20 January 2021

MINI Countryman 2020 Car Review

The biggest member of the MINI family has recently emerged with a fresh new look, mechanical upgrades and some connectivity improvements to present a truly smart and funky compact SUV that still oozes the fun that we expect from the MINI marque.


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MINI Countryman 2020
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MINI Countryman 2020
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MINI Countryman 2020
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MINI Countryman 2020
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MINI Countryman 2020
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MINI Countryman 2020

MINIs are great, especially for those who travel in more urban areas due to the small footprint of the car and the fact that it’s easy to park. They also have an almost ‘go kart feel’ to them – allowing you to zip in and out of traffic with ease.

The MINI Countryman is large enough to load up and head out on an adventure in style. Our test car was the Cooper S model, coloured in the hero ‘Sage Green’ colour, which happened to be the last Countryman in NZ at the time with this colour scheme – it’s very popular. The leather sports seats and interior accents were finished in ‘Malt Brown’ to give off more of a luxury feel as soon as you open the door.

Black racing stripes, 18-inch alloy wheels and the Piano Black Line Exterior package (black detailing) as part of the Cooper S additional specs, help to enhance the sporty look. Inside, three selectable MINI driving modes (Sport, Mid, Green) that change the driving characteristics to suit the style you require, whether it be fuel saving reduced power or full-speed ahead performance.

A redesigned radiator grille with MINI’s signature hexagonal contours joins a new front and rear bumper design. LED lighting technology is now a standard feature across the range, and at the rear, new light graphics trace the outline of a Union Jack motif, bringing the new Countryman in line with this distinct identification unique to all MINI models.

The interior of the new MINI Countryman increases its appeal with a new digital instrument display measuring 5.5 inches, a large 8.8-inch infotainment screen, an expanded suite of MINI Connected features in line with the app and wireless Apple CarPlay® integration.

Standard fitment consists of the auto tailgate, which can open hands free, wireless phone charging and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go function. One of the biggest changes is the addition of the aforementioned 5.5-inch digital instrument cluster, which we first saw in the MINI EV.

Upon driving the new Countryman, it became apparent that, annoyingly, there’s still no lane support system feature. A strange omission. There are several safety features that are now pretty much a standard feature in new cars, this being one of them. It would be good to see these pretty important safety features included soon, and they would certainly aid in achieving a good ANCAP score.

No matter which model you’re in, MINIs are always a joy to drive. They grip the road with their handling, can turn on a dime and we think they’re great to look at. The MINI Countryman ticks all of these boxes, and adds the extra ride height to make extended road trips that little bit more pleasant.

At a glance

Model tested

MINI Countryman Cooper S

Engine

2-litre, 4-cylinder

Price

From $58,990 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating

Unrated

Power

141kW

Transmission

Seven-speed Sports DCT

Fuel economy

6.7L/100km

Towing capacity

N/A

2WD/4WD/AWD

2WD (Front)

Seating capacity

5

Luggage capacity/payload

450L

Safety systems

  • City Crash Mitigation with pedestrian detection
  • Dynamic Traction Control with Electronic Differential Lock Control
  • Forward Collision Warning with visual and audio warning signal
  • Brake pre-conditioning
  • Eight airbags
  • Corner Braking Control
  • Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control

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Forward Collision Warning with visual and audio warning signal

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