Few models have had a more dramatic impact on a brand than the Mini Countryman, the British marque’s first SUV and today its best-selling model.
So, while we’ve already seen Mini update the rest of its familiar line-up, from the Hardtop and Convertible to the Clubman, there’s been a lot of eager speculation about what it might have in store with the makeover of the SUV.
The biggest model in its line-up, and the first to get all-wheel-drive, the 2021 Mini Countryman doesn’t get anything close to a revolutionary update but, nonetheless, there are enough tweaks that they’ll likely draw attention when it rolls into U.S. showrooms later this year.
“Most importantly it retains Mini’s “fun-to-drive” character and expressive design that makes it instantly recognizable as Mini,” the automaker said in an announcement detailing the update.
Among other things, look for newly redesigned front and rear bumper coverings, now in body color. There’s a hexagonal radiator grille surrounded by a single-piece chrome frame, the air intake divided up by three horizontal struts. The grille of the Cooper S, meanwhile, gets a hexagonal grid pattern with a red “S” and a single chrome strut.
LED headlamps are now standard on all versions of the Countryman, the lamps adopting an asymmetrically rounded shape. LED fog lamps are also standard, and buyers can opt for adaptive LED headlights, as well.
Other exterior updates include two new body finishes, including a Piano Black package, as well as new alloy wheels.
Inside, the Countryman does what every Mini is known for, delivering an interior that is substantially larger than the SUV’s exterior footprint might suggest. A variety of new interior trims and surfaces have been added, including the limited-edition Mini Yours package with Shaded Silver.
On the powertrain side, Mini has pushed to improve fuel efficiency while lowering emissions on the new line. Engine packages include the base 3-cylinder gas engine with its TwinPower Turbo technology in the base Mini Cooper Countryman. The Cooper S goes with a 4-cylinder gas engine.
With the All4 all-wheel-drive system, there are now two engine packages, including a plug-in hybrid and the John Cooper Works edition.
The PHEV uses a 3-cylinder gas engine powering the front wheels and an electric motor directing torque to the rear axles. The system punches out a combined 224 horsepower.
In ALL4 trim, the Countryman uses a six-speed steptronic gearbox or an eight-speed depending upon model. Front-drive models are offered with either a seven-speed double-clutch or sport DCT gearbox.
Depending upon the engine package, the six versions of the Countryman turn out anywhere from 134 hp to 301 for the JCW model which can hit 60 in just 4.9 seconds.
Inside, the 2021 Mini Countryman undergoes only modest updates. There’s an optional digital instrument panel. And the auto and navigation technology have been updated. Depending on trim and package, the car is offered with up to an 8.8-inch touchscreen display.
Other details, including fuel economy and pricing, will be released closer to the Mini Countryman’s on-sale date later this year.