If you have a penchant for cars coming out of Great Britain or the Queen or Freddie Mercury and like some practicality served at its side, then the blokes from MINI at Oxford have just introduced the 2015 Countryman in India priced at Rs. 36.50 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). The most practical MINI that you can buy and also serves our pretty botched up Indian roads very well, the Countryman manages to exude the same style quotient as its 3-door siblings but with machoism. Earlier introduced as a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) offering in the anticipation of high volumes, MINI has now introduced the updated model as a CBU unit and will be shipping it here from the UK.
On the outset, it is the looks that set any MINI offering apart from the competition and with the 2015 Countryman, the BMW-owned automaker has taken butch stance up by a notch. The bold front fascia is accentuated by a contoured bonnet, redesigned hexagonal grille and bulbous new headlight cluster with Xenon lights and LED fog lamps. The striking profile turns further distinctive with the pronounced wheel arches and the new standard 17-inch alloy wheels. Move to the back and the vertically stacked tail light cluster with a bulging rear makes for a wider appearance and added masculinity. The bumper though gets a faux diffuser, and twin exhausts that further enhances the peculiarly curvy Brit SUV. For India, MINI is offering the Chrome Line Interior and Chrome Line Exterior packages to enhance the exclusive design.
Step inside the cabin and the 2015 MINI Countryman gets a new design language and buttload of features while retaining their familiar styling. The circular themed dashboard looks more striking now, featuring a leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, while the circular panel on the centre console now accommodates a 6.5-inch infotainment display unit with Radio MINI Boost. The system not only is your display for the basic vitals but also helps access a host of new applications related to digital information and travel. You also get several social media apps including Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare among others, once you connect your smartphone with MINI Connected. The company has also raised the seating position on the front seat that aids in better ingress and egress while improving the driver’s field of view.
Loaded to the neck with goodies, the new MINI Countryman further gets a panoramic sunroof to add a sense of roominess, while there is an optional 10 speaker 640 watt Hi-Fi Harmon Kardon audio system. A host of other technologies keep the car sedated including Intelligent Lightweight Construction, Automatic Start/Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, 50:50 Weight Distribution and much more. Keeping up with MINI’s philosophy, the company is offering several interior colours, trim elements and upholstery materials to make innumerable combinations that can be asked for. Being an extremely practical vehicle, the rear seats are foldable in a 40:20:40 split fashion.
Under that contoured bonnet, the 2015 MINI Countryman uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder, common-rail diesel engine with variable turbine geometry that gushes out 112 HP and 270 Nm of torque between 1750-2250 RPM. The motor comes paired to a 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and helps accelerate the Countryman from 0-100 kmph in 11.3 seconds with the top speed limited to 185 kmph. You also get the option of paddle shifters for manually controlling the gear changes. In terms of safety, new MINI Countryman is stacked up with 6 airbags, ABS, 3-point seat belts, Dynamic Stability Control including Dynamic Traction Control, Brake Assist and Run-flat indicator.
If attention is that you seek and do not wish to let go of heritage, the offerings from MINI have always made a compelling case. With the Countryman, MINI has ensured to add some practicality to its lineup and the new list of upgrades and features makes for a very appealing SUV that can also be your daily driver. Small, lightweight and powerful, the attributes of a MINI are very much intact while also being high on style. So if you have anywhere around Rs. 45 lakhs to spare, MINI will be more than happy to sell you one of these from its 4 exclusive dealerships in India.