William Maley

2017 MINI Countryman Grows and Brings A Plug-In Hybrid: Comments

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We can't help but wonder if MINI is kind of missing the point of their name. This thought came up as we were looking at the details of the second-generation Countryman that will be debuting next month at the LA Auto Show.

Compared to the outgoing Countryman, the 2017 model is 8.1-inches longer, 1.3-inches wider, and rides on a wheelbase that 2.9-inches longer. MINI, you're supposed to keep your vehicles small, not making them bigger. But we have to admit this growth spurt does make the Countryman look more SUV than raised-hatchback.

The increase in size also allows for a larger interior. Shoulder room increases by 2-inches for both rows and rear legroom jumps by 3.8-inches. Cargo space measures 17.6 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 47.6 cubic feet with the seats down - up 5.6 cubic feet in both measurements. Otherwise, the interior matches up with current MINI models with such details as an improved layout for the dash and the option of a 8.8-inch screen for the infotainment system.

There are three powertrains on offer. The base Cooper features a turbocharged 1.5L three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. Cooper S models get a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Both gas engines feature the choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, along with the choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. New for this generation is Cooper S E Countryman All4 - MINI's first plug-in hybrid. This pairs the 1.5L three-cylinder with an 87-horsepower electric motor and a 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. Total output stands at 221 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. This makes the Cooper S E Countryman All4 the most powerful Countryman on sale (until the JCW version comes out). Electric-only range stands at 24 Miles. MINI hasn't released any details on how it takes to recharge.

MINI says the 2017 Countryman will arrive in the U.S. next March. The plug-in hybrid will arrive in June.

Source: MINI
Press Release is on Page 2


Introducing the Biggest, Most Adventurous MINI Yet: The New MINI Countryman

- First ever plug-in hybrid available on Countryman as Cooper S E ALL4 variant 
- World Premiere of all three variants at Los Angeles International Auto Show 
- Cooper and Cooper S go on sale in March 2017, while Cooper S E ALL4 plug-in hybrid goes on sale in June 2017

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 25, 2016 – MINI USA introduced today the biggest, most adventurous MINI ever, the all-new 2017 MINI Countryman. That’s not all. For the first time ever, a MINI model will be offered as a plug-in hybrid, combining the best of both worlds. The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 will be powered by both a three- cylinder MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology gasoline engine and an electric hybrid synchronous motor. All three of the new MINI Countryman variants will make their World Premiere at the Los Angeles International Auto Show at a press conference on Wednesday, November 16th, at 11:50 am PDT.

The all-new MINI Countryman has been completely redesigned and reengineered from the ground up, yet still is instantly identifiable as a MINI. Now incorporating BMW Group engine technology and vehicle architecture, the all-new MINI Countryman offers an all-turbocharged engine lineup with outstanding acceleration and the go-kart driving dynamics that MINI owners have come to know and love – especially when experienced with the added traction that comes from the latest generation of ALL4 all- wheel drive. At the same time, this new architecture delivers excellent ride quality and enables the most spacious MINI interior ever.

“The new MINI Countryman is not only the largest MINI we’ve ever built, but it’s also the most technologically advanced and most versatile MINI of our product line up,” said Thomas Felbermair, Vice President MINI of the Americas. “The addition of the plug-in hybrid option is a major milestone for the brand and we look forward to bringing this exciting new vehicle into one of the top performing market segments.”

Fun to drive

The benefits from the BMW Group engine technology are evident across both the Cooper and Cooper S variants, with the new three-cylinder MINI TwinPower turbocharged engine on the MINI Cooper Countryman delivering 42 percent more torque than its predecessor, just shy of the outgoing Cooper S variant. The MINI Cooper Countryman can also hit 0 – 60 mph 1.6 seconds more quickly than did its predecessor, and for the first time, can be matched with ALL4 all-wheel drive. Meanwhile, with 207 ft-lbs on tap, the turbocharged four-cylinder engine on the MINI Cooper S Countryman nearly matches the torque output of the outgoing MINI John Cooper Works Countryman.

