Richard Aucock recently published an interesting comparison between two unusual rivals: MINI and Nissan. The latest model coming out of the Oxford’s plant, Countryman, is already shaping up as being a strong contender in the small crossover segment, a segment that many believe is yet to be clearly defined.
Sporting a higher ride height and combining elements from previous MINI models, the Countryman is unique in its own way. Despite initial expected criticism around brand dilution and what MINI stands for, recent reviews and driving experiences have managed to change the perception of this new MINI model.
And so it seems that MINI is not the only one to fully take on this new market. The Japanese automaker Nissan has their own up the sleeve: Nissan Juke. In a recent report by Automobile Magazine, Nissan described the Juke as being “designed for “aggressive attention-seekers,” or in other words, youngish dudes who would normally be scouring Craigslist ads for a four-year old BMW 3-series, or an old Z, or perhaps a used Maxima.”
So, let’s jump into the short analytical report by Aucock and his take on what the two models stand for.
MINI is going head to head with Nissan this autumn as an all new car sector fast hots up.
The small crossover market is one both makers hope will bring big sales gains for them – but the route to entry for both has been rather different.
MINI, of course, stokes the most controversy. This is the biggest MINI ever, the first 5-door, the closest a MINI has ever got to the 4 metre long threshold.
Nissan, though, is coming at it from the other way. It’s enjoyed amazing success with the fine Qashqai family crossover; now it’s bringing similar thinking down to the supermini market.
In the Juke and the Countryman, the two firms meet at last. Yup, it’s the first time a Nissan has ever eyeballed a MINI!
It’s a significant meet in two ways – one, in showing the desire of BMW Group to win extra sales volume for MINI, further strengthening its future. But, two, it is also a measure of how the Nissan brand has come on from its Almera-riddled past.