The compact Mini Countryman SUV has been given a mid-life refresh, with a new look and a petrol-only engine range for Australia.
It will be touching down in Australia before the end of 2020. Although local specifications haven’t yet been confirmed, it’s likely the current petrol model range (Cooper, Cooper S, PHEV, and Cooper JCW) will carry over.
Update, 11:50am 27/05: Mini Australia has confirmed the diesel Countryman will be dropped for 2021. We’ve updated the copy above to reflect this.
The headline news is a range of changes to the existing engine line-up. There’s no extra power, but Mini says emissions are down across the board.
That means the Cooper is powered by three-cylinder petrol engine with 100kW and 220Nm, mated with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the Cooper S has a four-cylinder engine with 141kW and 280Nm.
Petrol engines now have their exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head, pack higher-pressure fuel injection, and the range features a more efficient starter generator for smoother start/stop. Mini has stopped short of including a proper ‘mild hybrid’ system in the range, however.
A larger 9.6kWh lithium-ion battery has boosted pure-electric range in the Countryman PHEV from around 40km to a more usable 60km. As before, a three-cylinder petrol engine powers the front wheels, backed by an electric motor on the rear axle for 162kW of power and 385Nm of torque.
Inside, the Countryman gains the 5.0-inch digital instrument binnacle from the Mini Electric and JCW GP. In Europe, it’s offered as an option.
The 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen now sits above capacitive buttons for the radio presets, while the circular infotainment binnacle has a cleaner overall look.
There are two new leather colours offered: Chesterfield Malt Brown and Chesterfield Indigo Blue.
Externally, you’ll be able to distinguish the updated Countryman from its predecessor by looking for the slightly smoother headlights (LED across the range as standard), reworked bumpers and wheels, and a set of Union Jack taillights.
A range of new exterior colours will be offered, along with a new Piano Black Exterior package that subs the chrome highlights for black on the headlight surrounds, grille, door handles, and badging.
The Countryman might be the least mini model in the modern Mini range, but it’s among the most popular. It accounts for 30 per cent of all global Mini sales.