First introduced three years ago, the second generation MINI Countryman has received a facelift but it’s not the changes on the outside we’re concerned about, it’s the new instrument cluster.
As unconventional and funky as it appeared, in line with MINI’s youthful image, it never really looked like it belong there – more like an afterthought, if anything. It still worked like a charm as MINI Malaysia in particular sold plenty of the Countryman but in this facelift model, the new digital instrument cluster should silence tech-demanding buyers for just a little longer…cause it looks great!
Unfortunately, it only looks this way if you opt for the Connected Median option. Yes, it is sadly an option. Forget the new grille, new front bumper and wheel design, or that it now also gets the Union Jack graphics on the tail lights.
If there was one thing the facelift Countryman had to have as standard, it would be a new instrument cluster. Most would probably agree that the same applies to every new MINI model that follows.
Wheels are of a light-alloy material, ranging from 16 to 19 inch in size. For those interested in a more cynical appearance, there is a Piano Black Exterior option that turns exterior trims such as the headlamp surrounds and front grille into high gloss back, instead of chrome as standard.
LED headlamps are standard items, where the daytime running light rings also serve as turn indicators. There’s also an adaptive headlight system that utilises a forward-facing camera to detect on-coming traffic, to avoid dazzling them. Capable of operating at speeds in excess of 70 km/h, the feature is also an option.
There have been rather significant revisions to the 4-cylinder engines in the Countryman S, the model most likely to arrive here, including a cylinder head with integrated exhaust manifold to ensure the most effective cooling of compressed air generated by the turbo.
Along with that all 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines now comes with a starter generator. Transmission options range from 6-speed manual and auto, to 7-speed dual clutch and 8-speed automatic; the ones we’re likely to see here are the 8-speed automatics.
As for the plug-in hybrid model, combined output is rated at 220 hp with pure electric range extended from 55 km to 61 km through a 9.6kWh battery.