Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
MINI Philippines finally brought in the country the all-new Countryman compact crossover in two distinct variants—the Cooper D and the top spec Cooper SD.
Now on its second generation, the vehicle emerged in a new platform with broaden dimensions, new powertrain, plus more convenient features. “We are thrilled to offer the new Mini Countryman in the Philippines. It has a powerful expressive design, efficiently shaped bodywork and unmatched driving agility. Mini has a strong following in the Philippines and we believe the new Mini Countryman is the car they have longed to drive every day, everywhere, for every occasion,” Mini Philippines President Willy Q. Tee Ten said.
Going further from what it’s already known for—versatile, agile and with premium character. The Countryman now boasts powerful proportions conveying that distinct presence. “The second-generation Mini Countryman advances the brand within the premium compact segment. Mini fans in the Philippines will be excited to know that their new daily companion is just as nimble on the streets, as well as off-roads. We are confident that the new Mini Countryman will deliver fun and excitement every time you get behind the wheel,” Head of Mini Asia Peter Medalla said.
This latest Countryman has, indeed, grown up—literally. Compared to its predecessor, it’s significantly longer by around 20 centimeters, which extended the wheelbase by more than 7 centimeters. Also, it’s relatively wider by three ticks and now taller, thanks to its extended ground clearance. Of course, Mini would never forego its overall design language retained from rich heritage. But the LED headlamps in signature circular, yet asymmetrical, shape now has peripheral daytime light ring that goes well with the front grille. The frame still stands close to the typical design elements, such as the flank’s clear three-way structure—broken down into roof, glass section and main corpus—including the short overhangs and large wheel arches, among others. Notable add-ons are the metal-finish trims in the chin (exclusive to Cooper SD), side skirts and rear bumper, plus the fresh badge on the fenders. Those precise contours all over the frame denotes the car’s athletic shaping and the vertical orientation of the body supplemented by the 17-inch five-spoke light alloy wheels for Cooper D and 18-inch multi-spoke light alloy wheels for the Cooper SD. Interestingly, there’s even an option to go bigger at 19-inch rollers.
The cabin still oozes premium ambiance along with the distinguishing cockpit design. Its hallmark central instrument panel is bordered with LED ring, which provides a signal response to driving situations. First-rate materials are also present along with the ergonomic controls. Another contributing factor of the new platform is the elevated seating position. Together with the narrow body columns, the combination offers an optimum visibility from the inside. Moreover, passengers can now access the back cabin easily through the enlarged doors. And the rear cabin with 40:20:40 split benches with recline adjustment, now have plenty of leg room to offer thanks to the stretched wheelbase. Opening the tailgate is now hands-free and automated via a foot sensor. This is an available option for the Cooper D and came in standard for the Cooper SD. Cargo bay is increased to 450 liters of loading capacity. Fold those rear seats and you’ll get 1,390 liters in total. What is more, there’s a variable load floor, tension straps and stainless steel insert on the loading sill. One unique option is the Picnic Bench—a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people.
Perhaps one of the main highlights is the Countryman’s new powertrains. Mini utilized a more advanced and potent turbodiesel motor. Propelling the Cooper SD version is a 2-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine with TwinPower Turbo dishing out 190 hp at 4,000 rpm and 400 N-m of maximum torque at 2,500 rpm. Claimed 0-100 km/h acceleration is at 7.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 220 km/h. Average fuel consumption is at 4.8 liters/100 km, theoretically. The Cooper D, on the other hand, has the same exact mill, only detuned. Output is reduced to 150 hp and 330 N-m of maximum torque in the same rpm ranges, respectively. But it can still achieve an 8.8-second sprint to reach 100 km/h with a top speed of 208 km/h. In terms of theoretical fuel consumption, it’s more efficient at 4.51 liters/100 km.
Both powertrains are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with Steptronic function. Throttle response can be played around with through the Mini Driving Modes in MID, SPORT and GREEN. These settings influence the accelerator pedal and steering curve, the operating mode of electrically powered comfort features, the engine note, as well as the gearing patterns. Other safety features are Dynamic Stability Control; standard and optional driver assistance systems; standard collision warning with city braking function (which can be extended to include the Driving Assistant system with camera-based active cruise control); pedestrian warning with initial brake function; high beam assistant; and road-sign detection. In addition, Park Distance Control (PDC rear—standard across the board), (PDC front and rear—optional). The rear view camera, Parking Assistant and Head-Up-Display are also optional. New body colors available are Island Blue Metallic and Chestnut. The new Mini Cooper D Countryman is offered at P2.9 million, while the new Mini Cooper SD Countryman is priced at P3.4 million.