Newest member of Mini family packs five seats and four wheel drive. See pics hereCome September, Mini is to introduce its largest model yet, the Countryman. The name may be ancient – it was used for timber-framed Mini and Morris Minor estates built during the 1960s. But this newcomer marks three important firsts for the range: it has four-wheel drive, four passenger doors, and five seats.

The car will reach showrooms in September and cost from £16,000. At launch there will be two diesel and three petrol models and there will also be two 4×4 models, called ALL4. These will be the Cooper D ALL4 and the Cooper S ALL 4. Others will be front-wheel drive. The petrol units are new 1.6 litre motors that’ll go into other Minis from March, while the diesels will be those already available in the hatchback, convertible and Clubman.

The Countryman is wider, longer and taller than hatchback models and will offer a considerably bigger boot. All UK models will be built as five-seaters, although buyers can pick a four-seat cabin as a no-cost option. Cars will come with six airbags, air conditioning, park distance control and a puncture warning system come as standard on all models.

Stephen Jury


February 16, 2010