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Promoted | The new MINI Countryman: scale up your mountain escape

Autocar Friday, 2 October 2020
With optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive, the new MINI Countryman can scale the biggest mountains and ascend the tallest peaks

Experience peak adventure in MINI’s family-size SUV, with the UK’s best hikes and walks, thrilling zipwires and surprising skiing hotspots

We’ve been exploring the best supersized staycation spots for family and friends in the new MINI Countryman – whether it’s enjoying the UK’s coasts, forests, and culture, or, in this case, taking in Britain’s biggest mountain adventures.

With room for five, up to 1390 litres of versatile luggage space, and plenty of ways to customise your MINI to make it even more stylish or even more practical, the new family-size MINI Countryman SUV is a real all-rounder. Add in the option of ALL4 all-wheel-drive or an efficient Plug-in Hybrid with 26 miles of low-impact electric range, and you’ve got true go-anywhere ability.

That makes the new MINI Countryman ideal for big mountain days out – helping you tackle steep roads with confidence, while the spacious interior lets you take all you need for scaling new heights, whether climbing, descending or flying by the slopes.

*For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com*

*Climb every mountain*

With seating for up to five and a luggage bay that can expand from 450 litres to 1390 litres, there’s more than enough room in the new MINI Countryman for all the gear you need for a hiking expedition with friends or family – and there’s no bigger British mountain-taming exercise than the *Three Peaks Challenge*.

The Three Peaks Challenge involves scaling the UK’s three tallest peaks: Ben Nevis (Scotland), Scafell Pike (Lake District) and Snowdon (Wales) – a total ascent of 3064m and 23 miles of walking. Usually tackled north to south, it can be done in a gruelling 24 hours or a leisurely three days (but doing all three peaks in a year is not an unreasonable task).

If you fancy easing your way in, there are regional Three Peak Challenges for Yorkshire (Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough), Wales (Snowdon, Cader Idris and Pen y Fan), and Surrey (Box Hill, Holmbury Hill and Leith Hill).

If you fancy something a little less extreme, there are lots of other great family-friendly ways to feel like you’re scaling Britain’s heights. The *High Street Mountain* climb along Long Stile ridge is a popular scenic route in the Lake District. *Malham Cove* in the Yorkshire Dales offers a variety of routes from Goredale Scar to reach the stunning Limestone pavement on top of its dramatic craggy amphitheatre or, while *Mam Tor* is a great spot for family hiking in the Peak District.

*For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com*

*Fly through the peaks and valleys*

With powerful TwinPower Turbo engines and a grippy, fun-to-drive chassis – with the option of confidence-inspiring optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive – the new MINI Countryman is the perfect family car for scaling (or descending) vertiginous mountain roads. But there’s an even more enjoyable way to swoop through the peaks and valleys. We’re talking zip wires.

At 1555m in length, Velocity 2 at *ZipWorld* in North Wales is the longest (and fastest) zip wire in the UK. With a starting altitude of 500m and an incline of 20 degrees, you and your family or friends reach 60mph in under 10 seconds and up to 100mph as you speed across Penrhyn Quarry. The Eden Project biodomes in Cornwall offer an incredible backdrop as you soar 600m at up to 60mph across the old quarry with *Hangloose Adventure*, while the 490m-long wire at *Adrenalin Quarry* in Cornwall lets you fly over a tree-lined lake.

There are plenty of other amazing ways to experience the UK’s mountain ranges from on high. Why not try out a passenger tandem flight in a glider – either enjoying the serene ride, or maybe even taking control yourself?  The *North Wales Gliding Club* on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, the *Black Mountain Gliding Club* in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, the *Lakes Gliding Club* in the Lake District and the *Highland Gliding Club* and *Cairngorms Gliding Club* in the Scottish Highlands are all ideally located to let you savour the best British mountain updrafts, which truly come alive in Autumn and Spring.

*For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com*

*Tackle the slopes by ski or board*

You may think you need to head to Europe to indulge a passion for skiing, but there are lots of ways to take to the slopes in the UK. The new MINI Countryman is also the ideal car for a ski trip – big or small – thanks to 40:20:40 rear seats that let you put long ski gear through the middle, while still seating two rear passengers in comfort. Plus, with powerful engines and optional ALL4 all-wheel drive that can conquer alpine peaks (and parking aids that help you navigate a crowded snowdome car park in summer), you won’t be held back – whatever the weather.

Obviously, the Scottish Highlands offer your best bet of UK winter snow. With up to 40km of pistes, *Glenshee* in the Cairngorms is the UK’s biggest resort. The nearby *Lecht* and *Cairngorm* resorts provide additional slopes within easy driving distance, while *Glencoe* and *Nevis* on Scotland’s west coast are also a great source of winter snow.

If you can’t wait until winter to strap on your skis or board, there are plenty of great indoor snowdomes around the UK – including *Snozone* at Milton Keynes, Basingstoke and Castleford in Yorkshire, the Tamworth *SnowDome* in the Midlands, *ChillFactore* in Manchester, *The Snow Centre* in Hemel Hempstead, and *Snowfactor* in Glasgow – all perfect for sampling snow-covered slopes up to 200m in length, even in summer.

*For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com*

*The new MINI Countryman: The big MINI. Now better than ever.*

The new MINI Countryman SUV is the biggest, most versatile member of the MINI family. It blends stylish looks and a spacious, high-tech, five-seat interior with between 450 litres and 1390 litres of highly flexible and adaptable luggage space – while also offering a wealth of ways to customise your car your way, making it feel even more premium or even more practical.

