It remains instantly recognisable though as a Countryman, as Mini has evolved the styling of the first-generation. It appears less dumpy than before, though, and there’s added curves and creases to enhance its SUV status.
The biggest changes are with the new-look headlights, there’s are front and rear skid plates while the rear bumper gets a bolt on hi-gloss section.
Inside, other than the additional room (head and shoulder mainly), the dash is completely redesigned, yet still manages to retain its familiar Mini appearance, especially with the large central disc-shaped infotainment screen.
In the rear, there’s three proper seats, five cm more knee room and wider door apertures. The rear bench can slide back and forth and splits 40/20/40.
Under the bonnet, the new model gets all-new engines. There are four to pick from at launch, two petrol and two diesel. The entry-level petrol is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder that develops 134bhp and 162lb ft of torque. It’ll go from 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds, returns 51.4mpg and emits 126g/km of CO2.
Residing in the Cooper S is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, developing 189bhp and 207lb ft of torque. Accelerating from standstill to 62mph takes 7.5 seconds, yet it’ll return 45.6mpg and emit 141g/km of CO2.
If diesel is your flavour then you can choose between a 148bhp (243lb ft) and 187bhp (295lb ft) versions of Mini’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, called D and SD, respectively. The D manages 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds, returns 64.2mpg and emits 113g/km.
With the more powerful SD, you’ll get from stationary to 62mph in 7.7 seconds while it’ll return 61.4mpg and emit 121g/km of CO2.
All variants come with a manual gearbox and two-wheel drive as standard, however, you can specify a Steptronic automatic gearbox and ALL4 all-wheel drive, which has been improved for faster responses in the new model.
For the first time, the Mini SUV will be available as a Hybrid, called the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. It gets all-wheel drive and a six-speed Steptronic gearbox as standard and is powered in partnership by a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor connected to a 7.6 kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery.
The electric motor and batteries are located under the rear seats and sends its power the rear wheels. It has an all-electric range of 25 miles, while the combined power of the two is 239bhp and 284lb ft of torque. It’ll get from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and return 134.5g/km of CO2.
Using a wall-box recharging unit, it’ll fully recharge in 2:15hrs while a domestic socket will only take an hour longer, at 3:15hrs.
The Countryman’s front suspension is a single-joint spring strut axle with the rear getting a multilink rear axle. It gets Servotronic steering and Dynamic Stability Control.
Mini has packed more standard kit into the new Countryman including; sat nav, 6.5in colour infotainment screen, Bluetooth and cruise control.