Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Mini | posted October 26, 2016 12:39
2017 Mini Countryman is now bigger, gets hybrid model option
The first-generation Countryman is probably one of the longest-running models from Mini that has yet to receive a makeover...until now. After six years in the market, the Countryman is all-new for the 2017 model year.
Scheduled to make its official debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Motor Show, the 2017 Countryman is bigger, sleeker, more spacious and has several new features.
According to Mini, the all-new Countryman has been reengineered and redesigned from the ground-up, but still has its signature flair. It now sits on a new platform and gets a new line of turbocharged powertrain options that will deliver quick acceleration and go kart-like handling. In addition, the new platform actually allowed Mini to make more interior space on the new Countryman.
In terms of design, the next-gen crossover still carries the familiar shape of the previous model but now gets rounder edges and a slightly sleeker finish. The front fascia sports new LED headlights, larger front bumper with bigger foglights and a more distinct grill. Also present on the 2017 Countryman are the increased ride height, new roof rails and the new rear bumper with diffuser. Completing it all are new 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels. The smaller set is for the Cooper model while the larger wheels are only for the Cooper S.
Size-wise, the 2017 Countryman is about 203mm longer than the outgoing generation while the wheelbase has been increased by about 74mm. All this equates to 30-percent more cabin space according to Mini. With it, the new crossover gets improved front and rear legroom, along with more cargo space. It even gets an adjustable trunk floor which makes for easier stowage of large luggage.
Over to in-car features and amenties,the 2017 Countryman can be specified with the following: Sensatec Leatherrte upholstery, panoramic sunroof, comfort access key, rear view camera with park distnace control, bluetooth audio and telephony, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers as such. ALL4 models, on the other hand, will come with heated seats as standard.
The new crossover can also be fitted with the Technology Package which equips the car with an upgraded 8.8-inch touchscreen navigation system. It gets a new user interface and operating system, along with wireless charging.
Over to engines, the 2017 Countryman is now available with either 1.5- or 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo. The smaller engine produces 138 PS with 220 Nm of torque while the bigger motor cranks out 195 PS and 280 Nm of torque. Standard models come with a 6-speed manual transmission while Cooper S and Cooper S ALL4 models are equipped with an 8-speed automatic.
The Countryman will also be available as a hybrid. It uses the standard 1.5-liter turbo inline-three but is helped along by an electric motor which provides an additional 88 PS and 165 Nm of torque. Total system output is rated at 224 PS and 385 Nm of torque. Power is fed through a 6-speed automatic gearbox. It even has a pure electric mode which gives the Countryman an electric range of 38 km and a top speed of 124 km/h.
The 2017 Mini Countryman will first go on sale in March next year in the US.