As the most adventurous MINI ever built, traction and performance in all kinds of conditions, wet or dry, rugged or smooth, straight or curvy, the new MINI Countryman benefits from the all-new ALL4 all-wheel drive system. The fully automatic system seamlessly delivers power to the wheels that grip and reacts to road conditions in as little as .25 seconds, with no action required by the driver or passenger.

Spacious interior

The biggest MINI ever means more space for cargo, people and anything else needed for your next big adventure. Not only does the all-new MINI Countryman offer cavernous cargo space – an increase of 30 percent compared to the outgoing generation – but with sliding, folding rear seats, a high roofline, and an adjustable trunk floor, it offers an incredibly flexible, versatile one too. The new MINI Countryman now has more front and rear legroom, front and rear headroom and rear seat shoulderroom than many of the major competitors in its class.

Pre-Outfitted with Premium Features

Although the new MINI Countryman continues the MINI tradition of offering an incredible array of possibilities for custom configuration, some customers may find that the car is already loaded before they’ve added any options. Every MINI Countryman will come standard with:

- an expansive Panorama Sunroof - Sensatec Leatherette Upholstery - Comfort Access keyless entry - MINI Connected infotainment system with 6.5-inch high-resolution display - Rear View Camera with guidelines - Rear Park Distance Control (parking sensors) - Bluetooth supporting Telephone, Audio Streaming, and Siri Eyes Free - Automatic Headlights and Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers - Fore-and-Aft Sliding Rear Seats with Reclining and 40:20:40 Split-Folding Backrests - 17-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper) or 18-inch light alloy wheels (Cooper S)

Models with ALL4 all-wheel drive also come standard with heated seats. Cooper S models (with and without ALL4) come with standard LED headlights and daytime running lights, bolstered sport seats, and 18-inch light alloy wheels.

In addition to the standard features highlighted above, the new MINI Countryman features a number of options to improve the overall experience for the driver and passenger using a completely new generation of technology. A Technology Package includes a new 8.8-inch touchscreen navigation system, driven by MINI Connected 5.0, a redesigned and new-generation user interface and operating system, as well as Qi wireless device charging capability and MINI Find Mate Bluetooth tags.

The option to plug-in

The biggest, most adventurous MINI ever built will also be the most technologically advanced MINI when the brand launches its first ever plug-in hybrid model, the new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, in June 2017. Behind the scenes, a 3-cylinder gasoline engine works in tandem with a powerful electric motor to produce a combined peak output of 221 hp, with the e-rear axle enabling all-season ALL4 traction – but for drivers, Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 simply means high-tech Motoring fun.

It’s the perfect vehicle for city dwellers who wish to enjoy the benefits of purely electric mobility when commuting between home and work every day, for example, while at the same time benefiting from unlimited long-distance suitability on the weekend.

#FromWhereIMINI

Later this week, drone photographer Dirk Dallas (@dirka) will be taking the new MINI Countryman on a cross country adventure to its World Premiere in Los Angeles. Fellow MINI fans and adventurers can follow the action @MINIUSA as Dirk shares some of his favorite adventure spots across the country. Additionally, fans will have a chance at winning limited edition MINI Adventure Series patches by guessing Dirk’s #FromWhereIMINI location.

The new MINI Countryman will go on sale in March 2017 at MINI dealers across the U.S. with the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 plug-in hybrid following in June 2017. Pricing for the U.S. market will be announced at a later date.


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it's just weird that a company historically built on efficient, fun vehicles couldn't be assed to make a proper EV in the year 2016...

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Just goes to show that in 2016, electrification is still seen as a far-out fringe novelty that no one wants.

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2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Just goes to show that in 2016, electrification is still seen as a far-out fringe novelty that no one wants.

On the contrary, I work on a university campus and the majority of students that I talk to want to actually own an electric or hybrid car.  Just because your close friends in the bingo and shuffleboard crowd really liked the six volt systems in their Studebakers, Packards and DeSotos does not mean that modern electric vehicles are unwanted.

