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Mini Countryman for both smooth and rough terrain

R. Berto Wedhatama
R. Berto Wedhatama

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, June 19, 2017 | 10:33 am
Mini Countryman for both smooth and rough terrain

Mini S Cooper Countryman (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

The latest MINI Countryman is the largest reimagination of MINI with the most complete features in the brand’s 57-year history. This SUV first appeared in 2010 and the 2017 version belongs to the second generation.

This new MINI Countryman’s headlights already use non-glaring daytime running lamps (DRL) in their signature roundish and asymmetrical form, a lovely design that makes the brand’s DNA recognizable on the road.

The car is 20 centimeters longer and 3-cm wider than its predecessor, with extra wheelbase length of 7.5-cm to produce significant space for five passengers and offers more cargo room. Its higher ground clearance and satin aluminum roof rails combined with silver side covers on the upper part give a sense of height to the car.

The athletic and sturdy design of the car body also bears typical elements of this model such as its helmet roof, vertical taillights and hexagonal grille. Horizontal lines dominate the rear, while the vertically arranged rear lamps are a feast for the eyes.

The new MINI Cooper S Countryman variant tested had 18-inch light wheel rims. When the car is unlocked in a dim space, the MINI logo with spread wings is reflected onto the parking floor from the MINI LED projector on the door handle. When the side-view mirror is folded, the MINI logo reflection falls on the car’s door.

Mini DNA: The rear of the Mini S Cooper Countryman(JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

On the road, the Cooper S’ four-cylinder MINI twin power turbo Valvetronic 1,998 cc engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission system is capable of producing a maximum of 192 HP at 5,000 – 6,000 rpm and 280-Nm torsion at 4,600 rpm, reaching the top speed of 225 kilometers/hour. Meanwhile, the Cooper variant has three-cylinder MINI twin power turbo 1,499 cc engine producing 136 HP and 220-Nm of torque.

Vehicle information can be easily accessed by the driver. The round button below the transmission lever enables the driver to select one of the three driving modes — Mid, Sport and Green. On the toll road, the Sport mode with manual transmission registers at 0-100 km/hour at slightly over 7.5 seconds, which is quite fast for the SUV class.

The transmission is connected to the navigation system specially made by the BMW Group, so that there can be changing shifts when something is detected on the way to channel engine power more effectively and consume fuel more efficiently. Fuel consumption for city routes stands at about 11-km per liter and for toll roads 17-km per liter with the combination of the Mid and Green driving modes.

Despite being sporty, this car doesn’t feel tough on bumpy and stony roads, providing a comfortable driving experience for passengers in the front and rear seats, thanks to the high-quality suspension.

Go inside: The luxurious interior of the S Cooper Countryman.(JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

For its security system, the MINI Cooper S Countryman earned five stars in the latest testing by the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP). This model has the automatic emergency brake (AEB) system, with car-to-car and pedestrian detection brakes operating automatically via sensors.

The combination of classic design and luxurious features has earned this new variant a place on Wards Auto’s 10 best cabin interior designs list for 2017. The front seat design enables improved driver’s view, while the back seats can be shifted by 13-cm. The seat designs, which can be electrically adjusted, enable the driver and passengers to enjoy long trips comfortably.

Other sophisticated features are a head-up display to project vehicle speed information, the John Cooper Works (JCW) steering wheel model, the Clubman styled transmission, an 8.8-inch MINI monitor with touch screen technology, a MINI Boost radio with a four-line display, a Bluetooth hands-free telephone and a Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system. The car also comes with a glass panorama roof.

Another fun experience is the MINI Country Timer, software capable of monitoring the travel situation in various street conditions. When the driver moves onto a more challenging road contour, the software will detect it and display the graphics, enabling the driver to observe how the Cooper S Countryman surpasses the Street Cruiser status and reaches the Cliff Champ status.

What about the price? It costs Rp 865 million off the road. It’s quite worthy for a MINI that’s no longer mini, suitable for traveling on smooth highways as well semi-off-road terrain