April 12, 2024


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TEST – Mini Countryman (2024): English variant

TEST – Mini Countryman (2024): English variant

The third generation of the Mini Countryman has now grown into its cousin, the BMW model, and is now running on top-of-the-line SUVs. Has it gotten too big? Here's the good news: the infamous 300 hp John Cooper Works still exists.

Not much from Mini you say? It's not new, it's been a long time since Mini became a full-blown built brand…some people have trouble getting used to it, and the new Countryman that's all over the place. Its length is 4.44 m, which will confuse those who are used to the small original sizes of the English brand. The entire family is in for a full facelift, and for once, the Countryman will have its first look at the Cooper (the “real” Mini, so far called a hatch), and will be handed the role of pocket SUV. Future Aceman, planned for 2025 (100% electric).

So Countryman has changed its structure significantly. 14 cm more than the first launched 14 years ago. The wheelbase increases by only 2 cm: 2.69 m, and it shares the same production base in Germany as the BMW X1 (which is also new) and engines (which it already has). Longer than the Range Rover Evoque (4.37m), along with the Audi Q3 (4.48m) and the Mercedes GLA (4.42m). Beyond Dimensions, The style also represents a significant evolution. Less plump than beforeAs if he was abusing the weight training sessions, especially the rear overhang stretch.

The look may be less pleasing, but fits well with it John Cooper works from our test and its furious 300 hp. As long as the 4-cylinder petrol engine is on the list, with minimal character, and no hybrid, you can take advantage of it. JCW is not very powerful, it said… At the same time, the Countryman is also offered as 100% electric (204 or 313 hp). First, we have to get used to it: nowadays, a Mini weighs more than 2 tons!

On board: volume, and a splash of techno

The increase in size translates more logically to space on board. A citizen can now claim family use mostly: Rear space is obviously vast, with the trunk swallowing up 505 liters of luggage (55 liters more than the old one) and limited benefits from a sliding bench seat in two sections. With the backrest folded down, you have a nice, almost flat loading surface and a total volume of 1,530 litres. These beautiful volumes are valid for the JCW, which is slightly larger than the mild-hybrid versions, which are not improved (450 l), penalized by the battery placed in the double bottom. The electric SE All4 is slightly less roomy, but not stingy (460 – 1,450 l). Also note the large storage spaces at the base of the central console, with space for charging a smartphone and an easy-to-access location.

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Ultra-refined dashboard, large round touchscreen: guaranteed effect, Countryman remains original. However, it is more beautiful to the eye than to use. The system lacks clarity and takes some time to adapt.

Good to know: Expect purchases and resales.

You can use the Turbo Auto Appraisal of your Mini Countryman as an alternative to the Argus Appraisal to find out the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle.

Moving before the nation, Mini seems to have taken every effort to maintain the house spirit in the driving position. This is definitely an original part of the car! The layout of the dashboard is unusual: completely uncluttered, with nothing facing the driver (except for a small retractable head-up display screen), but on the side A large circular screen, like a scale dial or station clock, is 24 cm in diameter (as before). Henceforth, everything from data, multimedia, air conditioning will happen on this interface. The graphics are neat and colorful, the scene changes depending on the driving mode, punctuated by fun sound gimmicks…

Many nice touches don't necessarily make it very easy to use. Between the many data, the layout of the menus… the computer lacks clarity. The only physical controls located under the screen are anxiety starting, gearbox control and driving modes, toggle switch, etc. Original, there too. There are still buttons for defogging, as well as a shortcut for driving modes. Better to disable lane keeping that is too intrusive. Finally, the finish and materials have benefited from welcome care. There are some unpleasant details and basic plastics, but the improvement compared to the previous Countryman is clear.

TEST – Mini Countryman (2024): English variant

Rear seats are 4 cm. There is no shortage of space and the same goes for luggage, 505 liters in the JCW, the biggest in the range! Too bad it's so convenient. The bench seat slides and folds into 3 sections.

At the Wheel: A Wind of Deja Vu

As expected, the Countryman uses engines from the BMW X1, except for the entry-level 136 hp. Only one diesel is offered (launched with the 163 hp 20d X2). interesting, Mini hasn't updated at least one PHEV, and wants to draw attention to the big new thing: the electric SE All4. A “simple” 204 hp E ensures electric entry level.