Edited by A Horse With No Name
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4 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Just goes to show that in 2016, electrification is still seen as a far-out fringe novelty that no one wants.

Sept. Mini Sales: 2,988

Sept. Tesla Sales: 4,864

lol

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Bravo for going bigger so us big folks might actually fit and consider one. Boo for the piss poor Hybrid. They should have at least a 50 to 60 mile range in that battery pack. Pathetic.

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So it is going to be ~170 inches in length (going by current model being ~162 inches, still shorter than a Mazda 3 or Impreza hatchback by a few inches.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, frogger said:

So it is going to be ~170 inches in length (going by current model being ~162 inches, still shorter than a Mazda 3 or Impreza hatchback by a few inches.

 

 

They have lost their way from a marketing standpoint and will probably never re find it.  Imprezza much more closely matches what the market wants.  Subaru met its 2020 sales goal 4 years early....

MINI is trying to re catch its sales goals from a decade ago.

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1 hour ago, bigpoolog said:

Sept. Mini Sales: 2,988

Sept. Tesla Sales: 4,864

lol

Sept. Chevrolet Volt sales - 2,031  

And that's a single model against an entire model lineup.

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47 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Sept. Chevrolet Volt sales - 2,031  

And that's a single model against an entire model lineup.

Volt sales should go up with time.  Most owners are fanatical about how much they love their car, and as more are resold used to people the customer base rises. 

Mini on the other hand has had their day.

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No I'm just a realist.  And you should keep your Jetta.

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Please help me out by posting the commanding percentage of the overall market that hybrids and full electrics represent in 2016.

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http://redbullglobalrallycross.com/news/latestnews/red-bull-global-rallycross-add-electric-series-2018-season/

This should show some of the interest with the younger generation in electric cars, Red Bull is adding an electric division for Rallycross.  given that the people into this are ninety eight percent under thirty...would they be doing this if it was not going to appeal to their target demographic?

13 hours ago, ocnblu said:

No I'm just a realist.  And you should keep your Jetta.

Would love to keep the Jetta but it is pretty much a one year only engine and emissions system, and will be hard to get parts for in a couple of years. Plus they are going to pay me twenty five grand for a car that is worth maybe 11 grand with the scandal.

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Look for example at a car like the 2004 Lincoln LS with the V8. Jaguar is no longer producing parts or tooling for the 3.9, and there is not enough enthusiast interest to support the car long term. Thus it pretty much is a unicorn.  same thing will happen with the 2015 Jetta I own.

Shame because the car knocks down 50 plus MPG on the highway without much of an effort.  Will be a big shock if I actually buy the WRX I am thinking seriously of.

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3 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

http://redbullglobalrallycross.com/news/latestnews/red-bull-global-rallycross-add-electric-series-2018-season/

This should show some of the interest with the younger generation in electric cars, Red Bull is adding an electric division for Rallycross.  given that the people into this are ninety eight percent under thirty...would they be doing this if it was not going to appeal to their target demographic?

Would love to keep the Jetta but it is pretty much a one year only engine and emissions system, and will be hard to get parts for in a couple of years. Plus they are going to pay me twenty five grand for a car that is worth maybe 11 grand with the scandal.

Red Bull rally is gonna be a hit with Millennials. It is amazing the interest in EV auto's by that segment.

I agree with you take the money and run, VW had their day and the Diesel scandal has set them back in the public view about 25-30 years.

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58 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Red Bull rally is gonna be a hit with Millennials. It is amazing the interest in EV auto's by that segment.

I agree with you take the money and run, VW had their day and the Diesel scandal has set them back in the public view about 25-30 years.

Not sure why they are trying to bring in an under powered under engineered US market only SUV for the masses either.  They seem to have the opposite of the Midas touch. '

Really, it is hard to match US car makers at their own game. Anyone who would buy this MINI SUV over a GMC Terrain needs to have their head examined!

