Compared to a Mini Hatch, the Countryman is 398 mm longer (at 4097mm), 316 mm wider (at 1789 mm) and 170mm higher (at 1577mm). The Countryman offers 190 liters more luggage capacity than a Mini Hatch with the seats up (a total of 350 liters) and 1170 liters with the rear seats folded flat. Coming in as standard on all UK models is a rear bench seat (which has a 40:20:40 backrest).
However, buyers can specify the individual rear seat option at no extra cost. Considered standard equipment are the following: air-con, DAB radio, rear parking sensors, a CAT1 alarm, Dynamic Stability Control, six airbags and tire puncture warning system.
If you opt for the ALL4 models, it will add £1065 to the price tag for the Cooper D and £1220 for the Cooper S above the standard front wheel drive Countryman versions. In most circumstances, the ALL4 acts as front wheel drive.
But when wheel slip on the front wheels is detected or if the car is being driven enthusiastically, an electro-magnetic clutch, located on the rear axle, engages drive to the rear wheels.
BMW said that to "enable this imperceptible change to the driven wheels, a propeller shaft from the front axle is driven constantly and is ready to direct drive forces from the front axle to the rear in lightning time". Depending on the driving conditions, the amount of power fed to the rear wheels is "infinitely variable between 1% and 100%".
The MINI Countryman represents a certain distinction over MINI’s current product line-up, particularly with regards to the new styling direction conveyed by its new body design. With dimensions of 4,097 mm (161.3 inches) in length, 1,789 mm (70.4 inches) in width and 1,561 mm (61.5 inches) in height, MINI Countryman boasts of increased ground clearance and a raised seating position while still featuring traditional brand proportions.
In a sense, the MINI Countryman connects the gap between the classic MINI concept and a modern Sports Activity Vehicle. Moreover, the body concept of the MINI Countryman has allowed the carmaker to open and explore new possibilities.
After all, the body design of the MINI Countryman represents the evolution of the MINI brand's design language. More specifically, the new MINI Countryman signifies fresh interpretations of basic MINI design elements, like the three-level split of body and a new front end marked by large headlights, the hexagonal radiator grille and upright windscreen.
Furthermore, the new four-door MINI Countryman features fresh interpretations such as the greenhouse and roof as well as vertically stacked rear lights. Additionally, the rear features "cascading" contours that widen as they flow from roof to wheel.
Of course, the new MINI Countryman still features customary MINI design elements like the headlights and rear lights integrated like "islands" into the body as well as the side darting between the front wing and door.
Another customary MINI design element found on the new Countryman is the greenhouse that tapers back towards the rear. All of these elements – new and traditional – give the new MINI Countryman its unique character while retaining its identity, charm and allure as part of the MINI family.