MINI Countryman launches in December and will carry a base price of $22,350, only $550 more than the Clubman wagon. Jim McDowell, President of MINI USA, said that a well-equipped Countryman Cooper S will cost just under $30,000.

According to Automotive Magazine, McDowell expects the Countryman to appeal to buyers who wanted to buy a MINI but need the extra space that the new crossover offers. “The Countryman is a game-changer for us,” McDowell said. “We are going from extra-small to small.”

This is the first MINI with four doors and a large tailgate as well as a variable interior. At the same time the MINI Countryman is the brand’s first model measuring more than four meters (157 inches) in length and available as an option with ALL4 all-wheel drive.

mini-countryman-photoThe MINI Countryman comes as standard with four seats, while a three-seat bench is available as a no-cost option, but initially only in Europe. Its interior enhances comfort over long journeys with generous legroom, headroom and shoulder room. The rear seats can be moved forwards and backwards individually or in a 60 : 40 split (three-seat bench), the angle of the backrests can be adjusted and the backrests can be folded down either individually or in a 40 : 20 : 40 split (three-seat bench), all of which allows luggage capacity to be increased from 350 liters to a maximum 1,170 liters (12.4 to 41.3 cu ft).

The entry-level Countryman is powered by a 120-horsepower 1.6-liter inline-4, while the Cooper S produces 180-horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque.

The Countryman will offer a six-speed manual transmission standard with a six-speed automatic as an option.