Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

For Families with Bigger Dreams

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

For Families with Bigger Dreams

Article excerpt

Byline: Hamish Miles

Vital statistics

MODEL: Mini Countryman.

PRICE: $39,900-$51,500.

WARRANTY: 3 years/unlimited km.

CAPPED SERVICING: From $1240 over 5 years.

SERVICE INTERVALS: Condition based.

SAFETY: Not yet tested, 6 airbags.

ENGINES: 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol with 100kW/220Nm; 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol with 141kW/280Nm; 2.0-litre turbo diesel with 110kW/330Nm or 140kW/400Nm.

TRANSMISSIONS: 6 and 8-speed auto; FWD/AWD.

THIRST: 4.8L-6.5L/100km.

DIMENSIONS: 4299mm (L), 1822mm (W), 1557mm (H), 2670mm (WB).

WEIGHT: 1440kg.

SPARE: None; run-flats.

THE family Mini has arrived - it's a bigger, plusher and dearer Countryman.

This second-generation SUV from Mini has morphed into a more sizeable, more comfortable and more competent wagon - more family friendly, even.

It brings the usual front or all-wheel drive, plus petrol and diesel options, but transmissions are now six or eight-speed automatics. Much of this is shared with its BMW X1 stablemate.

Mini Countryman prices have also grown, now starting at $39,900 for the Countryman Cooper (up some $5000) and running via four variants initially to $51,500 for the range-topping Countryman Cooper SD with all-wheel drive and turbo diesel.

A hot John Cooper Works edition, with 170kW, is due later this year.

As with others in the premium compact SUV class, it's easy to option a Mini Countryman past the $60,000 mark with packages ranging from a $750 "road trip" collection to a $4900 John Cooper Works Chili package.

Mini Australia general manager Tony Sesto says the price increase of the Countryman Cooper reflects the size and sophistication.

"The value is much greater than the nominal price increase," he says.

Among fresh additions to the front-drive Cooper version are the six-speed auto, reversing camera, parking assist, active cruise control, driver assist (including forward collision warning), digital radio, 18-inch alloys with run-flat tyres and an automatic tailgate. …

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