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2013 Mini Cooper Countryman offers seating for five

Thu, 01 Nov 2012

The 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman is officially for sale, at a cost of $22,700 including $700 in destination charges.

The Mini Cooper Countryman will be available with any of Mini’s three engine options for 2013. The base model will get the 1.6-liter making 121 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, while the Countryman S will get a turbocharged version making 181 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. For 2013 Mini is adding a John Cooper Works package to the Countryman lineup, which will make 208 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque.

The Countryman S and Countryman JCW will have extra sporty suspension setups, while the base model will be optimized for comfort. All three packages feature a sport mode that stiffens the suspension at the push of a button.

The base Countryman can go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds, while the upgraded S will do the same in seven seconds flat. Adding the JCW package drops the time required for the sprint to 6.6 seconds.

Fuel mileage is rated at 27 mpg in the city and 35 on the highway in the Countryman, while the S should be good for 25 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.

Mini’s All4 all-wheel-drive system is offered on Countryman S and standard on JCW models. The system uses center and rear differentials to funnel power to where it’s needed most. In normal driving conditions, 100 percent of the power goes to the front wheels; in slippery situations up to 50 percent of the power can be sent rearward. On the Countryman S, All4 is a $1,700 option.

In the passenger compartment, the base Mini Countryman uses its center-rail system to link the front and back seats. Instead of a regular center console, two rails stretch from the front of the car to the back. The system can be used for storage, or to attach clips for external audio devices, cell phones and other creature comforts.

Buyers can specify an accent color for the door panels, center armrest, lower section of B-pillars and the center rail. Available colors include black, beige, red, brown and—exclusive to the Countryman S—Surf blue.

For the first time, a bench seat will be offered in the Mini Countryman as a no-cost option, making it a five-seater. Mini says the Countryman is a true crossover, but in overall size and luggage space it’s smaller than even the smallest SUVs from Kia, Hyundai and VW.

Regardless, it’s still the biggest car in Mini’s stable.

By Jake Lingeman