Launched in 2010, the Countryman is one of the newest additions to the New Mini family. Based on the Crossover Concept, the company’s first mini SUV debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show with a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines, a six-speed manual, and a six-speed automatic transmission. An all-wheel-drive model was added for the 2014 model year, a year before the Countryman received its mid-cycle refresh. Longer, wider and taller than any other Mini, the Countryman is currently being built alongside the Paceman by Magna Steyr in Austria. As the face-lifted model is getting ready to hit dealerships for the 2015 model year, the Brits are already working on the next-generation Countryman, reportedly due sometime in 2016.
The new Countryman has just been spotted testing in Germany and although its body is obscured by black-and-yellow camouflage, the vehicle is evidently an evolution of the current design. That doesn’t mean things aren’t changing with the Countryman, but the crossover , and the entire Mini lineup for that matter, will keep its familiar styling cues.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mini Countryman.
September 3, 2014 - First testing session
Although the Countryman’s design will be far from revolutionary, the perched wagon will ride on the company’s brand-new UKL platform. The architecture will underpin each new Mini model, along with a handful of upcoming, front-wheel-drive BMW models, such as the 2 Series Active Tourer and the next-gen 1 Series .
Other than minor design changes, we expect the next Countryman to feature a revamped interior, with Mini aiming for a roomier appearance and enhanced legroom. As far as engines are concerned, the crossover’s lineup will include models powered by anything from Mini’s tiny 1.2-liter three-cylinder to larger, turbocharged four-bangers. Diesels will also be available, but likely not in the United States, or at least not at launch.
The second-generation Mini Countryman will debut in 2016 for the 2017 model year.
If there’s one nameplate that has followed into the footsteps of the Mini brand, that would have to be the Fiat 500 . The Italians have developed several iterations to match Mini’s offerings, including a high-performance Abarth model and a 500L crossover. But while five-door mini SUV sports a similar design approach, Fiat only offers a single engine in the United States.
Motivating the 500L is a turbocharged, 1.4-liter MultiAir, four-cylinder unit that delivers 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Priced from $19,100, significantly cheaper when compared to the Countryman’s $22,750 sticker, the 500L can return up to 33 mpg on the highway.