The 2025 Mini Countryman Makes The Most Sense As An EV

Mini made a sensible selection with the redesigned 2025 Countryman. It’s larger than the previous one, having grown 4 inches taller, an inch wider, and a whopping six inches longer front-to-back. That makes the redesigned Countryman roughly the identical dimension as a Ford Bronco Sport. For the primary time, Mini has a small SUV in its lineup. And having pushed two variations of it, I believe the all-electric model makes extra sense than any internal-combustion variant—with some caveats.

[Full Disclosure: BMW Group flew me business-class out of the dreary cold of New York in February to a coastal resort in Cascais, Portugal, to drive two new BMWs and two Mini models as part of a whirlwind press event.]

The automobile you see right here is the 2025 Mini Countryman SE ALL4; the “E” in that mannequin identify denotes this because the all-electric variant. Just like the Cooper SE, however larger. On the identical journey, I drove the JCW Countryman, powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, in addition to the brand new BMW X2 M35i, constructed on a model of the platform beneath the brand new Countryman.

Finally, there shall be a gasoline-powered 2025 Countryman S, however that mannequin was not included at this media occasion. That is the primary time Mini has provided an EV model of its largest automobile, and whereas it’s constructed to accommodate internal-combustion drivetrains, in my quick time with the JCW and the SE, I discovered the all-electric Countryman to be the extra smart of the 2.

The Countryman SE will get all-wheel drive by way of twin electrical motors, one at every axle, pumping out a complete of 313 hp and 364 lb-ft of torque. That’s impressively near the snorty JCW, which nearly matches the SE on horsepower however falls quick by almost 70 lb-ft of torque. Mini estimates the all-electric Countryman SE will do 0-62 mph in 5.6 seconds, simply two-tenths slower than the JCW.

2024 Mini Countryman SE First Drive Review

The 66-kWh battery provides appreciable heft to the Countryman, which weighs in at a shade over 4,400 kilos, roughly 740 kilos greater than the JCW. US vary estimates weren’t out there on the time of writing, however the Countryman SE is rated at 269 miles below Europe’s WLTP take a look at cycle. A US-based Mini consultant advised me this could possible equate to round 245 miles below the harder EPA take a look at. That’s a substantial enchancment over the smaller Cooper SE’s 114-mile vary. The Countryman SE will supply plug-and-charge functionality when it arrives in US sellers this September, and Mini estimates it can cost from 10 % to 80 % in lower than half-hour when utilizing a 130-kW DC fast charger. The brand new Countryman is the primary Mini mannequin to supply Stage 2 partially-automated driving help, together with automated lange-changes below appropriate freeway situations.

I solely spent one afternoon driving the Countryman SE, however on the winding coastal roads of southwest Portugal, it was surprisingly peppy, with sturdy acceleration from a cease to freeway speeds. In comparison with the performance-oriented JCW Countryman, which blared an overwrought artificial engine observe from its audio system below arduous driving, the SE’s near-silent drivetrain highlighted main enhancements in eliminating wind and street noise. On a clean freeway, the electrical Countryman is luxuriously hushed.

2024 Mini Countryman SE First Drive Review

Mini raised the Countryman’s trip peak by almost an inch to maneuver the mannequin into small-SUV territory. Coupled with the SE’s considerably portly curb weight, this might have made for a barely seasick expertise on curvy roads, however the huge electrical Mini confirmed a pleasant mixture of trip consolation and physique management. The damping is progressive, mushy over small street imperfections however agency sufficient to attenuate physique roll on sweeping curves. Mini loves a fast steering rack, and the electrical Countryman’s 14.7-to-1 steering ratio is simply on the well mannered aspect of darty. Coupled with the brisk acceleration, the energetic steering makes the SE much more sporty than your run-of-the-mill utility field, although you gained’t get an oz of suggestions or really feel from the electric-assist tiller.

Inside, the textile-upholstered dashboard is an train in minimalism that doesn’t fairly repay. Aesthetically, I like the simplicity of the design, with a small assortment of controls the place you’d sometimes discover a heart stack. You utilize bodily buttons and toggles to show the automotive on, choose your gear, interact the parking brake and regulate the stereo quantity. All the things else is operated by the big round OLED touchscreen, which in my expertise, wasn’t fairly as much as the job.

2024 Mini Countryman SE First Drive Review

That dinner-plate show has to cram in a speedometer, battery gauge, vary estimator, local weather controls, navigation map, infotainment capabilities, and lord is aware of what else. On the go, it looks like info overload. My pre-production automobile additionally had a irritating quantity of lag for any touch-operated capabilities, and the GPS icon was working a very good 20 yards behind our precise location, which made for just a few fallacious turns in unfamiliar Portuguese cities. A few of this can be resulting from early-build software program or a spotty information connection, however I believe I’d be pissed off by the overstuffed show even when it was working completely. (Fortunately, the motive force’s head-up show exhibits velocity, battery standing, and navigation immediately forward.)

My solely different gripe with the Countryman SE needed to do with regenerative braking. Most drive modes revert to an “adaptive” regen setting, which guarantees to regulate up or down based mostly on the gap to different automobiles, navigation information and who-knows-what-else. In my quick stint with the SE, I discovered it to be maddeningly unpredictable. Fortunately, you possibly can specify your personal regen setting with just a few prods of the touchscreen, and Go-Kart Mode (Mini’s identify for sport mode) at all times gives full-strength regen with no adaptive nonsense.

2024 Mini Countryman SE First Drive Review

In case you don’t thoughts the cutesy display screen—or when you like the way it adjustments font, shade scheme and format with every of the eight driving modes—I believe the electrical drivetrain makes the Countryman SE extra playfully charming than most different EVs on this dimension class. Just like the legendary Mini of the Sixties, the electrical Countryman’s fun-to-drive character is inherent in the way it was constructed. Full of life acceleration, all-wheel-drive grip, and a low heart of gravity are all half and parcel of the EV drivetrain. The JCW’s enjoyable comes from upgrades and additions; the SE is enjoyable to drive as a result of it’s enjoyable to drive. And once you’re not focused on driving your self, the non-obligatory Stage 2 assisted driving function proved unobtrusive and reliable on my quick freeway jaunt.

I loved my day with the Countryman SE, however we’ll want extra information earlier than we are able to convincingly examine it to the remainder of the electrical SUV market. Mini says the 2025 Countryman SE will begin at $46,195 when it hits dealerships this fall. That’s sturdy cash for a small crossover, particularly one that may not offer you a full 250 miles of battery vary. But when a enjoyable drive is extra essential to you than an extended one, the Countryman would possibly simply allure you.

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