The second-generation Mini Countryman crossover will be priced from $39,900 plus on-road costs when it arrives in Australia at the end of March, an increase offset by significant specification increases.
Mini’s new small SUV is a significant step forward on its predecessor in every area, and will fight in a more congested segment, principally against the imminent Audi Q2 (from $41,100), as well as the Mercedes-Benz GLA (priced from $43,600). It also sees the manual gearbox axed.
The sub-$40k opening gambit also puts the base Countryman Cooper in the same ballpark as flagship versions of the Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai, as well as middle-grade versions of larger mainstream crossovers such as the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson.
The new Countryman, based on an entirely new architecture shared in part with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer as well as the Mini Clubman, is slightly bigger than before, and offers appreciably more headroom and rear legroom.
It’s also vastly more practical, with 40/20/40 folding rear seats that both slide (up to 130mm) and recline, and a cargo space increase of about 25 per cent to 450L with the back sets occupied.
The base front-wheel drive (FWD) Countryman Cooper spec is up from $34,150 (for the now-axed manual) in current iteration, but significantly better equipped.
Power comes from the company’s familiar 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with 100kW of power and 200Nm of torque, giving the car a 0-100km/h time of 9.6sec and fuel consumption of 6.0L/100km (claimed). This engine is matched to a standard six-speed automatic gearbox, with the manual axed due to almost no market demand.
Standard equipment includes: reversing camera (not available on the old model); park assist; keyless entry and go; DAB+ digital radio; cloth/leather seats; climate control; a 6.5-inch screen with sat-nav; 18-inch alloy wheels; automatic electric tailgate and a cool Mini projection on the pavement at night.
Finally, you get the Driver Assistant package standard, which adds the the adaptive cruise system technologies such as low-speed autonomous brakes, auto high-beam; a speed-limit warning and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go.
Next up the tree is the FWD Countryman Cooper D, with a 110kW/330Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that uses a claimed 4.8L/100km of fuel and cuts the 0-100km/h time to 8.8sec. It comes with the same spec as the base Cooper, but adds an eight-speed auto from the Clubman. The price is $43,900.
Beyond both of the base Coopers sits the FWD Mini Countryman Cooper S, priced at $46,500. Power comes from the hatchback’s familiar 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four with 141kW and 280Nm, cutting the 0-100km/h time to a sprightly 7.4sec. The eight-speed auto from the Cooper D is standard.
Additional specification over the base Coopers includes various driving modes (changing the gearbox shift points, throttle mapping and steering resistance); twin-pipes; a John Cooper Works (JCW) steering wheel; rear folding armrest and full LED headlights.
Topping the range, in lieu of the full-flat JCW, for now is the Countryman Cooper SD All4, which sports an on-demand all-wheel drive (AWD) system that defaults to the front wheels, a potent 140kW/400Nm turbo-diesel engine and a 7.4sec 0-100km/h time. The price is $51,500, and specification mirrors the Cooper S.
Countryman Cooper $39,900
Countryman Cooper D $43,900
Countryman Cooper S $46,500
Countryman Cooper SD All4 $51,500
Being a Mini, there are obviously a ton of options, broken up into packages. These include:
Chili pack — $1500 on Cooper and Cooper D
LED headlights and LED daytime running lights
Adaptive cornering lights
JCW Chili pack — $4900 on Cooper/Cooper D, $3600 on Cooper S/Cooper SD
JCW body kit
Different roof rails and 18-inch alloys
Driving modes (Cooper and Cooper D)
Adjustable dampers OR lowered suspension
Leather seats and shift lever
JCW door sill finishes
Anthracite roof lining
Road Trip pack — $750 for Cooper/Cooper D, $500 on Cooper S/Cooper SD
Luggage compartment net
Multimedia Pro pack — $2400
8.8-inch screen with Professional sat-nav, natural voice recognition and 3D maps
12-speaker harman/kardon sound system
Convenience pack — $2150
Electric front seats with memory
Interior and exterior mirror pack
Climate pack — $2400
Heated front seats