The second generation of Mini’s Countryman small SUV will touch down in Australia from late in the first quarter, boasting an increase in specification and technology as well as new styling, but it will attract an increase in price of up to $4600 over the outgoing model.
When it arrives, the range will kick off with the base-level Countryman Cooper which employs a 110kW/220Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder unit, and will be priced from $39,900 before on-roads – an increase of $3400 over the previous generation’s range-opener.
Next up is the diesel-powered Cooper D priced at $43,900, representing a hefty $4600 price hike, and employing a 2.0-litre four-pot unit that puts out 110kW/330Nm.
The most potent petrol variant for the time being, the Cooper S, also uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit that manages 141kW/280Nm and is priced at $46,500, which represents an increase of $1600 – the smallest hike of any variant.
The range is topped by the Cooper SD, which uses the same unit as the Cooper D but has been tuned to pump out 140kW/400Nm, and is the only Countryman to employ Mini’s All4 all-wheel drive system, with all other variants sending power to the front wheels.
The local range will be further bolstered by the arrival of a plug-in hybrid variant sometime in the future.
The range-topper has increased in price by $2160 to $51,500, and will remain the most expensive Countryman until the arrival of a hot JCW variant later in the year, which will employ a 170kW/350Nm petrol engine and all-wheel drive.
The price increase is accompanied by increased levels of standard specification, which includes 18-inch alloy wheels, auto emergency braking, active cruise control, forward collision warning, speed limiter, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, digital radio, satellite navigation, keyless entry and start, automatic tailgate and automatic transmissions across the range.
The base Countryman Cooper is teamed with a six-speed auto which achieves a combined fuel economy figure of 6.5 litres per 100km, and completes the 0-100km/h sprint in 9.6 seconds.
It gets cloth and leather interior, halogen headlights, silver-finished roof rails and sill mouldings, gloss black side scuttles, roof-mounted rear spoiler and chrome exhaust outlet.
Opting for the oil-burning Cooper D, which can race from 0-100km/h in 8.8s and has a better fuel economy figure of 4.8L/100km, nets buyers the same level of specification and Mini will up the number of gears from six to eight.
Upgrading to the Cooper S and SD gains dual exhaust pipes, adaptive cornering LED headlights, new-look 18-inch wheels, S badging, sports steering wheel, rear seat armrests and selectable driving modes, with buyers able to choose between normal, sport and green settings.
Both S derivatives use an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, with an identical 0-100km/h time of 7.4s and combined fuel consumption figures of 6.5L/100km for the petrol and 5.2L/100km for the diesel.
The new generation is visually set apart from the old by a new-look front fascia, with a redesigned grille and bumper.
The Countryman gets a 90mm higher ride height than its Clubman sibling, while storage space can be increased to 450L with the 40/20/40 split-rear seats folded, representing 100L increase over the old model.
Mini says that interior space is up across the board, with increases of 50mm in rear legroom and shoulder room, 59mm in elbow room and 9mm more headroom.
The local range will be further bolstered by the arrival of a plug-in hybrid variant sometime in the future, but exact timing and details are yet to be confirmed.
2017 Mini Countryman list pricing
Mini Countryman Cooper – automatic – $39,900
Mini Countryman Cooper D – automatic – $43,900
Mini Countryman Cooper S – automatic – $46,500
Mini Countryman Cooper SD – automatic – $51,500