The new Mini Countryman is bigger and better than ever

The new Mini Countryman is bigger and better than ever

Size matters

Text: Amelia Chia

A Mini SUV that makes toting the family around a breeze

This is definitely one for a family of designophiles. An upgrade for that hipster in the advertising industry who owned a Mini Cooper in his late 20s. Now with two young kids in tow, he's after a sweet, stylish ride that doesn't involve cramming his entire brood in.

The new Mini Countryman is exactly that — it's crafted with all the beautiful design elements of a Mini that we're obsessed about, but blown up to be the biggest Mini the brand has ever seen to date. Standing at 20 centimetres longer and 3 centimetres wider than its predecessor, the family enjoys significantly increased space on five fully-fledged seats, and more storage volume and luggage transport versatility. Hop into the driver's seat and you'll love the height and amazing views this baby has to offer. Open up the boot and pull out the Picnic Bench, a nifty surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people. Seriously, it makes the most ideal setting when you're out in the fields and have packed a basket full of cheese and champagne.

Mini Countryman, mini, test drive

While the old Countryman felt clunky and a bit like a Fred Flintstone kind of drive, the latest version boasts a much smoother ride. It's still incredibly zippy for a car that size, but now has the same front-wheel-drive platform as the BMW X1, and a great suspension system that makes flooring it over bumps a breeze. It also comes equipped with a Dynamic Damper Control, which means you're able to change suspension settings on the fly, depending on the conditions you're driving in.

mini, Mini Countryman

On the exterior, a projection of the Mini logo shines from the exterior mirror whenever you open or close the car door. It's slightly gimmicky but entertaining, and doesn't stop your friends from snapping pictures of it. Inside the car, Mini's distinctive cockpit design remains a hallmark of the brand. The instrument panel, surrounded by an LED ring, provides a lighting display in response to driving situations by way of control feedback. Also expect modern driver assistance systems, including a pedestrian warning with initial brake systems, high beam assistant and road sign detection. The coolest feature of all? Its inbuilt parking assistance feature, where your MINI parks itself for you — mostly hands-free.

For more information, visit Mini