New 2017 Mini Countryman is the biggest Mini ever

Published: 26 October 2016

► New Countryman is the biggest Mini model yet 
► More room, new engines, deliveries Feb 2017 
► First Mini to be available as a plug-in hybrid

The car everyone loves to hate is back – and it’s bigger than ever. Yes, the new Mini (by name, not by nature) Countryman is 20cm longer than its predecessor, and 3cm wider, as the brand moves to tackle more spacious, popular alternatives.

While it might smack as a continual smearing of the fabled Mini name, you can’t fault the business logic behind it. So, endless ‘it’s not a real Mini’ jibes aside, what’s the story?

New 2017 Mini Countryman: the highlights

  • More interior space (you’d hope so, given the newly expanded exterior)
  • A bigger boot (ditto) – 450 litres seats up, 1309 seats down, a 220-litre improvement over the previous Countryman
  • Larger rear door openings
  • Split rear seats, with 13cm of forwards/backwards adjustability and variable-tilt backrests
  • The massive centre dial, a New Mini hallmark, returns – but this time houses a touchscreen for the first time, as part of the ‘Navigation System XL’ option.
  • New range of 3-cyl and 4-cyl engines from BMW’s latest ‘TwinPower Turbo’ family, and a plug-in hybrid.

A hybrid, you say?

The new Countryman range includes the first plug-in hybrid Mini model, catchily called the Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4. It drives its front wheels with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder  turbocharged petrol engine, and its rears with an 87bhp electric motor. Total system power and torque output is 221bhp and 284lb ft respectively, and Mini claims 0-62mph in 6.9sec.

2017 Mini Cooper S E Countryman All4

The electric motor lives under the (slightly smaller) boot, with a lithium-ion battery under the (slightly raised) back seats, next to the fuel tank.

From a 3.6kW wallbox, Mini claims a full charging time of 2h15m, compared with 3h15m from a standard household socket. Total electric-only range is 25 miles.

Thanks to the peculiar way in which plug-in vehicles’ emissions and fuel consumption is measured, the Countryman enjoys 134.5 mpg and 49 g/km ratings – on paper, at least.

And the other engines?

Four of them: two petrols, two diesels.

Petrols:

A 134bhp 1.5-litre 3cyl in the Cooper Countryman, and a 189bhp 2.0 4cyl in the Cooper S.

2017 Mini Countryman

Diesels:

A 148bhp 2.0-litre in the Cooper D Countryman and 187bhp 2.0 in the Cooper SD, both with four-cylinders. The latter claims to combine 0-62mph in 7.7sec with a 61.4mpg average (although admittedly not at the same time).  

All-wheel-drive (badged ‘All4’) is an option with all engines. Front-wheel drive is standard, with a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.

How much will the new 2017 Mini Countryman cost?

The base Cooper trim starts at £22,465. The plug-in model will join the range a little later, with prices still TBC.

Range from launch is as follows:

Model

HP

Trans

CO2

0-62 mph

OTR

MINI Cooper Countryman

136

Man

126

9.6

£22,465

Aut

126

9.6

£24,060

MINI Cooper ALL4 Countryman

136

Man

139

9.8

£23,555

Aut

136

9.8

£25,150

MINI Cooper D Countryman

150

Man

113

8.9

£24,425

Aut

115

8.8

£26,020

MINI Cooper D ALL4 Countryman

150

Man

127

8.8

£26,025

Aut

126

8.7

£27,620

MINI Cooper S Countryman

192

Man

141

7.5

£24,710

Aut

137

7.4

£26,410

MINI Cooper S ALL4 Countryman

192

Man

159

7.3

£26,350

Aut

146

7.2

£28,025

MINI Cooper SD Countryman

190

Aut

121

7.7

£28,430

MINI Cooper SD ALL4 Countryman

190

Aut

129

7.4

£29,565

Do you get much kit for your money?

Sat-nav, Bluetooth and cruise control are standard, as is the ‘Mini Country Timer.’ It’s a sort of Strava app for off-road driving; this stability control system-linked data logger detects when the Countryman is travelling over uneven terrain. Keep veering off the beaten track in your Countryman and a cartoon Mini in the display gradually grows into a monster truck as it reaches, ahem, ‘Cliff Champ’ status.

More usefully, an electric tailgate is an option, with touch-free opening and closing and the further option of the ‘Mini Picnic Bench’ – a foldout sill cushion for two people.

2017 Mini Countryman

The ‘Mini Connected’ function can transfer addresses and appointments from your smartphone to the car’s sat-nav, and has a further new optional function in the shape of ‘Mini Find Mate.’ Sounds like a dating app, but actually a way of keeping track of luggage or other items fitted with a Bluetooth tag. Leave something behind, and the sat-nav can guide you back to it.

And as you’d expect, there’s a dizzying array of colour and trim personalisation opportunities.

When can I buy a new Countryman?

You can order one now, and deliveries start in February 2017.

Read more Mini news here

2017 Mini Countryman

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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