MINI Countryman

The new for 2017 MINI Countryman sees the largest MINI grow in every dimension, it’s 200mm longer, 30mm wider, has a 75mm longer wheelbase and instead of being little more than four metres long, it’s now around 4.3 metres in length. The boot has increased in size by 100 litres, which at 450 litres is 70 litres larger than a Volkswagen Golf and 20 more than a Nissan Qashqai. The Countryman is built upon the same UKL2 platform as its stablemate, the quirky, wide and surprisingly handsome MINI Clubman as well as its cousin, the BMW X1.

 

There is no escaping the Countryman is a MINI, it has all the branding you would expect internally and externally, the instrumentation and materials used are all high quality and as with all MINI’s it drives incredibly well. But there is an elephant in the room, in making the Countryman more practical (larger) the designers have created a car that looks more awkward than the outgoing car, particularly the bulbous rear-end with its longer overhang. The quote the looks may ‘divide opinion’ is simply being kind in our opinion.

 

To Motability customers the Countryman is avaialble in Cooper or Cooper S trim. The Cooper trim has 16 inch Alloy wheels, DAB radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB audio connection and sat-nav controlled by the 6.5 inch touchscreen, cruise control, rear parking sensors, front fog lights, multi function sports steering wheel, front centre armrest, interior lighting package and roof rails. The Cooper S increases the alloy wheels to 17 inch in diameter and adds front sports seats. There are a optional packs to add to your Countryman, Chilli or Tech, the Chilli pack adds part-leather seats, climate control and LED headlights, the Tech pack adds an 8.8 inch touch screen, reversing camera and a heads up display.

 

The Cooper uses the same 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine found in the MINI hatch and Clubman, with 134bhp and a decent 220Nm of torque it can reach 62 miles per hour in 9.6 seconds and return 51.4 miles per gallon. The Cooper D is the best choice, it’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine produces 148bhp and a healthy 330Nm of torque capable of reaching 62 mph in 8.9 seconds and return 65.7 miles per gallon. The warmer Cooper S has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 189bhp and 280Nm of torque, reaching 62 mph in 7.3 seconds but only returns 45.6 mpg. The diesel Cooper SD will is a better bet, with a similar 187 bhp power output with 400Nm of torque and a 0-62 time of 7.7 seconds and returning 61.4 mpg. The SD is automatic only, all other engines are either a six speed manual or a delightful 8 speed automatic. The All4, automatic all wheel drive system, can be paired to all engines.

Summer Best Buy – MINI Countryman Cooper D (148bhp 2.0 litre Diesel) Manual  –  £999 Advance Payment (£64.80 +£173 wpms) or £1299 as Automatic (£245 wpms)