There isn’t a more criticized MINI model than the Countryman. With its BMW X1-sized body, the Countryman isn’t exactly MINI, which often causes to it draw the ire of enthusiasts.
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However, complain all you want, the Countryman is an incredibly popular model, especially in the ‘States. What’s interesting, though, is that the MINI Countryman, despite being a few years old now, still looks quite fresh.
Maybe it’s because no new MINI models have been released since the Countryman debuted but it doesn’t look in need of an update just yet.
Yet, it’s better to update it before it gets tired looking, rather than wait too long.
Meet The Facelifted MINI Countryman
Thankfully, MINI hasn’t messed with the design too much, so it still looks as good as before, just with a few subtle tweaks to make it even more handsome. For instance, a slightly tweaked grille, LED headlights, Union Jack taillights, a couple of new colors and some new wheels make up the exterior updates. On the inside, the Countryman gets a a slightly revised infotainment screen, a new digital gauge cluster borrowed from the Cooper SE and some new MINI Yours customization features.
The new colors look nice, as the MINI Countryman now offers White Silver Metallic and Sage Green Metallic. Both are great looking colors and it’s nice to see MINI offering some new good ones. Still, this isn’t groundbreaking stuff.
MINI Countryman Photo Gallery
So it’s not a huge update, this LCI facelift, but it’s enough to keep current MINI Countryman customers happy when they trade in their leased car for a new one. Also, some of the new features add function as well as style. For instance, the new LED headlights are as-standard, giving even the cheapest Countryman models excellent lighting.
However, the optional Adaptive LED lighting is even better, with variable light distribution and matrix function for high beams. While turn lighting, where the lights swivel as you go ’round corners, the Adaptive LEDs get bend lighting, where the lights actually adapt their effect based on certain weather or traffic conditions.
Adding yet another function to the Adaptive LED headlights is the automatic selective high-beam dip. The Adaptive LEDs are split into four quadrants so when the high beams are on and the front camera detects an oncoming car, rather that turn the high beams off temporarily, it simply carves out a square of light around the oncoming car.
So the car isn’t dazzled by your high beams but you still have the bright high beam light everywhere else.
MINI Cooper S Countryman All4 Facelift
It also wouldn’t be a new MINI model without Union Jack taillights. The tradition continues, as the MINI Countryman LCI gets LED taillights with the iconic British flag integrated into their design.
A Refreshed Interior Design
Inside is where the changes are most significant. The aforementioned digital gauge cluster is now easier to read and far more customizable than the small, obscured gauges of the pre-LCI car. While it’s still not as advanced as the Live Cockpit Professional in modern BMWs, it’s a bit step up for MINI.
No Major Engine Upgrades
The typical suite of BMW/MINI engines remains, giving the usual three and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. However, the standout is the MINI Countryman Cooper SE ALL4, the plug-in hybrid model. The pre-LCI car had a hybrid model as well but this is now in additional to the all-electric MINI Cooper SE.
Powering the new hybrid Countryman is a 1.5 liter turbocharged three-cylinder that powers the front wheels through a six-speed automatic gearbox. An electric motor powers the rear wheels and gives the hybrid Countryman real-time torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. It makes 220 horsepower combined and gets from 0-62 mph in 6.8 seconds.
We’re interested to try the new MINI Countryman, as the last time we drove it, it was surprisingly good for being a no-so-MINI-MINI. Now that it has some new styling tweaks and new tech, it should be even better and as competitive as ever before.
MINI Cooper SE Countryman All4