2017 Mini Countryman revealed – everything you need to know
Pictures, prices and details for this new Mini Countryman SUV, which will take on the Audi Q2 and Nissan Qashqai
When the Mini Countryman was launched in 2010, it challenged the assumption that a Mini was, by definition, small. But while this made it a controversial addition to the range, it didn’t hinder sales; more than half a million have been shifted in the past six years.
Unlike the short-lived Mini Roadster and Mini Coupé, then, the Countryman was always going to be replaced, and the second-generation version will arrive in UK dealerships in February 2017.
This all-new SUV is even bigger than the original, making it a direct rival for the Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca, as well as smaller prestige-badge models such as the Audi Q2. Yet despite the increase in size and sharper creases in its bodywork, the design is still very much an evolutionary one.
The shape of the headlights and side windows, in particular, is pure Countryman, although there is a simpler and less aggressive take on the traditional Mini front grille.
Mini claims that the new car will not only be roomier than its predecessor, but also feel higher quality inside. And it will be the first Mini available as a plug-in hybrid.
What is the hybrid Mini Countryman like?
The hybrid Countryman (called the Cooper SE) is four-wheel drive, with a 134bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine powering the front wheels and an 87bhp electric motor driving the rears, while the batteries have enough capacity for an electric-only range of around 25 miles.
Official average fuel economy is a whopping 134.5mpg, and CO2 emissions are just 49g/km. As with all plug-in hybrids, though, you’ll only achieve these sorts of figures in the real world if most of your journeys are short and you top up the car’s batteries after each one.
It takes 3hrs 15mins to recharge the car from an ordinary three-pin socket or 2hrs 15mins from a specially designed wall box.
With both the engine and the electric motor running, the hybrid produces 221bhp and is the fastest model in the new Countryman range, capable of 0-62mph in a hot hatch-rivalling 6.9sec.
What engines will the new Mini Countryman have?
There are four conventionally powered versions of the new Countryman: the entry-level Cooper uses the same 1.5-litre petrol engine as the hybrid, the Cooper S a 189bhp 2.0-litre petrol, and the Cooper D and Cooper SD have 2.0-litre diesels with 148bhp and 187bhp respectively.
These models get front-wheel drive as standard, but Mini’s All4 four-wheel-drive system is a £1600 option.
Although All4 is designed to improve traction in treacherous conditions rather than turn the Countryman into a real off-roader, a more rugged version of the car is believed to be under development; we expect this to have a raised right height, modified bumpers and front and rear skid plates.