There’s nothing earth-shatteringly new about the ‘new’ MINI Countryman. It’s still the biggest MINI you can get, still a crossover for MINI owners who’ve outgrown their three-door hatchbacks but can’t quite bring themselves to buy something as sensible as a Volkswagen Tiguan or Seat Ateca,
Still based on a BMW too – the Countryman rides on the same platform as most small, front-wheel drive Bimmer including the new 1 Series, X1, X2 and so-on.
Most of the changes are superficial – new LED headlights and fog-lights, those famous Union Jack tail-lights, a new grille, new alloy wheels and colours. While inside there’s a raft of new colour and material options, plus the same digital dials as the MINI GP and Electric.
Not transformative, but that’s fine. Should be enough to keep the Countryman humming along until a completely new one inevitably comes out in a few years’ time.
There are no new engines, though MINI claims it’s worked hard to make the existing ones cleaner and greener. For now, your options are the three-cylinder petrol in the Countryman Cooper, the four-cylinder petrol in the Cooper S, the four-cylinder Cooper D diesel or the Plug-In Hybrid, which pairs the three-cylinder petrol with a small electric motor.
No news in MINIs press release of the JCW, which was only updated this time last year.
STORY Tom Harrison