Having showcased it at the 2018 Auto Expo, Mini has confirmed that it will launch the all-new Countryman in India, on May 3, 2018. Being the biggest Mini ever made, the new Countryman will rival top-spec variants of compact luxury SUVs such as the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Audi Q3 and its own cousin, the BMW X1.
Yes, the new Countryman shares its UKL1 front-wheel-drive-based platform with the X1; and that means they share engines, too. It'll be offered in two petrol variants – Cooper S and Cooper S JCW Inspired – powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol that puts out 192hp and 280Nm of torque. As for the diesel, the Countryman Cooper SD gets a 2.0-litre diesel engine that makes 190hp and 400Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox – once again, like in the BMW X1.
While the new car is certainly recognisable as a Mini, the Countryman sets itself apart, visually. It’s the most distinctive-looking, out of the current crop of Minis. For instance, its headlamps and tail-lamps are almost square in shape and there are sharp ridges over the rear-wheel arches. Then there is the angry-looking ‘upturned’ chrome grille, aggressive bumpers and chunky cladding around the wheel arches. Finally, the characteristic Mini ‘floating’ roof has a kink at the rear, so as to make it look slightly different from its siblings. For those seeking a sportier-looking Countryman, there will be a S JCW Inspired variant as well, which packs in air ducts in the front apron, 18-inch alloy wheels, a faux diffuser and a rear spoiler.
The new Countryman also has some state-of-the-art tech like the latest iDrive infotainment system with a touchscreen. Prices for the new Mini Countryman are expected to start at Rs 36 lakh (ex-showroom).
Would you consider buying a Countryman over an X1 or an Audi Q3? Let us know in the comments below.