Monday, February 20, 2017

Mini Countryman (F60)

Once the Mini I am not very interested to have one not just for its hunk of sizing and the fact that Mini is becoming one with the crossover craze but for some backstories I only know about, the Countryman has underwent a full model change and it's now the biggest Mini ever offered, quite an irony demonstrated here, but as the name suggests, it was still made for the countrymen who want to treat this one rough, something reminiscent of the legendary Mini Moke of the last century. So, let's investigate the new model to see what's what.

2017 Mini Countryman

This is the brand new Mini Countryman, ladies and gents. And while it looks slightly similar to the old Countryman, it's now the biggest Mini ever offered, much to the dismay of Mini fans everywhere, especially me. With prices start at 26,500 Euros plus delivery, it's slightly more expensive than the Off-road look version of the Fiat 500X, its main rival. This could become a clear choice between the lesser of two evils here because while they're essentially larger than their originators, what matters most is the features at their disposal and I can expect that the new Countryman, being city car/crossover for the posh yuppies, delivers more stuff than the 500X.

2017 Mini Countryman
2017 Mini Countryman interior

Carrying more stuff aside, because this is the biggest Mini ever offered, the new Countryman is now slightly longer and wider compared to the previous model, so there's going to be some space in the inside, am I right? That added dimensions really put personal space to its advantage but the downside is that when you're driving it on tight spots in places like Italy or the one in Northern France, it's going to be quite a challenge to get it back on the road while getting stuck in the maze like a guinea pig. While it still has the dashboard of today's Minis, there's still some time to toy around with the connectivity features while you're at it before heading off to your points of interests.

What's under the hood, the new Mini Countryman offers a choice of petrol, diesel, and an all new PHEV variant called the Cooper S E. Starting with the normal Countryman variants, the most powerful is the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder petrol engine from the Cooper S variant, producing 192PS of power and 281Nm of torque. The most efficient, as always, the PHEV variant called the Cooper SE. Thanks to its combination of the three-cylinder turbocharged engine, the electric motor, and the 7.6kWh li-ion battery, it promises a fuel consumption of 2.1L/100km and 49g/km of CO2 emissions while the electric range can be up to 40km. All models can be mated with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed Steptronic but the Cooper SE is fitted exclusively with a 6-speed automatic.

2018 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

If you're a speedo boy, the Countryman you might have been interested in, probably, is the high-performance variant called the MINI JCW Countryman. Like all of today's JCWs, it's powered by a 2.0L petrol engine generating 231PS of power and 320Nm of torque as well as race-derived dynamics. Just like the JCW Clubman, the JCW Countryman comes with the ALL4 control system, which adapts to the road with the ideal blend of power distribution between the front and rear wheels. With either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed Steptronic, it does 0-100kph in six and a half seconds and onwards to 234kph, which sounds quick for a crossover of that size. It can be yours for just 38,800 Euros so come on, don't be shy having a Countryman that goes like a rocket while it can go anywhere, well just about.

2017 Mini Countryman

So, what can I say about the new MINI Countryman, well this is still the MINI I'm not particularly interested with, it's still a mini SUV for those who think compact crossovers like the Fiat 500X, the Jeep Renegade, or the Mercedes-Benz GLA aren't that kind of type, although the GLA can make this one well-ridiculed just about anywhere. While this is very big for a Mini, the Countryman is all about the rough stuff it can do just to keep its MINIMALISM in check and while its sizing just can't squeeze through the tight gaps, its roomy creature comforts really surprises the customers as are the tech that flooded through it, although unsure what it is. You can thank BMW for the Countryman's full model change but for now, I have some moping up to do about those backstories.

Photo: MINI

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