Throw your hands up, light some fireworks, and do a happy dance, Mini fans: Mini released details on the 2013 Countryman crossover today, and it has — wait for it! — window switches located on the doors. The switchgear relocation program is just one of a handful of upgrades headed towards the British/German brand’s cute ute for the new year.
The Countryman (like other Minis) has long been derided for putting its front window switches at the bottom of the center stack, next to the power locks switch. It’s an annoying feature that’s made even more annoying when the Mini’s cupholders are filled. The Countryman’s new three-door Paceman variant debuted earlier this year with window switches located on its front and rear door panels (rear passengers in the 2011 and 2012 Countryman already had door-mounted switches), so it was only a matter of time before the tweaks moved to the five-door Countryman.
The window switches might be the biggest of the changes, but the 2013 Countryman gets a handful of tweaks to keep it as fresh as possible. Its innovative (but controversial) rear seating and center-rail setup moves is now a no-cost option, with a three-seat rear bench being the standard for 2013 (exactly backwards from 2011 and 2012). The HVAC surrounds are also lightly redesigned and offered in either matte black or optional chrome. As with all other 2013 Minis, the options packages are slightly different: Bluetooth replaces SiriusXM satellite radio as a standard feature (SiriusXM is now a $250 option and includes a one-year subscription), and the Tech package now includes SiriusXM, keyless entry and ignition, and MINI Connected, along with an armrest pre-wired for the optional iPhone adapter. Countryman buyers can also order their vehicles in two new shades, brilliant copper metallic and blazing red metallic.
As expected, the Countryman is available in three flavors: normally aspirated, which makes 121 hp; the turbocharged S, which makes 181 hp; and the top-trim JCW, which makes 208 hp. The Cooper S and ALL4 electronically controlled all-wheel drive (it’s standard on the JCW), and all three come with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2013 Countryman goes into production this month, and will go on sale later this fall starting at $22,700 for the base model, $26,300 for the front-wheel drive Cooper S Countryman, $28,000 for a Cooper S Countryman ALL4, and $35,550 for a John Cooper Works Countryman (all prices include a $700 destination charge).