MINI Countryman - official!

20 Jan, 2010 11:09am Luke Madden

MINI reveal official pictures and details of upcoming 4x4 crossover

It's the 4x4 MINI that wasn't supposed to be revealed until next month! Following the arrival of three leaked pictures yesterday, MINI has decided to release official details and pictures of the newcomer- now known to be called the MINI Countryman.

With four-doors and an optional four-wheel drive system, the new car is taking the MINI brand into previously unexplored territory. But the BMW-owned company are keen to show that the essence of MINI hasn't been lost. Despite its chunky off-road design, styling elements of the firm's smaller cars are clearly noticeable, including the high-window line, large head-lamps and upright tail-lights.


On top of that, engineers have also done their best to maintain the go-kart style handling that has characterised MINI cars in the past.

The familiar variant naming scheme is also carried over. The entry-level MINI ONE Countryman is powered by an 89bhp engine while the range-topping Cooper S model is powered by a 181bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre engine. Engines are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but all petrol models are available with an ultra-efficient six-speed automatic gearbox with steering-wheel mounted paddles.

Other fuel-saving additions include brake energy recuperation, a stop/start system and a gearchange indicator.

MINI's new four-wheel drive system, known as 'All4' is optional on the flagship Cooper D and Cooper S models, while all other variants will be front-wheel drive only. MINI claims that under normal conditions the 'All4' system divides power equally between the front and back wheels. However, in extreme conditions the rear-wheels can deliver as much as 100 per cent of the car's power.

Inside, the Countryman has room for four adults and includes a centre-rail which runs the length of the cabin and allows rear-seat passengers more space and comfort. An optional three-seat arrangement in the back is available at no extra cost. Depending on how the seats are arranged, boot space can be increased from 350 litres to a cavernous 1150 litres.

The cabin is crammed full of kit too. On top of the standard air-con and built in CD player, buyers can opt for a panoramic roof, adaptive headlights and high-end audio and navigation systems. Exterior additions include alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 19 inches and lowered sports suspension.

The Countryman will go on sale in September, with prices starting at around £17,000.

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Challenging looks but strangely drawn to it....

What are BMW doing?

Might be one that needs to be seen in the flesh! I'm a Clubman Diesel owner (more than happy with it) but I'd be interested to see if BMW ever put the 3-series diesel in a Mini variant as has been rumoured.

This is a terrific car, folks, even if rather dear. See our take here:

Why do they keep insisting on calling these things Mini`s, its a trade misdiscription...hideous again!

What an over styled monstrosity, looks like the illegitimate child from a porsche cayenne and a mini! taking the worst features from both, looks like the designers have tried to incorporate every styling feature they can think of, it is far too fussy!

Maybe the weird looking bit on the grille is a "puke handle" which owners can hold onto whilst puking at the sight of their car when they approach it.?

What's Mini about it proportions,the brand name is being further diluted,a pointless car that will undoubtably still sell in large numbers.with a daft starting price of around 17k,thats enough to buy a diesel Grand Vitara which is at least a capable 4x4

Really not sure about this. Hideous may be too strong for it as has been suggested by gherkins123. Benjathome has called it interesting and I have to agree with this because like him I am also strangely drawn to it. The idea of making a "Mini" with 5 doors though seems to me to be a little odd. This isn't what MINI is about and I think someone else suggested that it is diluting the MINI name and I tend to agree with this. I'm sure that the original 1959 Mini would be quaking with anger at some of the design cues that this Countryman appears to have adopted. Would it look better in the flesh? Well, I hope so because my jury is well and truly out on this one. I really cannot imagine what the idea was behind this latest incarnation. BMW seem to be attempting to make MINI into several things it cannot possibly be. A Moke style car echoing the original I can understand, an estate version, albeit with the additional oddity of one suicide door I can understand, the Countryman, this one is difficult to reason with.

Also, Auto Express appears to have given it 2 different names, so which is the correct one, the Mini Crossman or the Mini Countryman?

One again we see BMW quick to answer the question nobody asked, with an utterly pointless and ugly car. X6 is case and point

When I grew up in the 60's, Austin designed to build on the success of the Mini by introducing a larger model with 4 passenger doors, called the Maxi. It wasn't exactly a design classic and paved the way for such wonderful family cars as the Morris Marina and Austin Allegro. None had the spirit of fun and freedom of the original Mini and they all proved horrible to drive, generating little affection from their owners.

