The second generation of the Mini Countryman, which was launched in SA in March, is a far cry from the ungainly model it replaces. The new model has a more agreeable visage that makes it identifiable as a member of the Mini family. The new platform has made the vehicle more agile. While the Cooper S was our pick of the range at the time, that may have changed somewhat following my brief stint at the wheel of the soon-to-be-launched Countryman D. The Countryman D is the diesel variant of the model and sits between the Cooper and Cooper S models in the model hierarchy. It is powered by the company’s tried and trusted 2.0l turbodiesel that also does duty in the BMW X1 sDrive20d variant, which the Countryman shares a platform with. In the Countryman the engine makes 110kW and 330Nm, the latter figure making it the second-highest torque model in the range after the John Cooper Works (JCW) version. We had the six-speed automatic variant on test (a manual version is standard but the automa...

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