It’s been over six years since the Countryman was introduced, and apart from a minor facelift a couple of years ago, it’s remained pretty much the same. Now the second generation of the crossover has been launched, and it’s grown even bigger. In fact, the all-new Countryman is the largest vehicle ever to wear a Mini badge. It’s a good 200mm longer and 30mm wider than the outgoing model, and boasts a wheelbase that’s longer by 75mm. This means there’s more head and shoulder space for the driver and front passenger with more room for seat adjustments. The second row now has three full seats, and the rear door openings have been enlarged. Mini says there’s been an increase in leg space, with an additional 50mm of knee room added over the previous model. Cargo space has also seen an increase at 450 litres with all seats up and 1,309 litres with the rear seats folded down.

Powertrain options include a 136bhp, 220Nm 1.5-litre three-cylinder in the Cooper Countryman and a 192bhp, 280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder in the Cooper S Countryman. While the former does 0-100kph in 9.6 seconds the latter does it in 7.5 seconds. But the big news for the Countryman is the introduction of the SE hybrid model that combines a three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the engine drives the front wheels, while the 88bhp electric motor that sits on the rear axle drives the rear wheels via a two-speed transmission. The Countryman hybrid will boast a combined output of 224bhp and 385Nm of torque. Mini claims the crossover will go up to 125kph on electric mode alone, and the 7.6kWh lithium ion battery can be recharged in three hours and 15 minutes from a regular wall outlet and while a special wall box will reduce the charging time by an hour.

Visually, the new Countryman is better looking than the one it replaces. We know looks are subjective, but we like what we see.