2018 Mini Countryman Price and Release date

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2018 Mini Countryman Picture, Release date, and Review : 2018 Mini Countryman Price And Release Date

The 2018 Mini Countryman is a compact crossover that adapts the automaker’s shape into a bigger body. It’s newly available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, which is the automaker’s first.

We give the Mini Countryman a 6.6 on our overall scale thanks to plentiful features and good style. The plug-in hybrid would do better thanks to its fuel-efficiency, but we think gasoline models will be more common.

Following a redesign last year, the 2018 Mini Countryman carries forward this year with the new plug-in hybrid version and some package reshuffling. A rearview camera is standard on all models, and when your Countryman was made makes a difference: John Cooper Works editions and plug-in hybrid models produced before June 2017 won’t support Apple CarPlay, but all other models equipped with an optional tech package can.

Some shoppers might be surprised to hear that all Countryman models share skeletons with BMW’s similarly priced crossover, too. The BMW X1 is loosely related to the Countryman—as will other upcoming BMW models—but ironically, Mini makes the “ultimate driving machine” of the two. That’s because the Mini Countryman comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission—BMW doesn’t offer one on the X1—and the high-po John Cooper Works edition is a scream. Base Countryman models are powered by a turbocharged inline-3, while Cooper S Countryman and John Cooper Works models feature a turbo-4.

The Countryman can be uniquely appointed with the full menu of Mini’s customization features that means no two have to look alike.

Styling

Unmistakably a Mini, the 2018 Countryman makes its claim with bigger proportions, a taller stance and blockier lights.

The Countryman also gets creases that the Cooper doesn’t, and a different grille and lower front and rear bumpers.

It’s a more butch approach to the Mini plan, but doesn’t stray far from the successful formula. We give it two points over average for a good interior and exterior. It’s one point down on the Mini Cooper only because we still say that the Mini flavor is better served in small packages.

The Mini Countryman expands on the classic Mini shape with more pronounced shoulders and haunches, a taller ride height, and proportionately more plastic cladding than the Mini Cooper. Up front, the grille is slightly different—it doesn’t reach as far down the lower fascia as the Cooper’s—and the Countryman’s fog lights are moved inward from the sides of the bumper. Plug-in hybrid models are virtually identical to their gasoline counterparts aside from a neon-colored charge port on the front fender.

In back, the Countryman is fairly tidy with a long nameplate that spans most of the liftgate.

Inside, the Coutryman presents a larger version of the Mini Cooper’s interior, which is to say quirky, but no longer “techno alien”-looking either.

The Countryman places all the right dials and switches in appropriate places. A large round infotainment display dominates attention in the center of the car, with a 6.5-inch standard infotainment screen (upgradeable to 8.8 inches) dead center.

Performance

The 2018 Mini Countryman shares its powertrains with the Mini Cooper, albeit with one significant exception.

Starting with an average score, we give the Countryman a point above average for its nimble handling, but take it away for an over-burdened base engine. It lands at a 5 out of 10.

That base engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 that makes 134 horsepower. It’s tasked with carrying more than 3,500 pounds with all-wheel drive, and it predictably runs out of ideas quickly. A 6-speed manual is standard equipment, although a 6-speed or 8-speed automatic can be fitted for more money on front- or all-wheel-drive versions respectively.

The next step up is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 in Cooper S Countryman models that makes 189 hp and can dash up to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Like the base engine, a 6-speed manual is standard on front-drive models while an 8-speed automatic is optional on front-drivers and standard on all-wheel-drive versions, which Mini calls ALL4.

John Cooper Works versions are on the top of the pile for the Countryman and feature a 228-hp version of the turbo-4, which is standard on the BMW X1 (and earned our extra point there). Unlike the BMW, the JCW Countryman is fitted as standard with a 6-speed manual or if you must, an 8-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is the only option on JCW versions and it’s better for it; it helps keep the power manageable.

The Countryman uses Mini’s tuning magic and MacPhersons up front to deliver a sharp drive that’s as close to the Cooper as the extra 1,000 pounds will allow. It helps the Countryman feel smaller than its big body would indicate.

Mini’s ALL4 all-wheel-drive system can shuttle power between the front and rear axle in less than a second, operating nominally as a front-driver until slip is detected. It’s a slick system that reduces parasitic loss with a hang-on clutch, although we’d hesitate to take the Countryman any further than a muddy field.

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