MINI John Cooper Works Countryman 2017

MINI John Cooper Works Countryman 2017Mini had a crack at injecting its ‘go-kart’ feel into the original Countryman SUV but that car wasn’t much bigger than a regular Mini hatch and, as a result, didn’t capture as much of the SUV boom as it should have.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is the equal-most powerful ever fitted to a Mini (it’s also in the JCW Clubman), with 170kW of power and 350Nm of torque. Mini says this thing will jump from 0-100km/h in just 6.5 seconds. Do we doubt that? Not at all.

Ergonomically, the seats are excellent and the driving position is generally good. Instrumentation readability and control placement and operation are polarising. However, that won’t stop drivers from enjoying the experience getting around in the fastest SUV MINI builds.

The official 0-100km/h time of 6.5 seconds is good but most impressive is the mid-range acceleration from the 2.0-litre turbo. The all-wheel drive software directs most power to the front wheels until it detects — or anticipates — slip, then shuffles more grunt to the rear tyres. You can feel it working through hairpin turns but it is still possible to generate a bit of front-end slip before the electronics do their thing.

MINI John Cooper Works Countryman 2017

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