MINI models, like many South Florida households, seem to keep growing in size. When MINI announced the dimensions of the 2017 MINI Countryman before its release, MINI fans voiced their reservations. It will be a compromise, they said. It will be too small to be a useful crossover, yet too big to handle like a MINI Cooper. And then the all-new 2017 MINI Countryman recently arrived at South Motors MINI and the brand’s fans realized their worry was ill-founded.
Yes, the 2017 MINI Countryman is bigger. Yes, it actually is the biggest MINI Cooper ever produced. But this model manages to keep the spunky, lively character that makes a MINI a MINI while simultaneously offering a level of refinement and versatility that’s hard to beat. This Countryman may have all the amenities of a small SUV, but it unmistakably handles like a hot hatchback. It proves quick and sporty without being harsh, delivering comfort during long bouts of stop-and-go Miami traffic, exhilaration on the open road and confidence over the rough stuff. The available all-wheel drive system (ALL4) gives it added poise through the corners and in rain. It is here where the 2017 Countryman offers its biggest surprise – a ride refinement unmatched by its previous generation. The new model quietly keeps its composure over those bumps and drops that made the old generation Countryman [and new gen’s competitors] thrash and thud.
But it isn’t solely the ride that’s been refined. Inside, you’ll find generous room for families of five and their cargo. The interior design keeps that quirky MINI vibe, but manages to make it all look and feel more upscale. The accommodations are almost as generous as the available space with keyless entry, panoramic sunroof, 6.5-inch high res infotainment display, backup sensors, Bluetooth and other impressive tech making the list of standard features. The Cooper trim gets some 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Cooper S model rocks some 18-inchers.
Miami shoppers will find that the marketing debuting the all-new 2017 MINI Countryman is chock full of intrepid adventurers exploring rustic settings and enjoying scenic vistas. These ads, of course, reinforce the Countryman’s go-anywhere-handle-anything personality, but they neglect to show it can be a highly-capable family mover, too. With five seats and plenty of cargo space, the Countryman is just as eager and able to handle the road to the grocery store as it is the off-road. The commute to work as well as the commune with nature.
And sticking with the family theme, the all-new 2017 MINI Countryman is like a boisterous teen that’s blossomed into a well-mannered young adult. A character that shows the refinement and poise of maturity, but also maintains the youthful penchant for playfulness that keeps things interesting.