It may be Mini by name but it is definitely not Mini by nature and the new Mini Countryman has caused a storm since it’s rolled on into showrooms across the country in recent weeks! Due to its sheer size and revolutionary design concept (for a Mini) some fans fear the company is diluting its brand values and are finding it difficult to grasp the concept of a 4 door Mini.
It is the fourth model to join the Mini family and by 2013 Mini hopes to have six models – including two concept cars; the Coupe and the Roadster. In recent years the Mini has evolved as a brand, meeting the needs of more consumers and gaining a definite presence in the family car market. This seems like a suave move considering the growing cross over market that has evolved, with the success of models such as the Nissan Qashqai and Toyota’s RAV4 it is certain that this market is competitive but Mini is trying hard for a piece of the success.
The Countryman is definitely stretching the Mini’s brand to the Outer Hebrides posing it as a great risk for owner BMW as it is significantly different to its smaller counterparts. The Countryman is a five door model, measuring 4.11 metres bumper to bumper and has 18 inch rims which are almost twice the size of the original Mini’s hub caps.
The new features of the Countryman may not appeal so much to the die-hard Mini fan but they do attract a whole new clientele which I feel is the whole purpose of the Countryman. It’s new, fresh and pretty cool for a 4×4 and visually it still displays the identifiable Mini characteristics…but just on a bigger scale!
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