2017 MINI Countryman is a unique hatchback with retro styling.
When BMW first took over the MINI brand, we weren’t sure what to expect; would they keep to tradition or make just another BMW with a different name?
In truth, it’s a little of each – while the new MINI’s may not exactly be mini anymore, you can definitely see the family heritage in them, and of course, BMW have made them to the same exacting standards of the other Beemers, meaning reliability, sharp handling and good resale.
For fans of the original MINI though, there is some derision as to just how BMW can manufacture compact crossovers such as the Countryman and still use the MINI name; it seems they get less mini with every generation.
We expect to see the 2017 MINI Countryman as early as late 2016, maybe just squeezing in to early 2017.
2017 MINI Countryman release date: early 2017
Update: already available
As we’ve stated before, pricing the MINI is never easy; the option list is longer than ever, and even the ‘fully loaded’ spec, doesn’t actually come fully loaded. Prices should start somewhere near $22,000 and could go up nearly as far as $40,000.
Update: Price starts at $26,950 to $31,950 depending on trim level (without options)
To start with, the new Countryman is getting bigger still; it will be longer and wider than the current model, this is due to it being built upon the new UKL platform, which also supports the Hardtop, Clubman, Convertible and the upcoming BMW X1. As with the other MINI’s, it will come as front wheel drive with an option of all-wheel drive.
The added size also means that the interior will increase in size slightly as well, allowing for more space and comfort. We also know that the interior will be upgraded, especially in terms of equipment; expect to see such features as a Heads Up Display (HUD), collision warning, park assist, speed limit information and pedestrian warning.
With regards to exterior styling, little has changed with the looks of the MINI, aside from a slightly restyled front grille (making it simpler) and a revised rear end, the Countryman will be near identical to the current version.
Under the hood, nothing much has changed there either; we’ll still see a range of options, all turbocharged, ranging from a 1.5 liter 3-cylinder gas engine to a fairly hot 228 BHP 2.0 liter inline 4. As standard, there will be a 6-speed manual transmission, although there is talk of either a 6 or 8-speed auto transmission as an option.
Update: In the US market the car is available with two engines: 3-cylinder 12V turbocharged BMW engine with 1.5 displacement, producing 134 HP; turbocharged 2-liter I4 engine, producing 189 HP. Powertrains mated to 6-speed manual/6-speed automatic or 8-speed automatic. Special John Cooper Works (JCW) edition has the same 2-liter engine boosted to 228 HP.