The Mini Countryman has been updated four years after its debut, bringing with it more power, improved efficiency and subtle aesthetic changes.

Due to go on sale locally in the fourth quarter of this year, the updated Mini Countryman now boasts EU6-compliant engines – again tied to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission – and a revised exterior and interior.

Distinguishable by a newly designed hexagonal radiator grille with new horizontal radiator grille rib designs (chrome for Cooper S and Cooper SD Countrymans and matt silver for Cooper and Cooper D models), the refreshed Mini Countryman also offers new daytime running lights and tyre pressure monitoring as standard.

Front, rear and side underbody guard elements are also standard on every all-wheel-drive ALL4 model, except the John Cooper Works Countryman. The add-ons are also optionally available for front-wheel-drive variants.

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New 16- and 17-inch light alloy wheels will also come standard on Cooper and Cooper D and Cooper S and Cooper SD Countrymans respectively, while new LED fog lights and an LED parking light are optional across the range.

With power and torque unchanged at 90kW and 160Nm, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder entry-level Mini Cooper Countryman is now 0.1sec quicker from 0-100km/h, with a time of 10.4 seconds. The automatic remains at 11.6sec.

Top speed has increased by 1km/h to 191km/h (auto up 2km/h to 184km/h), and combined cycle fuel consumption has dropped from a claimed 6.5 litres per 100km to 5.9L/100km (auto down 0.7L/100km to 6.9).

Emissions have also fallen, regardless of transmission, with the manual and auto now claiming 137 and 159 grams of CO

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per kilometre respectively – down from 152 and 177g/km for the outgoing model.

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A 5kW power increase means the Cooper S Countryman now outputs 140kW and 240Nm (260Nm with overboost), helping reduce its claimed 0-100km/h time by 0.1sec to 7.5 seconds (7.8sec auto), while top speed is up 3km/h to 218km/h (up 4km/h in the auto to 214km/h).

Fuel consumption has dropped 0.6L/100km to 6.0L/100km (auto down 0.7L/100km to 6.8L/100km) and emissions have dropped 15g/km to 139g/km (auto down 18g/km to 157g/km).

The ALL4 Cooper S Countryman too is now 0.2sec quicker to 100km/h (7.7sec manual, 8.1 auto), up to 8km/h faster top-end (215km/h manual, 213km/h auto) and as much as 1.0L/100km more fuel efficient (6.4L/100km manual, 7.1/100km auto). Emissions have been improved from 171g/km (189g/km auto) to 148g/km (165g/km auto).

The 82kw/270Nm Cooper D Countryman is now able to travel up to 1km/h faster, with a top speed of 186km/h (181km/h auto), while using 0.2L/100km less fuel when teamed with the manual (4.2L/km). Emissions are also down by up to 4g/km.

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The all-paw Cooper D Countryman’s improvements are similar to its front-wheel-drive twin, resulting in claimed figures of 4.7L/100km (5.9L/100km auto), 123g/km (155g/km auto) and 181km/h (176km/h auto).

The 105kW/305Nm Cooper SD ALL4 Countryman and 160kW/280Nm John Cooper Works Countryman both better their respective predecessors to 100km/h with best times of 9.3sec and 6.9sec.

The top-spec diesel model has also upped its top speed by 2km/h (197km/h manual, 195km/h auto) and reduced its fuel usage by up to 0.2L/100km (4.8L/100km manual, 5.9L/100km auto) and its CO

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emissions by 4g/km (126g/km manual, 156g/km auto).

The flagship John Cooper Works Countryman remains the fastest accelerating variant at 6.9sec 0-100km/h – down 0.1sec – while the update results in fuel consumption improving by up to 0.9L/100km (7.1L/100km manual, 7.5L/100km auto) and emissions dropping 21g/km to 165g/km (auto down 18g/km to 175g/km. Top speed is also up 3km/h in manual guise to 228km/h and 2km/h to 225km/h in the auto.

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Inside the updated Countryman, which Mini claims to have optimised for “acoustic comfort”, are chrome ventilation controls and JCW-style anthracite-coloured instruments.

Headlined by three new exterior paint finishes – Jungle Green metallic (pictured); Midnight Grey metallic; and Starlight Blue – customisation options include contrasting colours for the roof and exterior mirror caps as well as bonnet and ‘Sport’ stripes and a Piano Black exterior pack comprising high-gloss black and dark shaded accents – the latter available for the first time.

Full pricing and specification details will be released closer the updated Mini Countryman's local launch, following its public debut at this week’s 2014 New York auto show.