New MINI Countryman is on sale now: EV versions, advanced tech and MINI’s quirky charm

2023 will go down as a huge year for MINI. The British brand gave us details of the all-electric Aceman, launched a new Cooper and now it’s put the third-generation Countryman on sale. The new MINI Countryman was revealed at the 2023 IAA Munich Motor Show back in September but has now officially gone on sale with a variety of trim levels and powertrains and prices starting under £30,000. 

The all-new Countryman takes on a similarly bold look as the new three-door MINI. The octagonal grille and simplified lighting signature at both the front and rear is present, as per the new Cooper, but the Countryman’s headlights are a lozenge shape to better differentiate this new model. The same choice of three LED running light signatures will be offered on the 2024 Countryman as on the new Cooper Electric.

There will be more competition than ever for the Countryman because it will offer pure-electric power for the first time, entering another hotly contested area of the market. MINI’s latest SUV will rival the likes of the Volvo EX30 and Kia Niro EV in the compact electric SUV sector, along with petrol-powered SUVs like the Hyundai Kona and Peugeot 3008.

The new Countryman is 13cm longer and 6cm taller than the car it replaces, which combined with a long wheelbase relative to its overall length, has helped improve the level of space on offer inside – a key point for a small family SUV.

As a result, MINI claims boot space is up to 460 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to 1,450 litres with them folded down; there’s also space under the car’s boot floor to store the electric models’ charging cables. The rear bench can also be moved forwards and backwards by as much as 13cm, prioritising passenger room or boot space, while the seat backs can recline individually in six separate positions by up to 12 degrees, boosting comfort.

New MINI Countryman: powertrains and performance

This is the first Countryman to get electric power. There will be two EVs, the Countryman Electric E and the Countryman Electric SE, both of which will be powered by a 64.7kWh battery. In the Electric E there’s a single electric motor with 201bhp and 250Nm of torque, allowing for a 0-62mph sprint time of 8.6 seconds. The Electric SE gets a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup with 308bhp and 494Nm of torque, resulting in a 5.6-second 0-62mph time.

As you’d expect, the less powerful Electric E has the best range of the two EVs. MINI claims a 287-mile range for that model with the more potent Electric SE dropping to 269 miles. DC charging at 130kW means the two EVs’ batteries take around 30 minutes for a 10 to 80 per cent top-up.

As for the petrol versions, those kick off with the front-wheel drive MINI Countryman C with the mild-hybrid 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, producing 167bhp and 280Nm of torque. 0-62mph stands at 8.3 seconds. MINI claims a fuel economy of 45.6mpg (which can drop to 40.9mpg in higher-spec models) and CO2 emissions of 139g/km. 

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The Countryman S ALL4 is yet to be launched but it will most likely use a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power and torque outputs have been confirmed at 215bhp and 360Nm for a 0-62mph time of 7.1 seconds, helped by an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.

At the top of the petrol line-up is the 2.0-litre turbocharged Countryman JCW ALL4, which offers a scorching 296bhp and 400Nm of torque for a sporty 5.4-second 0-62mph dash. It sends power through a seven-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels, MINI claims an economy figure of 36.2mpg for the JCW ALL4 models.

There have been plenty of advances when it comes to the new Countryman’s chassis tech too, with different chassis settings available, including an optional adaptive suspension set-up that reduces the ride height by 15mm when compared with the standard car. There are lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels available too, which are made from 70 per cent secondary aluminium to improve sustainability.

MINI Countryman: pricing and specifications

Kicking off the Countryman range are the MINI Countryman C models, available in Classic, Exclusive and Sport. The Countryman C Classic starts from £29,325 and gets the same circular 9.4-inch central OLED display its new MINI Hatch sibling. The new infotainment system is called a ‘MINI Interaction Unit’ and runs the same Operating System 9 software, which is based on Android open source tech. As a result, the same Experience Modes and configurability are offered as on the Hatch, which include Core, Green and Go-Kart.

Also included on the Classic models is dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, LED headlights and rear lights, an electric boot lid, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and MINI’s integrated sat-nav. These versions also feature a knitted textile interior with black synthetic leather sports seats.

Step up to the Exclusive at £31,825 and you’ll find 18-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured grille surround, front bumper and side skirts, a sports steering wheel and JCW Sport seats. Exclusive gets a two-tone houndstooth pattern for its knitted textile trim on the dash panel, perforated trim for its sports seats and the option of what MINI calls a “Spray-Tech” roof, which blends three different colours.

Above this is the £33,025 ‘Sport’, which gains 19-inch alloy wheels painted black, exterior stripes, JCW brakes, a JCW steering wheel and further John Cooper Works badging on the black synthetic leather seats.There’s a bespoke bumper design front and rear for a sportier look.

The current range-topper is the John Cooper Works ALL4 at £41,520. As well as the more powerful engine, it gets a quad-tip exhaust system, darkened adaptive headlights with custom light signatures, uprated four-piston brakes and gloss black roof rails. There are more infotainment modes too, ranging from Core, Green, Go-Kart, Personal, Vibrant, Timeless and Balance.

There’s more driver assistance tech available than ever too, with MINI highlighting that this new Countryman is the first of the brand’s cars to feature Level 2 semi-autonomous driving tech. This includes Automatic Active Cruise Control with Steering and Lane Assistant, which allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel at up to speeds of 37mph – in queuing traffic, for example.

The all-electric Countryman models aren’t on sale yet, although the Countryman Electric E and Electric SE models will start from £41,500 and £46,600 respectively. First deliveries for the petrol models are expected from February 2024.

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A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.


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