Mini Countryman review - Mini looks, but where's the Mini fun? - Mini Countryman design
Mini’s new SUV has grown up, but it’s lost the Mini fun factor along the way
We’re blowing hot and cold on the new Countryman’s shape. From the front it’s an undoubted improvement on the previous model - the squared-off headlights and slimmer grille make the front look wider and less surprised-looking than before. From the front three-quarters it also looks a little more mature, and less barrel-sided than before.
But around the sides it all gets a bit messy, with the impression of blistered arches (but not the squat stance those typically entail), and at the back it’s a rather awkward shape, less distinctive than before and looking more like a regular Mini whose features have been inflated.
There’s no doubting at all which manufacturer has created the Countryman - and if you’re worried about people mistaking your Mini for anything else there’s still a huge range of personalisation options to drive the point home - but Mini’s products continue to look ever more contrived.
Rival products may also be an acquired taste - we’re thinking of the Toyota C-HR here - but at least designers at other firms have freedom to not base their cars on the design of a city car from 1959...