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12 hours ago, ocnblu said:

Please help me out by posting the commanding percentage of the overall market that hybrids and full electrics represent in 2016.

The more expensive electric car sells within 900 units of an entire "youth and sporty" brand that base prices about $10k less 

Toyota sells more Prii in 2 months than Mini sells cars in an entire year. 

Even a 20% take rate on the Fusion Hybrid would outnumber the number of Minis sold in a year.

And that's just three models...

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The more expensive electric car sells within 900 units of an entire "youth and sporty" brand that base prices about $10k less 

Toyota sells more Prii in 2 months than Mini sells cars in an entire year. 

Even a 20% take rate on the Fusion Hybrid would outnumber the number of Minis sold in a year.

And that's just three models...

Does not answer the question there, skeeter.  And Horsey, that would certainly be a babe magnet!  Except it still basically depends on good ol' gasoline for motive power.  ;)

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1 minute ago, ocnblu said:

Does not answer the question there, skeeter.  And Horsey, that would certainly be a babe magnet!  Except it still basically depends on good ol' gasoline for motive power.  ;)

Electric motive power is growing whether you like it or not.

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We just fixed a '14 Jetta TDi this week.  I was talking to the guy about the so-called "scandal".  He says he is in love with his Jetta and he is keeping it.  So he gets a check from VW for his imaginary troubles and gets to keep his beloved car... "50 MPG!" he says.

1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Electric motive power is growing whether you like it or not.

I ASKED FOR THE TRUTH, MONSIGNOR!  NOT SOME DANCE AROUND IT!  ;)

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MINI, as a brand, is junk.  Just like BMW.  I just think it's funny that so many hybrids have been introduced to great fanfare, then soon after, they are dead and no one misses them.  I could list them.  Wanna hear it?  :smilewide:

