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Getting Inside the 2017 Mini Countryman: First Impressions

Where 2017 Countryman Owners Will Notice the Crossover's Size Increase

Where 2017 Countryman Owners Will Notice the Crossover's Size Increase

The new 2017 Mini Countryman has been revealed to the public in a small gathering ahead of the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show tomorrow.

Saving the 2017 Countryman plug-in hybrid for the show and the base three-cylinder Countryman in Cooper trim for a later date, Mini showed off its 189-hp Countryman Cooper S under the bright lights of Downtown L.A.

The new Countryman is almost eight inches longer than the old model but, at the reveal event, with admittedly little frame of reference, the crossover doesn’t look much bigger. Where owners will notice the size increase is inside.

The new Countryman’s cabin is much roomier than before, giving it some space in the model lineup (no pun intended) from the also-larger Clubman. The front seats give the driver a commanding view out of the cabin, with the high-mounted seats helping to mitigate the van-like driving position of the latest Mini Hardtop. The new optional touchscreen nav (a non-touch version is standard) offers up a high-resolution screen and feels pretty snappy in operation. Although the touchscreen makes it easier to use Apple CarPlay, the system also includes an iDrive-like controller on the center console.

In back, the new 2017 Countryman feels roomier too. The accessory rail from the previous generation model is gone, and buyers will now have two back seats to choose from — a version with a 60/40 split, and another that splits 40/20/40 and slides forward and backward to increase cargo capacity and bring the kids (or dogs) in the backseat within arm’s reach of front occupants.

The trunk is wider and deeper than before, with a lift-up storage tray that hides a nifty-but-optional cushion that flips out onto the rear bumper to turn it into a rather comfortable bench.

Built at Mini’s new factory in Born, Netherlands, the new 2017 Mini Countryman Cooper and Cooper S should hit dealers around March of 2017, with the plug-in likely to arrive by fall.

Read the full 2017 Mini Countryman First Look HERE.