Frontal and rear touches bring the MINI Countryman in line with the range’s life cycle changes. Picture: SUPPLIED
Frontal and rear touches bring the MINI Countryman in line with the range’s life cycle changes. Picture: SUPPLIED

What began as a staggered approach of life cycle refurbishments for MINI ranges that debuted with the Cooper hatch, and was followed by the Clubman, have finally reached the largest MINI — the Countryman.

The refreshed Countryman takes a lot of cues introduced in its hatch cousins including a frontal redesign of the radiator grille and new LED bulbs for its familiar and interestingly shaped headlamps. It also benefits from the rear LED lights in Union Jack design.

As most consumers are attracted to the Countryman for its practicality fused with the brand’s fifties flower-power zeitgeist, the most crucial point is what they have done inside the 4,300mm long, 1,821mm wide and 1,557mm high SUV.

There’s a new digital cockpit display with a 12.7cm colour screen fitted as standard while the larger and circular 22.3cm main display is an option.

The car gets a sports leather steering wheel in all model variants while the leather trims and interior surfaces can be had in varied colour schemes and the Countryman also gets an updated MINI Connected function.

The Countryman retains a 2,670mm wheelbase for space for four to five with 450l cargo volume or 1,390l with the seats flipped down. 

The interior gets more premium features including better graphics. Picture: SUPPLIED
The interior gets more premium features including better graphics. Picture: SUPPLIED

Power outputs for the Cooper 1.5l three-cylinder petrol turbo are 100kW and 220Nm with a claimed 0—100km/h time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 205km/h. Average fuel consumption is 6.3l/100km.

The 2.0l four-cylinder Cooper S version wields 141kW and 280Nm for a 0-100 km/h sprint in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 225km/h. It consumes an average 6.7l/100km.

All models are equipped standard with a seven-speed Steptronic double clutch transmission. Paddle shifts are optional for the MINI Countryman Cooper S only.

The updated Countryman models will be available here in the latter part of the year.

There are no ALL4 derivatives as both Cooper and its “S” cousin are exclusively fitted with front-wheel drive underpinnings. Their 165mm ground clearance should suffice on most gravel roads except those declared 4X4 only. SA pricing has not been finalised as yet.