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by Matt Brogan

A new Mini has been added to the range, a fourth model in the family. The Mini Countryman is a genuine Crossover and bridges the gap between classic Mini and a modern SUV. The Countryman offers the typical Mini driving experience to a new target group who require more space and flexibility. This is the first Mini to offer four doors and a wide opening rear lid. With a slightly elevated driving position and a cabin with more space the Countryman still maintains that go-cart feeling. An option is MINI ALL4, an all wheel drive system.

The Mini Countryman has a larger body with greater ground clearance and four doors with the design cues of Mini. Short overhangs, high window line and window graphics extending around the whole car which create the unique proportions typical of Mini. The extra space inside the car is highlighted with larger windows.
Inside the slightly elevated seats make entry easier and optimises the driver’s view. The centre console (Rail in Mini language) extends into the back and divides the back seats. Clip in elements allow driver and passengers the option to sub-divide the storage boxes as required.

Standard with four seats with a no cost option to make the back seat a bench seat so three can fit. The rear seats also move fore-and-aft, individually or 60 : 40 (three seat bench) split. The backrests also can fold individually or 40 : 20 : 40 (three seat bench) to increase the boot space from 350 to 1,170 litres.

A choice of three petrol and two diesel engines, all of which comply with EU5 emission standards. Power extends from 66kW in the Mini One D Countryman up to 135kW in the Mini Cooper S Countryman. The 1.6 litre petrol engine comes with a twin scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection and variable valve management. Other features to help reduce fuel consumption are: Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop, a gearshift point indicator, and on-demand management of the engine’s ancillary units. A six speed manual gearbox is standard but there is an option of a six speed Steptronic automatic.

When you tick MINI ALL4 options box (available on Mini Cooper S and Mini Cooper D) the all wheel drive system sends up to 50 per cent of power to the rear wheels, with the ability to send 100 per cent to the rear. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) come as an option and are standard on the ALL4 models as well as an electronic limited slip function for the front axle differential.

In the event of a collision, the body structure has defined load paths and crumple zones. Front and curtain airbags as well as side airbags for all four seats protect the passengers as well as three point inertia reel seat belts with belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters at the front. A Tyre Defect indicator with runflat tyres is an option and standard on the Mini Cooper S Countryman with ALL4.

The options list is huge, customers can chose to customise the exterior and interior of their Mini Countryman. An extra large Panorama roof is an option, a navigation system, Adaptive Headlights combined with xenon headlights, integration with Apple iPhone or other smartphones to name a few. Alloy wheels range from 16 to 19 inches and a wide range of John Cooper Works Performance Components are also available.




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