Preview: 2017 Mini Countryman to be showcased at LA Auto Show
While we predominantly associate brand Mini with its hot hatch, the Cooper, the marque also has the 'bigger' crossover on offer, the Countryman. Mini entered a new territory with the Countryman in 2010 which not just looked a muscled-up version of the Cooper but was also more practical than the hatch. And now Mini has revealed the 2017 Countryman which will be showcased at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show scheduled to take place on November 18th at the LA Convention Center.
The 2017 Mini Countryman is based on the new platform that also underpins the new-generation BMW X1 which was launched earlier this year in India.
The 2017 Mini Countryman gets a new design that has made it larger than before. It now measures 200mm longer at 4,299mm and 30mm wider at 1,822 mm than the previous model. The wheelbase too has been extended by 75mm at 2,670mm.
The headlight cluster has been redesigned with a new squarish profile instead of the circular theme of the previous iteration. It features LED headlamps with DRL, which will be an optional feature. The rounded profile of the radiator grille along with the central air vent below gets a mild revision in the design. The front bumper gets a busier treatment with the upper-half finished in piano black while the lower section houses the larger air vents. The fog lamps have been re-positioned inside the air vents.
When compared with the previous model, the larger dimensions of the 2017 Mini Countryman are evident. The contrasting bright roof is now complemented aluminium-finished roof rails. The quarter glass now sports a larger profile as the length of the crossover has gone up. The other revisions on the side profile include arrow-shaped turn indicators, larger ORVMs and a new crease line that flows along the running board area with an ALL4 logo.
The rear profile of the earlier model featured a clean tail door; however, the 2017 Mini Countryman gets a sportier layout. An electric tailgate control is available as an option.
The registration plate has been re-positioned on the tail door instead of the bumper. Other changes include the model branding, dual-tone finish on the bumper and dual exhaust pipes.
The standard feature list in the new Mini Countryman includes the Radio MINI Boost with four-line display affixed in the central instrument along with Bluetooth telephony. The other options include the Radio MINI Visual Boost with a 6.5-inch colour display, Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system, and the brand's navigation system. The top-end variants get an 8.8-inch touchscreen unit, which is a first for the Countryman.
The increase in dimensions has resulted for an increased space for five seats as well as an addition in storage volume. BMW states that the raised seating position ensures an excellent view and hallmark driving fun. The rear seats can be shifted longitudinally by up to 130mm. The folding rear backrest offers a 40:20:40 split ratio.
In terms of safety, the 2017 Countryman gets the standard collision warning with city braking function. One can also avail more options on this system that include the driving assistant system with camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection. In addition to this, park distance control, rear-view camera, parking assistant and head-up-display will be available as an option.
The 2017 Mini Countryman will be offered with four engine options upon its global launch. The standard version of the Cooper Countryman will be powered by a 1,499cc 3-cylinder petrol engine which makes 136PS of power and generates 220Nm of torque. The Cooper S Countryman will be offered with a 1,998cc petrol motor which puts out 192PS and makes 280Nm of peak torque.
The Cooper D Countryman gets a 4-cylinder 1,995cc diesel engine that generates 150PS of power and makes a 330Nm of maximum torque. The Cooper SD Countryman will be offered with the same motor but with an increased output of 190PS and 400Nm. The motors in the Cooper S Countryman and the Cooper D Countryman are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This comes as standard in the MINI Cooper SD Countryman, too.
The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 that was recently unveiled features a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder petrol motor which produces 136PS. It is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Combined with the 65kW electric motor, the total output is 224PS and 385Nm. Mini claims a 0-100kmph time of 6.9 seconds.
The Mini Countryman will be officially showcased at the 2016 Los Angeles Motor Show, while the European market launch is scheduled for February 2017. Deliveries will begin from March 2017, and we expect Mini to get the new Countryman in India as well sometime by the end of next year. Upon its launch in India, the new Countryman will compete with the likes of BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3 and also the upcoming Audi Q2 that also arrives next year.
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