Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 13 Dec 2017
The Countryman as the name suggests is the Mini designed to tackle a journey for the entire family, it is also the largest Mini within the brand’s arsenal, and designed to shake things up in the SUV market space.
This year we saw some significant changes to the model, including some vibrant cosmetic upgrades, this to a model which was already at the forefront of the fashion industry.
It’s All In The Details
The body of the Countryman represents a contrast of colour, much in keeping with the attitude and funky appeal of the model itself. From its smooth contoured lines to its bold sense of style, there really is little out there which can match the flash appeal of this vehicle and that is before I mention the space which it offers.
The cabin of the Mini is adorned with a wash of colour. This is partly owing to the vibrancy of its multi-coloured mood lighting and partly with its clever combination of contrasting materials and colours. The Countryman is the largest Mini produced by the company and will easily seat up to five adults in comfort. Its high roof-line and now increased body proportions make for a vehicle which is truly generous as a family car. A five star Euro NCAP safety rating and the likes of a multitude of safety systems, ISOFIX mounting points and airbags throughout the cabin make for great piece of mind.
Big On Tech
The Mini brand is all about embracing the modern world. With the latest in multimedia technology delivered through the large central ring which forms the multimedia system, it is not only intuitive and easy to operate using either voice or the central jog dial but also, adds the benefit of enjoying media from sources such as satellite-based services. Quick an easy reach of USB and auxiliary is also available to connect devices seamlessly.
A Ride With A Difference
Even riding on its large 18-inch gloss black alloys, the Mini is able to impress with what is ultimately a firm and communicative ride, coupled with a dollop of soft satisfaction on bumpier surfaces. The Countryman features either the 1.5-litre 3-cylinder petrol motor which produces 100 kW and 220 Nm of torque or the considerably more powerful Cooper S engine.
All the power is mated to an 8-speed automated gearbox, and the Countryman is available with 2-wheel drive currently in South Africa, while elsewhere it also benefits from 4-wheel drive. Ride height sits with impressive 165 mm of ground clearance.
Pricing, Warranty & Competitors
The Mini Countryman range starts at R423,824 (manual) Cooper Countryman, or at a cost of R442,052 for the automatic version. The spicey Cooper S models start at R493,306. Sold with a 2-year/unlimited km warranty as well as a 5-year/100 000 km service plan.
With its generous levels of space, impressive build quality and ultimate style, the Countryman is somewhat unique. If looking for spacious family SUV within a similar price point, you can consider the likes of the either the BMW X1, Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5 or Nissan Qashqai.