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MINI of Rochester

3875 W. Henrietta Rd
Directions Rochester, NY 14623

  • Sales: 585-334-9440
  • Service: 585-334-9440
  • Parts: 585-334-9440

Smaller is the name of the game for two of the auto industry's current biggest draws. The new 2017 Jeep Renegade, Jeep's newest entry into their lineup, is the smallest Jeep you can buy that doesn't have the word "Wrangler" in its name. It's a futuristic-looking compact crossover that's appealing both to commuters and off-roaders, but at the end of the day, you get the sense the Renegade doesn't really know what it wants to be - a sturdy utility Jeep, or a trendy Jeep commuter. 

MINI has been in this business for quite some time, and the 2017 MINI Countryman embodies that fresh and fun spirit from nose to tail. Refreshed for 2017, the Countryman gets new engine options this year, and updated under-the-hood tech that allows driver to make fewer stops at the pump than the Jeep Renegade, due to its tank size and fuel economy.

What's New for 2017?

The 2017 MINI Countryman has two engine options, either a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-3 that sits on 134 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, a slightly larger turbocharged, 189-hp 2.0-liter inline-4 in the Cooper S version. These are paired to an 8-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission, and each with the option for front-wheel-drive and MINI's all-wheel drive system, ALL4, in the sport versions.

The 2017 Renegade gets a couple options as well, each slightly larger than MINI's powerplant contributions. Each is offered with a single transmission but the choice of front- or all-wheel-drive. The base powertrain is a 160-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter I4 that is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. There's also the upgraded 180-hp, 2.4-liter inline-4 that puts out 175 lb-ft of torque and comes only with a 9-speed automatic, which is the only engine option offered in the Trailhawk off-road version.

The Jeep needs a few more of those ponies due to its size, but putting them in such a tall, boxy chassis mitigates the "what could be" of its effectiveness in terms of quicker handling. The MINI Countryman however takes full advantage of its turbocharged motivators that power the light, nimble frames of the MINI Cooper.

Speaking of size, the 2017 Countryman is a definite stand-out because of it. It's noticeably and purposefully larger than its MINI siblings - 7.4 inches longer, 1.3 inches wider, and rolls on a wheelbase 2.9 inches longer. These enlarged dimensions are somewhat deceptive, but sitting inside or getting behind the wheel makes the changes evident. There's room in both front and back for adults to sit comfortably, with both head and leg room being increased, as well as increased cargo room. 

 Also noticeable is the improvement in material quality throughout the cabin of the 2017 Countryman, using upscale materials which give the Coop a luxury feel while retaining the playfulness and unique quality that defines a MINI.

The Jeep Renegade ostensibly seats 5, but the awkward design of the chassis makes fitting into the rear bench cramped, meaning if you have to squeeze in rider number 5, they won't be too happy. Also keeping the Renegade a definitely limited vehicle, are the lack of options for the base models. The base Sport doesn't include things like AC or cruise control, which might be fine for paying sub $20,000 for it, but those types of additions add up if you want a more comfortable ride.

Standard features for the 2017 Mini Countryman include numerous power features, a panoramic sunroof, keyless entry, infotainment with 6.5-inch display, 17-in (18-in for Cooper S) wheels, and automatic headlights and windshield wipers.

All in all, while Jeep has constructed many incredible driving machines over the years, the Renegade sadly falls short of its sub-compact, crossover billing. MINI on the other hand, continues to score with the newest 2017 Countryman entrant. If you've been thinking about a vehicle in this segment for your next big purchase, make sure to visit MINI of Rochester to take one for a test drive before you make up your mind.