We’ve been driving our 2023 MINI Countryman a lot lately which has given us some time to ponder the biggest change MINI is making with the new model; the size. Having been hands-on with the new 2025 MINI Countryman and living with the current model, we have some thoughts on just how big of a difference this will be and perhaps why the F60 might still be the sweet spot for some.
When the original Countryman debuted in 2011 it was seen as massive in the MINI world. Yet today it’s almost impossibly small for a four door crossover. It works for a small family but add a dog, some luggage and a multi-day trip and things get very very cramped.
The F60 Countryman debuted in 2017 and looked massive in comparison. It grew 8″ in length and offered much more legroom (especially in the rear) and a huge increase in luggage space. While it didn’t have the sharp turn-in of the lighter R60, in JCW spec it was plenty fast and felt on its toes in corners in a way that most crossovers can only dream of.
|R60 Countryman (’10-’16)||F60 Countryman (’17-’23)||U25 Countryman (’24-’32)|
|Length||4097 mm / 161.3 in||4298 mm / 169.2 in||4429 mm / 174.37 in|
|Height||1562 mm / 61.5 in||1557 mm / 61.3 in||1613 mm / 63.5 in|
|Wheelbase||2596 mm / 102.2 in||2670 mm / 105.1 in||2670 mm / 105.11 in|
Now that we’ve been hands-on with the all new (U25) 2025 MINI Countryman we’ve got some initial thoughts. While we haven’t driven it yet (that should happen early next year), we have sat in every seat, opened every door and thoroughly investigated the larger boot.
What we’ve found is a car that is more spacious all around. There’s a touch more legroom, elbow room and noticeably more luggage space in the back. But the thing most people miss (as they scream about it not being a MINI) is that this is much less of a change in size than the 2017 F60 was to the 2010 R60.
As much as we like the changes MINI has made in the new 2025 Countryman (the digital experience and material quality immediately come to mind) we worry about what the increase in size will do to the curb weight and ultimately how it drives.
BMW engineers have a very successful history of hiding a car’s weight through clever engineering and suspension design and calibration. But mass is still mass and at the limit we worry the U25 will feel touch larger and (ultimately) a touch less MINI.
We don’t have weight figures yet so we could still be surprised. BMW has does a great job keeping weight down on the new X1 which is a twin of the new Countryman so there is still hope. We’ve heard through sources that MINI has leveraged the updated FAAR platform’s use of advanced chassis design and new aluminum components to reduce the weight gain you might expect . We can get an idea of weight by looking at the new BMW X1 which has a 3,750 lbs curb weight. That’s only up 24 lbs over the previous generation despite being marginally larger and being offered with more standard equipment. Given this, it would be reasonable to expect the next generation Countryman All4 won’t be far off the current car’s 3,726 lbs curb weight (assuming equipment levels are similar).
That’s still a lot of weight for a MINI and every extra pound counts. And let’s not forget about the added length, most of it behind the m rear wheels. But perhaps MINI has followed BMW’s lead and engineered the new Countryman in a way that hides that weight and produces an F60 like driving experience? We’ll know the answer early next year when we get behind the wheel.
What do you think? Has the Countryman grown to the right size or is the F60 (or R60) your ideal MINI crossover?