Highlight: Due to its room and size, the Countryman is MINI’s answer to the crossover craze.
Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $38,450 (Base Model: $26,950)
Seating Capacity: 4 (rear seating are for small kids)
Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a stability control system; run flat tires; automatic headlights with rain sensing windshield wipers and a tire pressure monitoring system
Standard Equipment (Base Model): 17-inch tires; a 6-speed manual transmission; electric brakes a remote keyless entry system; a keyless ignition system; manually adjusted front seats; leather-like seats; rear seats with split folding seatback; an automatic a/c system; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; roof rails; and heated mirrors with washer jets; a panoramic roof; 6.5-inch infotainment screen; and a rearview camera
Standard Equipment S Countryman: 18-inch wheels; 2.0-liter/189-hp; all-wheel drive; LED headlights three driving modes: sport, mid and economy; fog lights; a panoramic roof; heated front seats with additional bolstering for the front seats (AWD model only); a dual zone automatic climate control system; and a leather steering wheel
Options: an automatic transmission; parking assist buzzers; a heads up display system; real-time traffic update; and a satellite radio
Other Trim Level:
Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker audio system AM/FM/HD
Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes
USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder/121-hp
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 25-city/34-hwy
What’s New: The second generation Countryman has been redesign for the 2017 model year.
Why: The Countryman, which is now an available in an all-wheel drive configuration, is the roomiest of all of the MINIS. It’s almost a whopping 8 inches longer and 3 inches wider. This extra length and width now allows the vehicle to compete against crossovers, which are car-based utility vehicles. Because of the additional length, the rear door is larger and there is more legroom in the rear seat room.
While the iconic vehicle has been reworked inside and out, both the engineering and design teams have managed to maintain the style, distinctiveness and driving dynamics that make this vehicle pop.
Out of all of the MINIS, this year’s redesign Countryman offers the most standard equipment out of all of the trims. The new Countryman includes everything from an oversized power sunroof to a keyless entry system to a backup camera.
In addition to the new styling, the oversized icon is powered by two new engines, a 3-cylinder and a 4-cylinder engine. A plug-in, which offers a 24-mile driving range, became available in June.
And for those who opt for the technology package, they can expect a larger 8-inch navigation screen along with an in-car wireless charging system. The product planning team also offers a unique picnic bench-like seating area. In the 2017 model, an upholstered padded cushion folds out of the large compartment and provides seating for two when the car is parked. Yes, this is a segment exclusive for the iconic vehicle.
But: While this is MINI’S largest vehicle, we’re wondering why the rear seat does not include a center armrest.
Verdict: While the iconic vehicle has grown significantly, making this the largest MINI ever, it still manages to maintain its character and fun to drive nature. Yes, there is no mistaken this foreign icon for anything else, but a MINI 2.0.
Competition: BMW X1 and Subaru Forester