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JCW, the volatile top of the range, is obvious A less reasonable countryman. Undoubtedly, given the friendly rumble of the 4-cylinder turbo fills your ears on start-up. Admittedly, the sound of this 2 liter (borrowed from the X1 and X2 M35i) is a bit artificial, mainly coming from the exhaust and an amplification in the passenger compartment, but that's an illusion. With 300 hp (6 hp less than the old one), this 2-liter block is strong and has enough character to deserve the JCW badge. Times are strong, but slower than before (5.4 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, 3 tenths lost). Powerful revs, but nothing too demonstrative at low revs. A little unsteady below 2,000 rpm (400 Nm of torque offered), after which the attitude is straight. And the Countryman is heavier, at 1,735 kg for the JCW.

TEST – Mini Countryman (2024): English variant

The JCW's 4-cylinder turbo growls and accelerates hard (0 to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds). The front axle is precise, the chassis is agile despite the heavy weight… but the damping is obviously harsh.

However, the attentive chassis, here equipped with automatic adaptive suspension, gains astonishing handling. The overall feel is pleasant, aided by a more precise front end with more direct and consistent steering. (albeit a bit sluggish), and with body movements involved… on faster tracks, it's a useful mini XXL. It's less brilliant when the surface doesn't look like billiards: firm and locked, the chassis makes lateral movements and bounces at moderate speeds., even in static mode. And the big 19″ rims don't help anything. The solution? Drive harder! The damping, very firm, seems calibrated for it. And for the DKG gearbox (7 speed, dual clutch), the manual is very comfortable at good speeds…or leisurely driving. Between the two, the operation Sometimes hesitant. So the copy isn't perfect, but for Mini to have such a version in the catalog, especially in France, is a bold gesture.

In contrast to the boisterous JCW, the electric Countryman SE All4 mirrors its politically correct counterpart. Slightly more powerful (313 hp), more torquey (instant 494 Nm), and heavier ! Here again, the technical part is strictly identical to the BMW iX1 xDrive30. Same for 64.6 kWh battery (net capacity), which claims a range of around 400 km. In theory, as always (and without the highway). Our test resulted in an average of 20.5 kWh/100 km, or just over 300 km of autonomy.

TEST – Mini Countryman (2024): English variant

For the first time, the Countryman is offered in electric form. The 313 hp SE ALL4, at the top of the range, ensures smooth running and muscular lap times. Very nice of the range, but at what price…

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Unsurprisingly, smooth operation resembles any electric of this power. Accelerations full of punch (0 to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds) and intense revs make you forget about the heavy weight (2,075 kg!), at least in the city or on the highway. Overall, it's the opposite of its JCW petrol counterpart: clumsier from the nose and less lively, but more acceptable in terms of comfort. Body support, a little more firm, but more progressive and more aggressive JCW's annoying swing. Despite the dry response at low speeds, the Electric Countryman is very consistent and pleasant on a day-to-day basis. Given the Countryman's family business, let's hope the more modest versions (and the least expensive) are more accommodating in terms of ride comfort.

Prices: Under the influence of BMW

Our two test models may only account for a very small proportion of sales. The Countryman SE All4 starts at €49,500, no question of government bonuses. The JCW, priced at €57,000, will only appeal to die-hard fans of the model. They will agree to match (minimum) €17,247 in CO2 penalties. Among our neighbors, perhaps? So we turn to more easily Base version Countryman C (170 hp, from €40,000), or the entry-level electric Countryman E (204 hp, from €44,000). It deserves a €4,000 bonus, as both these engines appear at the same price.

Nothing has changed, the National has never been cheaper. However, despite the inflation, it remains slightly lower than its German rivals with an equivalent version. And The overall high price is justified, in part, by the proper equipment : Specs include reversing camera, CarPlay / Android Auto media interface on 24cm screen or adaptive cruise control on standard equipment.

TEST – Mini Countryman (2024): English variant

The Countryman now stretches over 4.44 metres, making it a direct competitor to its technical cousins ​​the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and BMW X1. It is manufactured in Germany in the same factory.

Title Technical Paper

Mini Countryman (2024) Technical Sheet

Technical paper

Model Tested: Mini Countryman (2024) John Cooper Works ALL4
Dimensions L x W x H 4,447 x 1,843 x 1,645 m
Min/Max stem volume 505 / 1,530 l
Wheelbase 2,692 m
Unloaded weight 1,735 kg
Motorization 4-Cylinder Petrol, Turbo – 1,998 cm3
Power – Maximum torque 300 HP – 400 Nm at 2,000 rpm
0 to 100 km/h – maximum speed 5.4 s – 250 km/h
Front and rear tires 245/45/19 – 245/45/19
Prices From €40,000 (model tested: €57,000)