The refreshed big MINI – the Countryman

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With time flying by, we have come to midlife cycle of the current MINI Countryman. I got behind the wheel of the new MINI Cooper S Countryman to experience the updates.

In brief, here they are:

  • Tweaked front design with newly designed radiator grille.
  • LED headlamps and LED fog lights now as standard.
  • LED rear lights in funky Union Jack design.
  • New body finishes, new option Piano Black Exterior.
  • New light alloy wheels.
  • Latest generation of engines, all models comply with Euro 6d emissions standard.
  • Standard 7-speed Steptronic with double clutch. Paddle shifts are optional for the MINI Cooper S Countryman. 
  • New digital cockpit display with 5-inch colour screen as standard.
  • Newly designed central instrument in Piano Black High Gloss design available as an optional extra.
  • Sports leather steering wheel as standard in all model variants.
  • New range of leather trims and interior surfaces.
  • MINI Connected with new functions.
  • Extended range of Original MINI Accessories.

 

As the first model with an exterior length of more than four metres, four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and (optional) all-wheel drive, it laid the foundations for the brand’s successful advance into the premium compact segment. The MINI Countryman now accounts for almost 30 per cent of the brand’s new registrations worldwide and it has been refreshed!

Subtle yet noticeable, the new structure of the bumper covering, now entirely in body finish, ensures a particularly clear-cut and high-quality appearance. The redesigned radiator grille has the hexagonal contours that are typical of MINI and is surrounded by a slim, one-piece chrome frame.

LED headlamps are now standard trim in the new MINI Countryman. The distinctive, slightly asymmetrically rounded contours of the headlamps are accentuated by a continuous band of light that takes on the function of both daytime driving light and turn indicator. What’s more, the adaptive LED headlamps in the new MINI Countryman now feature an automatic selective dip function for the high beam. This fully automated system, run through the car’s intelligent computer system, allows for maximum lighting without obstructing oncoming cars.

I love the upright rear lights with chrome frame: they now feature high-quality LED technology as standard, while the graphic structure of the light source traces the pattern of the Union Jack. With its striking lines, the flag motif provides a distinctive form of identification – both during the day and in terms of night design.

The Piano Black Exterior option –  the headlamp surrounds, rear lights, radiator grille and side indicator elements – or side scuttles – are finished in high-gloss black instead of chrome, as are the door handles and the model lettering on the luggage compartment lid. Additional identification features in high-gloss black are available from the range of Original MINI Accessories, including the MINI logo and the “Cooper S” and “ALL4” inscriptions in Piano Black design. Matching exterior mirror caps and side scuttles with a grey-black flag pattern in Night Jack design are also available for retrofit.

Not so mini, the Countryman has three fully-fledged seats that are available at the rear. Alternatively, the second row of seats can also be used to expand transport capacity. By folding down the rear seat with a 40:20:40 split, storage space can be extended from 450 to up to 1 390 litres.

The Countryman’s engines have been optimised to include particulate filters for petrol engines and SCR with AdBlue injection for diesel engines. This means that all model variants of the new MINI Countryman now meet the particularly rigorous Euro 6d emission standard.

The new MINI Countryman is available in South Africa in two model variants:

MINI Cooper Countryman: 100 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds, top speed: 203 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.3 litres/100 km, CO2 emissions (combined): 143 g/km.

MINI Cooper S Countryman: 141 kW, 0 – 100 km/h in 7,5 seconds, top speed: 226 km/h, fuel consumption (combined): 6.7 litres/100 km, CO2 emissions (combined): 153 g/km.

The interior has increased appeal due to an extended range of standard equipment. It now includes a sports leather steering wheel in all model variants. There is also a new digital instrument display is standard. The display in Black Panel design behind the steering wheel has a diameter of 5.0 inches. The range of audio and navigation systems has been restructured. The standard Connected Media and optional Connected Navigation Plus, available as an alternative to the basic configuration, each include an 8.8-inch colour screen with touchscreen function located in the central instrument that is typical of the brand. The circular control unit in the new MINI Countryman exhibits a refined surface look, with the audio control panel and the buttons for hazard lights and driver assistance systems now integrated even more harmoniously. Meanwhile, touch-sensitive bookmark buttons and high-gloss Piano Black surfaces underscore the premium character of the central instrument.

There is also optional also wireless charging for compatible mobile phones and a second USB socket.

The Countryman is equipped with a SIM card that is permanently fitted in the car. This enables use of Intelligent Emergency Call with automatic detection of vehicle location and accident severity, as well as MINI TeleServices. The Connected Media option includes a wide range of MINI Connected digital services.

This provides access to the Real Time Traffic Information service as well as the internet platform MINI Online and preparation for Apple CarPlay. MINI Connected can be used to send navigation destinations from the smartphone to the vehicle.

High-quality retrofit options from the programme of MINI Original Accessories enable functionality, convenience, driving fun and individual style to be adapted even more precisely to personal preferences in the new MINI Countryman. The selection ranges from a rear bicycle rack to a roof box, a moulded luggage compartment mat and all-weather floor mats.

 

The Competition

Audi Q2, BMW X2, Citroën C5 Aircross, Fiat 500X, Jaguar E-Pace, Jeep Renegade, Lexus UX, Mercedes-Benz GLA/GLB, Peugeot 3008 and Volvo XC40.

The Pricing  

MINI Cooper Countryman   R591 524

MINI Cooper S Countryman   R696 354

John Cooper Works ALL4 Countryman   R901 940

 

The service and warranty

The Countryman range is sold with a 3-year 75 000 km maintenance plan.

www.mini.co.za

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