The new MINI Countryman continues its auto show tour and stops this month in Chicago for the annual car event. Starting at just $26,100 in the US, the new Sports Activity Vehicle is claimed to be the best equipped MINI ever. The price applies to the Cooper model and does not include the $850 shipping and handling fee. Chip in another $2,000 and you can get all-wheel drive on the Cooper as well.
The new MINI Countryman measures 7.8 inches longer than the outgoing model, a full inch wider and its wheelbase has grown 2.9 inches. This increase in size has dramatically increased interior passenger and cargo space as well as now offering five fully-fledged seats. The seating position is also higher, now, offering a more SUV-like seating height to aid in outward visibility.
As far as standard features go, every Countryman will come equipped with things such as an expansive Panorama Sunroof, Sensatec Leatherette Upholstery, Comfort Access keyless entry, MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display, Rear View Camera with guidelines, Rear Park Distance Control (parking sensors), Bluetooth supporting Telephone, Audio Streaming, and Siri Eyes Free, Automatic Headlights and Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, Fore-and-Aft Sliding Rear Seats with Reclining and 40:20:40 Split-Folding Backrests and 17-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper).
The design is more muscular and more chiseled, certainly the more rugged looking car, a very typical MINI with all the modern MINI design cues present. More ambient lighting, a better-sorted center console, a new armrest and wider dash trim make the cabin feel more upscale and premium.
Two engine options will be available for the Countryman at launch. Under the hood of the standard MINI Cooper Countryman will lie a 1.5 liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine making 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. In the higher-spec MINI Cooper S Countryman will be the B48 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making 189 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. Both engine options will come with front-wheel drive as standard with MINI’s optional ALL4 all-wheel drive system.
The fastest model available is the MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 with the eight-speed auto, doing 0-60 mph in 7 seconds flat.
The new MINI Countryman will be available in Spring 2017.