Most significant changes: A slightly revised interior
Price change: TBA
On sale: Later this month in Europe and shortly after in the U.S.
Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Prices haven't been released yet, but if the control panel of the current Countryman bugs you, take a look at the revised 2013 model.
The first four-door, all-wheel-drive Mini gets some tweaks for 2013, namely a lightly revised interior. The Mini Cooper Countryman is the largest Mini in the lineup, and it's been on sale for two years. Mini's updates to the 2013 model are minor and affect only the interior.
The large center speedometer and air vents get revised with a new ring treatment. Two interior trim materials are available: Carbon Black and chrome. Also restyled are the door armrests, which Mini says are more comfortable, and the placement of some controls. For 2013, the window switches move from the center console area to the door panel. Mini says this leaves more room for a larger center storage space.
In the back, a new three-seat rear bench is standard; two individual seats are a no-cost option – they used to be standard. Two exterior colors are also new for 2013: Brilliant Copper metallic and Blazing Red metallic.
Two of the Countryman's powertrains carryover: base models use a standard 121-horsepower, 1.6-liter four cylinder and S versions use a 181-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder. The new-for-2013 sporty John Cooper Works model gets a 208-hp, turbocharged four cylinder. Mini says it can go from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.
Prices are not yet available, but the 2012 Mini Countryman starts at $22,450, including a $700 destination charge. Expect John Cooper Works models to cost significantly more: the JCW trim adds $6,500 to the turbocharged S version of the 2012 Mini Clubman's base price, for example.
The 2013 Countryman will hit dealer showrooms in Europe later this month; it should show up in the U.S. shortly afterward.