It's been two years since the debut of Mini's Countryman crossover. In that time, the general public has indeed warmed to the idea of a big Mini – we grew to rather like it during our long-term test – and for 2013, a few small, thoughtful updates are on tap for the brand's range-topper.

The big change for the Countryman concerns the power window toggles, though Mini would also like you to notice the new Carbon Black ring around the center speedometer and new interior colors. Mini window controls have long resided in the center console, lost among the number of other buttons. The new Countryman breaks with that trend by moving the buttons to the door armrest, where it is located on most other passenger vehicles. We first saw this on the production Paceman that debuted in Paris earlier this year. This location also allows for a multi-button panel on the driver's side door. Previously, opening and closing all windows meant hitting each button individually.

Also of note is the removal of the two standard bucket seats in the second row, instead being replaced with a bench seat. Those who appreciate the customizable center rail in four-seat models can still select rear bucket seats, however. The 2013 Countryman is scheduled to hit European dealers sometime in November with US sales to follow shortly thereafter.
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The MINI Countryman: Model update measures for autumn 2012.

Interior more user-friendly than ever and with a further refined premium ambience – New exterior paint finishes – EU6 classification for MINI One Countryman and MINI Cooper Countryman.

Munich. In the two years since its launch onto the world's car markets, the MINI Countryman has developed into a driving force behind the continuing growth of the brand. The transference of hallmark MINI qualities and values into a new vehicle segment has won over new target groups worldwide to the brand's unmistakable style. Autumn 2012 will see the British carmaker's first model to offer all-wheel drive benefiting from an extensive round of modifications which will further enhance the allure of its boundless driving fun. Detailed refinements to the car's design and the selection of materials available for the interior shine the spotlight even more brightly on a premium character none of the MINI Countryman's rivals can match. The spacious five-door's optimised ease of use underlines its very modern appreciation of practicality.

The modifications designed for the MINI Countryman will be rolled out across all model variants from November 2012. Open one of the front doors and the newly designed rings encircling the Centre Speedo and four air vents immediately stand out. They will now be presented across the board in the colour shade Carbon Black and also have an inner ring in high-gloss black or – as part of the Chrome Line Interior option – in chrome. Both in standard trim and with options specified, the fresh appeal of the colours and materials adds further lustre to the high-quality character of the MINI Countryman interior.

Newly designed door inserts also help to enhance the car's premium ambience, comfort and practicality. Remodelled door armrests provide even more comfortable support for the arms, and the controls for the electric windows are now also positioned in the door trim. A full control panel is integrated into the door armrest on the driver's side. The switches clustered here include the controls for all the windows, the deactivation facility for the rear window controls and adjustment for the exterior mirrors. Moving the window controls away from the centre console also optimises access to the larger storage compartment below it. From autumn 2012 the MINI Countryman will come as standard with a three-seat rear bench, while a pair of individual seats will be available as a no-cost alternative.

As well as changes to the range of interior colours, interior trim elements and Colour Lines, the selection of exterior paint finishes will also be given a refresh in autumn 2012. New additions include the suitably expressive colour shades Brilliant Copper metallic and Blazing Red metallic. Plus, a restructuring of the equipment packages on offer to customers will make it even easier to customise the MINI Countryman to reflect their tastes.

Customers can choose from six engine variants for the MINI Countryman. The three petrol and three diesel units produce outputs stretching from 66 kW/90 hp to 135 kW/184 hp. Beyond these, there is also the ultra-sporty MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, powered by a turbocharged 160 kW/218 hp engine. The ALL4 all- wheel-drive system fitted as standard on this top-class performance variant is also available as an option for the MINI Cooper S Countryman, MINI Cooper SD Countryman and MINI Cooper D Countryman. All models, with the exception of the MINI One D Countryman, can be ordered with a six-speed automatic gearbox as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. The impressive efficiency of the engines and gearboxes along with extensive MINIMALISM technology ensure all the MINI Countryman variants achieve an exemplary balance between driving fun and fuel economy. Added to which, from autumn 2012 manual versions of the MINI One Countryman and MINI Cooper Countryman will meet the stipulations of the EU6 exhaust emissions standard due to come into force in 2014.