The Countryman is Mini's second major model variation, after the Clubman. It is designed as a compact SUV, a new segment that is expected to grow.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The Countryman looks much like a standard Mini Cooper, with similar headlight, grille, and roofline styling. Mini also offers the same kinds of graphics packages for the Countryman as it does on its other cars.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The engine choices are the same for the Countryman as for other Minis. This Cooper S Countryman model is fitted with a direct-injection turbocharged 1.6-liter, producing a respectable 181 horsepower.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
One big advantage of the Countryman over the standard Mini Cooper is the fact that it has four doors, making access to the rear seats easy.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The Countryman can be had in front-wheel drive or with Mini's new All4 all-wheel-drive system. This system splits torque 50/50, but can put it 100 percent to the front or rear, as needed.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The cargo area is very spacious in the Countryman, another big advantage over the standard Mini Cooper.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Mini hides extra cargo space under the load floor.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
A dual-panel sunroof is a nice touch in the Countryman.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
This rail system through the center of the car is convenient for cup and sunglass holders, but it ultimately proves a hindrance, separating the rear seats so that only four passengers can fit in the car.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Mini uses its standard retro layout in the Countryman, with the big speedometer in the center. For cars equipped with navigation, an LCD is set into the center of the speedometer.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The car can be had with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Mini uses an electric-power-steering unit, which helps save gas. This one also changes character based on the car's sport setting.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Buttons on the steering-wheel spoke access the voice command system and other infotainment functions.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Mini includes a full-featured Bluetooth phone system in the car, complete with contact list download.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Audio sources are limited in the Countryman. Bluetooth audio streaming would be a nice addition.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
With a connected iPod, Mini made reasonable use of the two-line radio display, showing list items two at a time.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
Mini also uses the radio display for the trip computer.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
The optional Harman/Kardon audio system fits the Countryman with 10 speakers and a powerful amp.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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