New 2020 Mini Countryman gets the Union Jack treatment
Mini has done a nose and tail refresh job on the Countryman, its largest model and the brand’s only contender in the compact SUV class. The high-riding five-door, available in front- or all-wheel-drive forms, is on sale now priced from £23,500.
How is it different from the car we are familiar with since its launch in 2017? New grille, altered bumper finish and LED lights mark it out up front. At the back there’s a new look to the bumper trim and the lights get the Union flag treatment, as already seen on the other facelifted models in the Mini family.
Showroom appeal is further given a fillip by new paint finishes and a new design of alloy wheel, while inside there are new leather options and the 5-inch digital dashboard display from the Mini Electric. The new screen, alongside the huge circular central display, is standard on all versions.
As before, there’s a diesel (151PS), a petrol (137PS) a sporty petrol Cooper S (178PS) and, as flagship model, the plug-in Hybrid All4 which can run on electric power alone for up to around 34 miles. Its three-cylinder turbocharged engine drives the front wheels while an electric motor powers the rears, for a combined power output of 220PS (217bhp). The hybrid’s 0-62mph sprinting ability of 6.8 seconds is almost a second quicker than that of the Cooper S, with its turbo four-cylinder engine familiar from BMW models. There’s no more power in any model than before but, says Mini, all engines are now more efficient.
All-wheel-drive is available on all versions but standard only on the plug-in hybrid, while all get Steptronic auto transmissions with up to eight ratios, depending on the model. Fancy your Countryman with manual gearbox? That’s no longer a choice.
There are new options, including more personalisation opportunities, always a big thing where any Mini is concerned. A cool box to tick could be for the piano black exterior, which dechromes the car in favour of a high-gloss black finish on the headlamp surrounds, rear lights, radiator grille and side scuttles, door handles and the model lettering. As before you can have the roof painted black, white or silver as an alternative to the body colour.
The Countryman remains a giant among Minis but relative minnow in the ever-expanding and madly competitive world of compact SUVs, where recent other new models like the Ford Puma, Toyota Yaris Cross and Volkswagen T-Roc are all out to put a dent in the sales of the segment-leading Nissan Juke.