A More Rugged Countryman Coming Soon
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A More Rugged Countryman Coming Soon

A More Rugged Countryman Coming Soon

Next week in Los Angeles three new versions of the Mini Countryman will be unveiled. This will be the first major body style update since it’s introduction a few years ago. Since its introduction and even before, the appetite for small luxurious SUVs and crossovers has been growing. This new Countryman gives us more of what we love in a slightly more rugged exterior package.

The old Countryman was the first Mini in the U.S. to have four full size doors. It’s also the largest Mini they make, which couldn’t be anymore of an oxymoron if it tried. Mini is now claiming a 30% increase in cargo space with this update. Be that as it may (and having always been a Mini fan myself) I can say this new one raises the bar significantly with an even bigger surprise up its sleeve.

For starters, both engines will now be turbocharged. The difference is one cylinder. The small engine is a turbo-3 and the larger is a turbo-4. But to me the big news is the addition of a plug-in hybrid to the lineup – a first from Mini. That is, unless you remember the Mini E from a few years back which was 100% electric, only available in certain markets and could only be leased. With more and more companies offering plug-in hybrids, it really makes sense for Mini to get in the game. Minis always offered a premium experience that is sporty and while getting great gas mileage at the same time. What makes the Countryman plug-in so unique is that it boasts the fastest 0-60 time of all three new trim levels: 6.8 seconds. You can travel up to 24 miles on electric only power. It also comes standard with AWD and would qualify for a government rebate. Mini hasn’t announced official gas mileage numbers for any of the models just yet.

The new Countryman has a long list of great features being offered as standard on all models:

  • Expansive panorama sunroof
  • Sensatec leatherette upholstery
  • Comfort access keyless entry
  • MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display
  • Rear view camera with guidelines
  • Rear Park Distance Control (parking sensors)
  • Bluetooth supporting telephone, audio streaming, and Siri Eyes Free
  • Automatic headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Fore-and-aft sliding rear seats with reclining and 40:20:40 split-folding backrests
  • 17-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper) or 18-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper S)

So, if you are interested in getting a small SUV with some premium features and want to have the option of a plug-in hybrid, I can’t help but recommend you check out the new Countryman. It will be arriving at Mini dealers in March 2017. The plug-in arrives a few months later in June.

 

 

Photos Courtesy: Mini USA

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