Still fresh from its New York show debut in April, the facelifted MINI Countryman has quietly set its wheels onto Malaysian soil, with minor blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tweaks designed to freshen the four-year-old maxi MINI.
First, the price – available in just the higher-performance Cooper S variant for now (the regular Cooper was conspicuously missing from BMW Malaysia’s press release), the new Countryman retails at RM243,888 on-the-road without insurance and with the MINI Service Inclusive package. That’s a whole RM15k less than the previous Cooper S.
Now, on to what’s new – exterior changes are limited to a new grille with a revised structure, a chrome horizontal grille and a small “S” badge not unlike the M badges now fitted on the kidney grilles on BMW’s performance M cars. LED fog lights and LED daytime running lights are now standard fitment, while xenon headlights and the 18-inch anthracite Turbo Fan alloy wheels carry on from before.
Inside, the new Countryman gets a MINI Visual Boost infotainment system with a 6.5 inch LCD screen and MINI Connected functionality. There are also darker dials for the central speedometer and the rev counter, as well as improved interior insulation for better acoustic comfort. The Gravity Carbon Black leather upholstery, Piano Black trim and Chrome Line pack are all carried over from the old Cooper S.
Under the bonnet, the Cooper S’ Prince 1.6 litre direct-injected turbo four is also carried over, but it has been tweaked to produce 190 PS – 6 PS more than before – while torque remains at 240 Nm (260 Nm on overboost). The six-speed automatic gearbox is retained, but unlike the previous model, the new local-spec car ditches the ALL4 permanent four-wheel drive system, which explains the price difference.
The lighter weight this move contributes, combined with measures made to optimise aerodynamics and efficiency, mean that the 0-100 km/h sprint is now half a second quicker than before at 7.8 seconds, while the top speed has been raised by 7 km/h to 212 km/h. Combined fuel consumption has also dropped by 0.6 litres per 100 km, now sitting at 7.5 litres per 100 km.
Finally, the colours – Jungle Green (shown here) and Midnight Grey join the rest of the existing hues, while Starlight Blue from the Paceman range is available on the Countryman for the first time. The new MINI Countryman will be available at all MINI dealerships from this weekend (November 15 and 16) onwards. Interested? You can read our review of the pre-facelifted model from Hamburg, Germany.