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    • By William Maley
      We had high hopes for the Hyundai Tucson when we did a first drive back in August 2015. But when we did our full review last April, we ended it by saying the model wasn’t “the slam dunk we thought it was.” This was due to some key issues such as a small cargo area, a tough value argument and a dual-clutch transmission having some hesitating issues. A year later, we find ourselves revisiting the Tucson. There has been a software update to the transmission, along with some minor changes to the infotainment system and interior.
      A quick refresher on the Tucson’s powertrain lineup: A 2.0L four-cylinder producing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque is used on the base SE and SE Plus. The rest of the Tucson lineup features a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic comes standard on the 2.0L, while the turbo 1.6 gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine does show some turbo lag when leaving a stop, but it will soon pick up steam and move the Tucson at a pretty decent rate. The engine doesn’t feel overtaxed when you need to make a pass. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission still has issues. While Hyundai has reduced some of the hesitation issues we experienced in the last Tucson via a software update, there is still a fair amount of this when leaving from a dead stop. We also noticed some rough upshifts during our week. At least the ride and handling characteristics have not changed since our last test. The Tucson still provides one of the smoothest rides in the class, even with the Limited’s 19-inch wheels. It doesn’t flinch when going around a corner as body motions are kept in check. A Mazda CX-5 would be more fun to drive as it is quicker when transitioning from one corner to another and the steering has the right amount of weight and feel. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. The interior remains mostly unchanged except for a couple of minor things. The 8-inch touchscreen system now features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We’re impressed with how fast the system was able to find the iPhone and bring up the CarPlay interface. The other change deals with more soft-touch materials being added to various parts of the interior. There is still a fair amount of hard plastics, even on the high-end Limited model which is very disappointing. There is still a lot to like about the Tucson’s interior. Space is plentiful for those sitting in the front or rear seats, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. The list of standard equipment is quite extensive as well. Limited models get automatic headlights, power and heated front seats, an 8-speaker Infinity sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push-button start, and blind-spot monitoring. Cargo space still trails competitors with only 31 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 61.9 cubic feet when folded. The CR-V offers 35.2 and 70.9 cubic feet respectively. The Limited seen here came with a $35,210 as-tested price, which is about average for a fully-loaded crossover in this class. But the Tucson becomes a bit of a tough sell when dropping to the lower trims as you cannot get certain features. As we noted in our full review last year, “if you want navigation or dual-zone climate control on the Sport, you’re out of luck.” Despite some of the changes made for 2017, our verdict is much the same as the 2016 Tucson. There is a lot to like about the Tucson, but there are still some issues the company needs to address - smoothing out the dual-clutch and trying to make the model a better value.  
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Tucson, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Tucson
      Trim: Limited AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/28/25
      Curb Weight: 3,686 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $31,175
      As Tested Price: $35,201 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Ultimate Package - $2,750.00
      Cargo Cover - $190.00
      Reversible Cargo Tray - $100.00 
      Rear Bumper Applique - $70.00
      First Aid Kit - $30.00
    • By William Maley
      We had high hopes for the Hyundai Tucson when we did a first drive back in August 2015. But when we did our full review last April, we ended it by saying the model wasn’t “the slam dunk we thought it was.” This was due to some key issues such as a small cargo area, a tough value argument and a dual-clutch transmission having some hesitating issues. A year later, we find ourselves revisiting the Tucson. There has been a software update to the transmission, along with some minor changes to the infotainment system and interior.
      A quick refresher on the Tucson’s powertrain lineup: A 2.0L four-cylinder producing 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque is used on the base SE and SE Plus. The rest of the Tucson lineup features a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic comes standard on the 2.0L, while the turbo 1.6 gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine does show some turbo lag when leaving a stop, but it will soon pick up steam and move the Tucson at a pretty decent rate. The engine doesn’t feel overtaxed when you need to make a pass. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission still has issues. While Hyundai has reduced some of the hesitation issues we experienced in the last Tucson via a software update, there is still a fair amount of this when leaving from a dead stop. We also noticed some rough upshifts during our week. At least the ride and handling characteristics have not changed since our last test. The Tucson still provides one of the smoothest rides in the class, even with the Limited’s 19-inch wheels. It doesn’t flinch when going around a corner as body motions are kept in check. A Mazda CX-5 would be more fun to drive as it is quicker when transitioning from one corner to another and the steering has the right amount of weight and feel. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. The interior remains mostly unchanged except for a couple of minor things. The 8-inch touchscreen system now features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. We’re impressed with how fast the system was able to find the iPhone and bring up the CarPlay interface. The other change deals with more soft-touch materials being added to various parts of the interior. There is still a fair amount of hard plastics, even on the high-end Limited model which is very disappointing. There is still a lot to like about the Tucson’s interior. Space is plentiful for those sitting in the front or rear seats, even with the optional panoramic sunroof. The list of standard equipment is quite extensive as well. Limited models get automatic headlights, power and heated front seats, an 8-speaker Infinity sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push-button start, and blind-spot monitoring. Cargo space still trails competitors with only 31 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 61.9 cubic feet when folded. The CR-V offers 35.2 and 70.9 cubic feet respectively. The Limited seen here came with a $35,210 as-tested price, which is about average for a fully-loaded crossover in this class. But the Tucson becomes a bit of a tough sell when dropping to the lower trims as you cannot get certain features. As we noted in our full review last year, “if you want navigation or dual-zone climate control on the Sport, you’re out of luck.” Despite some of the changes made for 2017, our verdict is much the same as the 2016 Tucson. There is a lot to like about the Tucson, but there are still some issues the company needs to address - smoothing out the dual-clutch and trying to make the model a better value.  
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Tucson, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Tucson
      Trim: Limited AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/28/25
      Curb Weight: 3,686 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $31,175
      As Tested Price: $35,201 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Ultimate Package - $2,750.00
      Cargo Cover - $190.00
      Reversible Cargo Tray - $100.00 
      Rear Bumper Applique - $70.00
      First Aid Kit - $30.00

      View full article
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