This new car shows what happens if you over-egg the pudding. It is far more Maxi than Mini. The fact that it is built in Austria is yet another reason not to bother: it is hardly flying the flag for British industry in these troubled times.

The one with the black roof/ white body looks awful! The white roofed/ grey bodied version looks much better.

Apart from being BMW, of course, it's not even made in Oxford. It's going to made in Austria.

I know exactly what the general public want.

I "MINI" (meaning small) with 5 doors and raised suspension.
Then as a laugh, lets offer lowered suspension as an option.

Ha Ha, just another excuse to increase the price of the very capable Mini.

Well I like it, I'm already on my 3rd MINI: I've had a 03 Cooper, a 06 Cooper S with Works kit and currently drive a 58 factory JCW.

Liking the look of the Countryman. I think it will sell well as I've known a fair number of MINI owners who were gutted to have to sell their pride and joy as they were starting families - wanted something a bit bigger/4-5 door. If it still handles as well as the current cars and is well built, it should do well.

The Oxford plant doesn't have the capacity for building another model, that's why it's being built in Austria. BMW manufacture in several countries - all down to capacity. The MINI GP's were made in Italy for example.

As for all the nostalgia - the original Mini's were amazing at the time but you wouldn't want to drive one today. They'd not pass any of the current saftey tests and would be classed as slow, uncomfortable, unreliable, rot-boxes.

More please MINI, can't wait to see it in the flesh - the Coupe shold be good too.

I can only assume this was either designed by committee or was one of those ice breaker exercises where everyone designs a bit, folds the paper over and passes it on to someone else! the front isn't brilliant and it seems to get steadily worse as you get to the back with the weird roof and large droopy lights - forget it!

Is it electric?

If it's not, then don't buy it!

I like the Mini but this is a few steps too far - doesnt anyone with common sense challenge these kinds of design before they reach production?! And are BMW completely set on alienating the male population from their acquired brand? I wouldn't feel comfortable being seen in this model as a passenger let alone ever thinking of driving one. I've written this off - so any news on the next generation Mini itself?

This car has little to do with either the design or style of the original real ADO 15 Mini Range as designed by Alec Issigonis! The real Austin and Morris Minis were the cutting edge of design and were really zippy cute "in cars" for Paris or Nice or Sloan Square or Belgravia and the lanes of Sussex!

This car looks as though it was put to-gether ( sure not designed in a real design studio but on a lap top with cheap CAD? ) with the left overs from Kit Car & Co and is being put to-gether by jobbing assemblers MAGNA in Austria that have just been given the push by VW-Porsche for doing work for them? Tough!

The BMW board of directors in Munich who are signing off this budget are either very brave or very foolhardy or had too much Weizenbier. Tip is it will be a slow mover!

There are cuter and infinitely more zippy stylish mini range cars coming on the market now hat are much better value than these very expensive Magna Austria bangers!

We will buy one of these soon !!

Nice direction
Fully different and interesting even if it will be a slow moving car.
Mini needs to also have something special to create an event

This car proves that even though Chris Bungle has gone, BMW can still make a complete dogs danglers of a classic design.

Ugly, overpriced and completely pointless. And prices start at £17k. Brill. The model will be pulled after a couple of years.

Wierd. I really expected to hate this,but it actually starting to grow on me. If the rumoured WRC entry with Prodrive takes off it will add a huge amount of credibility.

Part of the MINI's appeal has always been the car's "face", but this version appears to be smelling something unpleasant.
I'm not sure about other aspects of the Countryman's styling either. The tailgate looks slabby and the change in levels between the windows in front of and behind the C-pillar is reminiscent of the Hyundai Matrix.
As an existing MINI (Clubman) owner, I'm also disappointed to see that the haphazard switchgear placement has been carried over into this new model too.
Unfortunately, no matter what I think, they'll sell like hot cakes.

This new video of the MINI Countryman was just added. Gives even more "mood" and personality to the MINI Countryman

Why does this extraordinary car have a maxi-Micky-Mouse on the dash?

You can see it dominating the cabin as this driver is fiddling with his gear knob in the interior shots.

