The 2025 MINI Countryman will be the most technically capable MINI ever made. Whether it’s fully electric or ICE powered, the U25 is a giant step for the brand in how it adopts BMW tech. One of the biggest additions will be its autonomous driving features.
The feature is called Driving Assistant Professional and it’s a massive improvement over the previous adaptive cruise. With the Driving Assistant Professional, the MINI Countryman enables partially automated Level 2 driving on highways for the first time. If you’ve been following MotoringFile all year you’ll remember us exclusively reporting on this feature last spring. However until today we didn’t have some of the final technical details.
Currently MINI has only one light autonomous feature – adaptive cruise. While helpful it really does one thing – follow the car in front. MINI’s aim is to introduce this technology as an option meant primarily for highway purposes.
When engaged, Driving Assistant Professional allows the driver to take their hands off the wheel at speeds of up to 37 mph (60 km/h), as long as they have their eyes on the road (as determined by an eye tracker) and are ready to intervene at any time.
We’ve used this system in BMW’s extensively and it really does work as advertised – you can take your hands off the wheel entirely as long as your eyes are on the road. The car will stop, go, turn and even change lanes on command using the turn signal.
Once you reach 38 MPH the system switches modes and goes into a more simplistic autonomous setting which requires a driver’s hands to rest on the wheel. However the system works identically, following traffic, the curves of the road and will even change lanes based on the driver using the turn signal. However at these speeds the system requires hands-on the wheel or at least pressure of some kind.
This feature has been optional on BMWs for years and in our experience is ideal for stop and go traffic. However MINI’s system adds a new wrinkle as it can identify gaps in traffic needed to change lanes to get to an exit. It then brings the vehicle to the optimum speed for assisted lane changes. The MINI will let know when it’s successfully on via two green lights on the steering wheel. When it can’t detect your eyes (in hands-free) or hands (at higher speeds) those green lights being to flash orange.
While MINI is focused on that Level 2, hands-free mode intended mostly for traffic jams, it’s the higher speed (above 38 mph) that you’ll likely find much more useful. In this mode the system uses a combination of adaptive cruise and steering input to follow well marked highways without intervention. It uses steering and lane guidance assistant and also includes lane keeping, lane change assistant with active side collision protection and the emergency stop assistant.
In our experience in BMW it’s a great feature for anyone who does long stretches highway driving. While it doesn’t take over completely and your hands have to remain on the wheel, it lessens the cognitive load on those long road-trips.
Autonomous Options Coming the MINI Cooper
The Countryman won’t be the only MINI product with the new Level 2 Autonomous features. While we believe the entire range will eventually get the option, it’s the combustion F66 MINI Cooper that will get it at launch.
Driving Assistant Professional replies several cameras and a front mounted radar in the grille. The system is actually made up of two options: Driving Assistant (5AS) and the Driving Assistant Plus (5AT). The U25 Countryman and the F66 Cooper will feature this system at launch while the electric J01 MINI Cooper and J05 MINI Aceman will eventually get them.
The 2025 MINI Countryman Model Range
The Countryman begins production this November in C, D and S All4 models. The electric production should begin this March alongside the new JCW Countryman.
|MINI Countryman – Electric Models||Drivetrain||German Pricing||US Pricing||Start of Production|
|U25 MINI Countryman E||Electric||43.500€||N/A||03/2024|
|U25 MINI Countryman SE ALL4||Electric||49.500€||$45,200||03/2024*|
|MINI Countryman – ICE Models|
|U25 MINI Countryman C||ICE (Petrol)||39.900€||N/A||11/2023|
|U25 MINI Countryman D||ICE (Diesel)||42.900€||N/A||11/2023|
|U25 MINI Countryman S ALL4||ICE (Petrol)||45.900€||$38,900||11/2023*|
|U25 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4||ICE (Petrol)||56.500€||TBA||03/2024*|
This is Just the Start – An Entire New MINI Family is Coming
The new J01 MINI Cooper electric and U25 MINI Countryman will begin production this November and will kick off the new MINI family. Then we’ll see the heavily revised F56 morph into the F66 internal combustion MINI Cooper. This will be MINI’s answer to all those who want a Cooper but aren’t ready for electric. Finally we’ll see the all electric MINI Aceman crossover which effectively takes the place of the beloved MINI Clubman. The Aceman will be a small crossover roughly the size of the original MINI Countryman and will be released late next year.
For more coverage of the new generation MINI released recently, check out the following articles and videos.
MINI Cooper EV: Premier | MINI Cooper EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Cooper EV: Video Review
MINI Countryman EV: Premier | MINI Countryman EV: Hands-On Review | MINI Countryman EV: Video Review
New MINI Family: 1st Look Video | MINI Circular Display & MINI OS9 Hands-On Review