What is it?
Get past the oxymoron of a much bigger Mini and it’s easier to understand what the Countryman is about.
Mini has been losing customers to the need for a bigger car that it can’t supply, and this enlarged five-door – which is almost 15in longer than the three-door, sits nearly 6in taller and rides on a wheelbase 5in longer – is Munich’s answer.
The 1.6-litre diesel model – driven on British roads for the first time – features BMW’s new N47 engine.
In Cooper D tune it produces 111bhp and a fat 199lb ft of torque, against the 109bhp and 177lb ft of the previous PSA unit. All4 four-wheel drive, as fitted here, costs £1065 and channels torque to the rear axle on demand.
What’s it like?
Most, however, will want this bigger Mini for its space rather than any off-roading capabilities, which aren’t bad on mud, incidentally. There’s more room up front, and many will enjoy the seats’ additional height, but rear accommodation is mixed.