And WHAT a naff video.


Pointless, overpriced badge engineered marketing experiment.
Design today, throw away tomorrow, meanwhile zee Germans rake it in whilst they reuse old designs.
They've got it sussed haven't they?! Regurgitate and get paid a fortune doing it.

McD's should get into car designing! They spend more time designing their burger boxes or their front signage than BMW spent designing the Mini.

To me the thing looks totally overweight. Maybe they should call the thing - Mini BMI 30+ double whopper mit bratwurst.

NEIN!! Enough, stop this way of design thinking!

This is not hideous, its an experiment for the future. All car makers make new ideas all the time. Im sorry di@@head this IS a mini not a maxi, get your facts right and i may consider buying it as it it the coolest sounding mini ever! And for all you tramps, this is not expensive at all!! So do take my words into consideration ;) !

Nick7 has made good points though i cannot agree with all of them.

This derivitive is absolutely 'Right on the Button'. The call from Mr & Mrs Buying Public' is for small niche market cars which are flexible and adaptable. The only missing bit is an electric derivitive, which we all know is in the pipeline. Well done BMW.
It will sell like hot-cakes just like previous versions.

Why on earth would anyone want a four wheel drive Mini? Total waste of time!

Better in the flesh ? Probably not.

In the photos just hideous.

Maybe an ideal upgrade from a Chrysler PT Cruiser ? or is the being too kind/

In white hideous - nice wheels though. It does appear to be a strange cross between a mini and something extra terrestrial (perhaps a Korean vehicle). In the darker colour it has something if they lose those silly white wheels.


Electric cars seem to be all the rage but with an absolute maximum of 100 miles they are a disaster for anyone except the motor industry because we will all need 2 cars. The second one for your partner to come out and pick you up when you run out of spark.

Can you imagine going up the motorway and having to stop every 60 miles for 2-3 hours to fill up; and that's when they invent a quick charge thingy!

Whats the point?

The Countyman was a practical small family car derived from the real Mini. This monster is just an oversized, overstyled poseurs car. TomTom has it right!

All of you knowledgeable pundits knocking this car (and anything by BMW!) really need to get rid of the green eyed monster that so obviously rules your lives!

Just because a car doesn’t appeal to you, or the price is way out of your range, it doesn’t make it a bad car! I read the same crap from people on here who studied at the “Clarkson School of If I don’t Like It, Must Be Crap” when the BMW 5 Series came out and many times since… My M3 is a fantastic car but many of you called the 3 series hideous! My wife’s Mini JCW is great but all I read on here is how crap the mini is!

This variation is going into production. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it! If BMW decided it was going to sell, believe me it will! Yes, even at over £17k I remember reading when the Mini first came out that it was too expensive. Look how many are on the road!

Tell ya what, when you leave school, I will take you out in my M3 or whatever car I have in five years and see if I can convert you! Meanwhile, back to Mario Cart like good children..

Firstly they brought out the Clubman, which is an estate version with two tailgate doors. If my memory is correct the real Mini Clubman was the flat nosed version, while it remained the same as the original from the bonnet back? The real Mini estate was called a they have bought out a larger car with 4 passenger doors and are calling this the Countryman!! I'm confused, are they really that thick? They should probably stick a Wolsley badge on this and call it a Hornet! (Those of you who don't know your car history Google it!)

It looks so wrong. There is not one angle that looks nice. BMW has stuffed the design up. Even the wife say it has a terrible look

The most English car ever built wonder the poor thing looks like it's about to burst into tears!

Just had one of these today as a courtesy car from the BMW dealer while my 3 series was in for repair.
It does drive remarkably well, with a lot of the MINI DNA in the way it steers and turns into corners. But the styling is just hideous. I stood in the office car park with a couple of interested colleagues looking at it and trying to "get it. We all thought it looked like the offspring of a conventional MINI and a London black cab. Incohesive, bulbous, and very unpleasant.
The big let down for me though was the interior. It looks stunning in the pics. In the flesh, it's a hotchpotch of cheap, hard, scratchy plastics and incomprehensible switchgear. What's more, the 400 mile example I drove today already had a couple of squeaks and chirps over poorly surfaced roads. From behind the wheel, it feels like a £10k car, not a £17k one.