Introduced last year, the Mini Cooper Countryman serves as the brand's entry into the small-crossover segment. It has a taller stance and, unlike other Coopers, four conventional side doors and available all-wheel drive. Buyers have a choice of a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine or a turbo four-cylinder (S versions). It competes against the Volkswagen Tiguan and Nissan Juke.
New for 2012
A new way to personalize your Mini debuts with the launch of Mini Yours. The list of premium options includes a two-tone leather-covered instrument panel and steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels and special seat upholstery finishes. Additionally, the Countryman can have an optional rearview mirror with a digital compass.
The Countryman is instantly recognizable as a Mini, but it loses some of the "cuteness" that's been a defining element of the regular Cooper. The front grille is larger and more upright, and the headlights aren't circular like they are on the Cooper. Overall, the Countryman's front-end styling is more aggressive and serious. Roof rails are standard.
The addition of rear side doors does wonders for backseat ease of entry, which is a problem in the Cooper. The Countryman's roof can be finished in black or white instead of body color, and S models feature unique styling cues like a roof spoiler and a rear diffuser. Exterior features include:
- Standard 17-inch wheels with run-flat tires
- Optional 18-inch wheels
- Standard rear-window wiper
- Optional sport suspension
- Optional dual-panel panoramic moonroof
- Optional adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights
- Optional heated side mirrors
The Countryman's cabin draws heavily on the regular Cooper for inspiration, with a tachometer in front of the steering wheel and a large center-mounted speedometer. However, its styling makes a departure from the Cooper's with the Center Rail system, which consists of two rails that go from the front of the cabin to the backseat, separating the standard bucket seats in each row. The system provides owners another way to customize their Mini by adding various attachments to the rails, such as cupholders and storage bins.
For enhanced passenger space and comfort, the Countryman's rear bucket seats can slide up to 5.1 inches, and they also recline. The cargo area measures 12.2 cubic feet, which is similar to what a compact sedan offers, but it increases to 41 cubic feet after folding the rear seats. Interior features include:
- Standard simulated leather seats; leather optional
- Optional heated seats
- Standard CD stereo with MP3 jack
- Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- Standard configurable ambient lighting
- Optional navigation system
- Optional Mini Connected iPhone integration system
- Optional Harman/Kardon premium stereo
- Standard climate-controlled glove box
Under the Hood
The Cooper Countryman has a 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder while the Cooper S Countryman is powered by a 181-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. Mechanical features include:
- Standard six-speed manual transmission
- Optional six-speed automatic
- Standard front-wheel drive; Cooper S Countryman can be fitted with Mini's All4 all-wheel-drive system
- Optional electronically controlled limited-slip front differential
Safety features include:
- Standard antilock brakes
- Standard side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Standard side curtain airbags for both rows
- Standard electronic stability system
- Optional rear parking sensors
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