The Fun And Exciting MINI Countryman

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June 28, 2020, Kuala Lumpur – The MINI Countryman is the British carmaker’s largest model and the second generation Countryman just grew bigger.

BMW Group Malaysia, the official distributor of BMW and MINI cars in the country, has launched the Countryman in April last year. The locally-assembled Countryman is about 215 mm longer, 33 mm wider and has a larger wheelbase of 74 mm.

We took the MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports for a spin and had plenty of fun in the sophisticated ‘go kart’ ride.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports is ideal for those who loves a fun ride that stands out amongst the crowd. 

It is because a MINI can be customisable to one’s style or liking. They are able to choose their preferred wheel designs, stripe colours, roof and mirror cap colours, apart from the exterior body colour.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports is powered by a 2-litre four-cylinder MINI TwinPower turbocharged engine, mated to a 8-speed sports automatic transmission with paddle-shifters. It generates 192 hp from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 280 Nm of torque between 1,350 and 4,600 rpm.

Power is not an issue with the MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports, the 2-litre four-cylinder MINI TwinPower turbocharged engine can quickly overtake any slow moving traffic on the highway, but it takes a little effort to reach its top speed.

MINI claims that the Countryman Sports can complete the century sprint in 7.4 seconds and the top speed is at 224 kph. It has an average fuel rating of 6.5 litres per 100km (l/100km).

The Countryman Sports sits securely during corners, providing tremendous grip with minimum body roll. The medium light weighted steering was responsive and informative. It gives precise feedback to the driver. The slightly hard sports suspension absorbs most bumps and damaged road conditions pleasantly, only the large and deep pot holes were felt. 

Measuring in at a length of 4,299 mm, a width of 1,822 mm, a height of 1,557 mm, with a wheelbase of 2,670 mm. The sport activity vehicle (SAV) weighs 1,535 kg and it has a 450 litres of boot space, as well as a 51 litres of fuel tank capacity.

Rest assured, the cabin of the MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports is spacious and comfortable, even for a long distance drive. With 450 litres of boot space, it can easily carry a large tandem stroller, with some space left for a couple of shopping bags.

The MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports is fitted with the John Cooper Works package, that includes the MINI bonnet stripes, hexagonal grille, front apron with built-in air ducts, rear bumper with diffuser design, MINI JCW door sill finishers, sports suspension, 19-inch MINI JCW course spoke alloys with run flat tyres, and MINI JCW steering wheel.

MINI’s engineers had done a great job to keep the noise and vibration level low. The exhaust grunt could be heard during the start of the engine, but once we start to drive, the sound becomes unnoticeable. However, switching to Sport mode anyone can easily get the exhaust growling. 

Other accessories available are the park distance control, park assist, anthracite headliner, 8.8-inch touchscreen display with navigation, leather upholstery, LED headlights with daytime running lights, powered tailgate with handsfree function, powered leather seats with memory function for the driver, ambiance lighting, heads-up display and Harmon Kardon 360-watt output 12-speaker sound system.

The 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is one of the best upgrades in MINI. Finally, a MINI with a larger screen. It is user friendly to operate, and can be easily adjusted through the switches and buttons located around the screen or at the MINI Connected command centre.

As for the sound quality, there is no doubt that Harmon Kardon produces one of the finest tunes. Eventhough it is just a 360-watt output 12-speaker sound system, it can easily match or even sound better than most 600-watt sound system available in the market. This is due to the positioning of the speakers. The Harmon  Kardon 12-speaker sound system plays crispy clear treble accompanied by solid and powerful bass. In spite of that, it is still short from the live concert-like sound quality.

As for the safety aspects of the MINI Countryman Sports, it is equipped with six airbags, anti-lock braking system, brake assist, cornering brake control, electronic brakeforce distribution, dynamic braking light, attention assist, dynamic stability control with dynamic traction control, electronic differential lock control, rear-view camera and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.

The 5-star rated Euro NCAP crash test MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports is priced at RM245,888, excluding insurance and for personal registration only. It is covered by the MINI 4 years unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service and MINI Malaysia’s 5 Years Roadside Assistance programme.

We drove the MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports for over 900km and a mixture of city and highway driving recorded about 8.3 to 9.1 l/100km. A cruise on the highway within the speed limit resulted to 6.4 to 7.2 l/100km. After some full throttle driving, it consumed 9.9 to 12.5 l/100km. Great numbers given that it is running on a 2.0-litre twin turbocharged engine.

Our time with the MINI Cooper S Countryman Sports is very positive, but there are still some features missing. It would be fabulous if the Countryman Sports would come with the blind spot warning system, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. These features will surely gives the driver a peace-of-mind during long distance driving.

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