7 things to know about the 2017 Mini Countryman Page 2


2017 Mini Cooper Countryman

2017 Mini Cooper Countryman

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There are a lot of transmissions to sort through. Warning: numbers to follow. Opt for a base Countryman with its 3-cylinder turbo motor and you can choose from a 6-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic (front-wheel drive only), and an 8-speed automatic (all-wheel drive only). The Countryman S adds 55 more ponies from its 2.0-liter turbo-4 and a new mix of gearboxes. These speedier variants can be ordered up with a different 6-speed manual (all-wheel drive only) and two tunes for the optional 8-speed automatic. A sport version of that gearbox includes paddle shifters, beefed up internals, and different shift mapping for a more aggressive feel. 

2017 Mini Cooper Countryman

2017 Mini Cooper Countryman

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... but even more options to order. Mini has built much of its reputation on its cars' personalities. In an era of increasingly homogeneous cars, the brand's lineup offers a seemingly endless array of options—so much so that Mini tells us about two-thirds of the cars it builds don't have an identical twin. Take that, muscle car owners bragging about how their cars are "1 of 10" with that particular option combination. 

 

Mini Find Mate fob

Mini Find Mate fob

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You'll find technology in spades. It may still be a fairly small car (albeit huge for a Mini), but the Countryman doesn't lack for available tech. One optional highlight is a Mini-badged fob that can be hooked to a keychain, a purse, or a backpack. Like the popular Tile item tracker, the Mini Find Mate works with an app to tell you where it (and the item it's hooked to) is located. But it goes one step further by communicating directly with the Mini's infotainment system to alert drivers that they've backed out of the garage without their briefcase or purse.  

2017 Mini Countryman

2017 Mini Countryman

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There's more to come. Up next? The 228-horsepower Mini John Cooper Works Countryman arrives a few weeks after the first Countrymans hit dealers (in April) with one of the longest car names we've ever encountered. It will inevitably offer sharper handling, but the variant that intrigues us is a 221-hp plug-in hybrid called the Countryman S E. Mini promises performance not far off from the JCW with the benefit of instantaneous electric torque and a 24-mile electric-only range. 


 
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