, upping the ante with a larger sized cabin, better technology thrown into the mix, and more engine options that will include a plug-in hybrid model to keep up with the times.
The 2017 Mini Countryman is the second generation model ever since the brand’s relaunch. It is also the largest car produced in the modern Mini era, and will hit the UK in February 2017. From the outside, it might look pretty much the same as that of its predecessor, but make no mistake about it: the engineers behind the 2017 Mini Countryman have ensured that it is going to be larger in every way.
Not too sure on how much it will cost in North America when launched, but across the pond (after conversion), it will come with an entry level $27,440 price tag, and goes up all the way to $34,720 if you would like to have all the bells and whistles thrown into the mix. In short, this new crossover ride places great emphasis on ruggedness and toughness -- without compromising on safety and comfort, of course, while retaining its Mini identity.
The 2017 Mini Countryman has grown longer by 200mm and is now 30mm wider than before, which makes it a C-segment ride. This would clearly have it lie smack in between the Audi Q2 and Q3 where size is concerned. Equipped with a wheelbase that is 75mm longer than before, those seated at the back will be able to enjoy 50mm more legroom, while your boot will gain an additional 100 litres of space at 450 litres. Just in case you need to buy something large from IKEA, then fold down the rear seats to enjoy 1,309 litres of space.
Design and innards
All 2017 Mini Countryman models will arrive with silver roof rails and sill plates, ensuring that it ought to be able to compete with SUVs on that front. Right in front lies generously sized LED headlights, a masculine wide grille and pop-out tail-lamps. There is also the All4 four-wheel-drive set-up that will be made available for all variants, letting you pick between driving stick or cruising along on automatic.
The entry-level 2017 Mini Countryman will be the Cooper that has a 134bhp three-cylinder petrol engine, while the Cooper D would rely on a 148bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel to get going, with the Cooper SD sporting a 187bhp version of the very same engine. For those who love power, then the Cooper S takes the cake with a 2.0 unit that boasts of 189bhp and 280Nm of torque, allowing it to hit a 0-62mph time of 9.6 seconds for the MINI Cooper Countryman.
A first from Mini would be the plug-in hybrid model, where it will be known as the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. It is fast -- achieving the 0-62mph sprint in a matter of 6.9 seconds, while enjoying 134.5 mpg and a 49g/km CO2 emission.
In terms of safety, the safety kit comprises of a collision warning system with auto city braking as standard. Adaptive cruise control, pedestrian warning, road-sign detection, a rear view camera and auto high beams happen to be add-ons that come with a price.
Any takers for the new 2017 Mini Countryman?