Add in the ability to choose confidence-inspiring optional ALL4 all-wheel-drive and a plug-in hybrid engine that delivers up to 26 miles of all-electric running and impressive fuel efficiency, and you’ve got the perfect partner for big adventures with family and friends.

*Elegantly spacious; eminently practical*

The new MINI Countryman has become a well-loved staple of British roads in the last 10 years, thanks to its standout style, oodles of space and flexible rear seating, as well as a fun driving character that has made it a favourite for families and car-lovers alike. Now, the new MINI Countryman is even better and even more practical.

With seating for five and 450 litres of boot space as standard, there’s plenty of room to ferry friends, family and all their luggage. But the new MINI Countryman’s designers have thought about lots of extra clever ways to squeeze every inch of practicality into the car.

The standard-fit 40:20:40 folding rear seats offer up to 1390 litres of storage when folded flat, with the ability to push long loads such as skis through the middle while still seating two rear passengers in comfort. The large tailgate makes it easy to load bulky items, while the four luggage compartment lashing eyes helps you keep your load secure.

The optional Activity Pack adds an ‘Easy Opener’ hands-free automatic tailgate that makes loading even more effortless, as well as adding a sliding rear bench seat that offers a different way to configure your luggage space and a picnic bench that is perfect for days out with the family.

Original MINI Accessories offer plenty of further options for personalisation or practicality – including rear-mounted bicycle racks, and accessories for the standard-fit roof rails that let you load sports gear or a roof box for even more luggage space on longer trips.

*Style that stands out*

Don’t think that the new MINI Countryman is all work and no play, though. MINI is known for its attitude-oozing style, and the new MINI Countryman lets you choose from 10 vibrant paint colours, contrasting roof and mirror caps, five different bonnet stripes, 11 alloy wheel designs and a host of different interior trim materials. It’s your car, to mould your way.

Interior mood lighting lets you set the scene with a choice of 12 basic colours and 700 shades, while the Union Jack rear lighting arrangement helps you stand out from the crowd. On Cooper S, John Cooper Works and ALL4 all-wheel-drive models, a body-coloured bonnet scoop and twin tailpipes convey your sporty side. Chrome accents – inside and out – scream class, while the rugged trims and raised-up body show that this SUV (and its driver) mean business.

*Tech that keeps you connected*

The new MINI Countryman’s abundance of advanced in-car tech makes solo or family journeys even more fun, while helping you stay connected to friends, colleagues and loved ones.

A bold 5-inch digital display cockpit and a large 8.8-inch central touchscreen with MINI Navigation and Real Time Traffic Information are fitted as standard, while the optional head-up display puts even more key information directly in the driver’s eye-line. The new MINI Countryman’s DAB radio has six speakers for impressive sound, while Bluetooth, a USB port and Apple CarPlay let you connect compatible smartphones for music, calls or apps.

MINI ConnectedDrive gives you the ability to search online, while the Navigation Plus Pack adds a second USB port, enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging and Amazon Alexa voice control. You can fit an impressive 12-speaker Harman Kardon Hi-Fi system, too.

The Comfort Pack adds automatic air-conditioning and heated seats, and if you opt for the heated front windscreen or the panoramic glass sunroof – which floods the interior with even more natural light – the new MINI Countryman feels as lavish to drive as it is practical.

*Performance with punch and efficiency*

MINI has always been renowned for its highly engaging driving character, and the new MINI Countryman doesn’t compromise its fun factor for SUV status. A range of powerful and economical engines – using MINI’s TwinPower Turbo technology – work with a responsive chassis to make the new MINI Countryman a nimble road-hugger, while optional ALL4 all-wheel drive delivers added confidence on slippery trails.

With petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid variants, there’s an engine to suit every need, whether it’s the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol with 134bhp, or the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel with 258lb ft of torque – delivering impressive pulling power for when the car is packed with people and luggage. For even punchier performance, the turbocharged 175bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine in new MINI Countryman Cooper S models delivers 0-62mph in just 7.5 seconds, while maintaining an impressive combined economy figure of 42.8mpg.

Finally, the new MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid delivers the best of all worlds, with up to 26 miles of rechargeable all-electric range, impressive combined fuel economy up to 166.2mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 39g/km. And don’t think compromises driving fun. The Plug-in Hybrid is fitted with a hybrid-specific all-wheel-drive system for added grip and with a combined output of 217bhp and near-instant electric punch delivering 284lb ft of torque, you have a hot hatch-baiting 0-62mph performance of 6.8 seconds.

*Standout safety*

The new MINI Countryman hosts a range of driving aids and safety tech to make journeys easier and more relaxing, while keeping you and your passengers protected and safe.

Powerful LED headlights and fog lights are fitted as standard to help you cut through the dark, while you can choose to add Adaptive LED headlights with matrix technology to better illuminate bends and automatically dip the lights for other traffic. Rain sensors and automatic headlight activation help you safely carve a path through the strongest storm, while automatic emergency braking, ABS and stability control keep you on the straight and narrow.

And, when you reach your destination, the new MINI Countryman features rear parking sensors as standard, but the Comfort Plus pack adds a rear camera, front parking sensors, automatic Parking Assistant and folding mirrors. It’s that finishing touch to the perfect adventure.

*For more inspiring big British adventures or to find out more about the new MINI Countryman, head to minicountryman.whatcar.com*
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Video Credit: AutoMotions - Published
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