You’re looking at the all new MINI Countryman S with 241 HP, 295 ft lbs. While we’ve seen the electric Countryman SE and the petrol Countryman JCW, until today MINI had yet to officially show-off what petrol powered “S”. But the power increase is probably the least interesting thing here. Partially because, in a surprise move, it will differ wildly depending on market.
Pricing and Equipment Changes
Everything. This is a ground-up rethink of the Countryman inside and out. And it’s inside where we see some real revolutionary moves. But before we get to that let’s talk about pricing. The all-new MINI Countryman S ALL4 will have a starting base price in the US of $38,900. There will be no Countryman models below the S in the US market which means the base price has moved up dramatically. But with that comes a huge increase in performance and standard equipment.
How does that compare to the F60 generation Countryman S? First you have to look at what comes standard. The biggest news there is that MINI USA will be making MINI’s all wheel drive system, All4 standard across the range. Keeping that in mind the base price has increased $3,900. But that includes a lot more tech. MINI USA is making the heads-up display standard and of course including the incredible new circular OLED screen. That coupled with a big increase in size and performance at that $3,900 starts to looks a bit different.
Production for the US market begins March, 2024 with first units expected to arrive at dealers early May, 2024.
Power and Performance
In the UK and Europe MINI Countryman S ALL4 offers a mild hybrid version of the B48 to lower C02. That set-up produces an output of 160 kW/218 hp and a torque of 360 Nm in those markets. However. In US trim the MINI Countryman S ALL4 will offer 241 hp and 295 lb.ft of torque all without that mild hybrid assistance. Why the difference? The US doesn’t have the stringent requirements of the EU and can offer the simpler, lighter B48 without the mild hybrid assistance. 0-60 times have yet to be published but we’d expect that number to be in the low 6s.
Quick ratio steering and the combination of single-joint McPherson strut front axle and multi-link rear axle are unmistakable traits of MINIs no matter how big they are. The Countryman takes this formula and refines it even further with an optional adaptive suspension which lowers the car in sport mode 15 mm for better response and weight distribution.
The Interior Revolution
MINI has a lot to talk about inside starting with that circular display. So we’ll let our recently published demo of the display and MINI OS9 do the talking.
Aside from the infotainment system, MINI has made huge changes. The brand has moved away from leather and chrome and leaned into new materials in a way that we’ve never seen from other manufacturers. The result is impressive. The new Vescin leather alternative feels better than the typical leather found in MINIs. While it doesn’t quite match the suppleness of the Lounge Leather options, it’s very close. In fact the grade of Vescin on the steering wheel actually feels just as good. You can read much more about Vescin and why MINI has gone leather free in our exclusive report.
We really liked the look and feel of the textiles but time will tell in terms the longevity. According to MINI the material is 90% recycled and should be easily cleaned with a damp cloth – no chemicals needed.
One area that we’re eager to test is the center console. Gone is the storage under the armrest and in its place a very solid feeling extendable armrest. In fact it extends so far I could see someone propping a laptop on it and working. But we’re still at a loss for why MINI couldn’t figure out how to include storage in it.
The console itself has a small cubby that acts as storage. Interesting we’re told it’s relatively easy to remove and potentially replace with different forms to storage. According to MINI we should watch this space for potential future accessories.
How Big is This Thing?
The U25 MINI Countryman is all new and based on the same platform as the new BMW X1 and X2. And since those two vehicles have grown, so has the Countryman. But that growth is more about what customers want. MINI tells us that the data clearly points to owners reluctantly moving away from the brand due size. It sounds obvious for a brand called MINI. But the brand feels they can grow the Countryman slightly while still appealing to those looking for something different and smaller in the segment. So MINI’s answer was to increase the size of the Countryman while introducing a new model to bridge the gap from the Cooper. That model is the electric Aceman which will have a footprint similar to the original R60 Countryman. That strategy was key for MINI being able to grow longer by over 5” and taller by 2”.
|R60 Countryman (’10-’16)
|F60 Countryman (’17-’23)
|U25 Countryman (’24-’32)
|4097 mm / 161.3 in
|4298 mm / 169.2 in
|4429 mm / 174.37 in
|1562 mm / 61.5 in
|1557 mm / 61.3 in
|1613 mm / 63.5 in
|2596 mm / 102.2 in
|2670 mm / 105.1 in
|2670 mm / 105.11 in
It’s no secret that the U25 Countryman shares a platform with the BMW X1. However what we didn’t know is how it differs under the skin. When MINI Design evaluated the X1 platform they immediately realized that they needed to find a way to downsize it to better fit MINI proportions. More specifically the rear overhang had to shrink. The answer came in the form of leveraging the rear section of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer (not a car we get in the US) and replacing what was there in the X1. The result are proportions that not only fit a MINI shape better but a reduction in weight where you really don’t want it.
To our eyes this increase in size is hidden by the proportions of this car as well as clever styling. That “blade” in the c-pillar? One reason it’s there is to break-up the length of the roof so it didn’t look like a tall station wagon.
Autonomous Driving Comes to MINIs
One of the biggest tech additions to the Countryman is its autonomous driving features. Driving Assistant Professional is a massive improvement over the previous adaptive cruise and is a first for the brand. 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 recently we didn’t have some of the final technical details.
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.
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.
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
|Start of Production
|U25 MINI Countryman E
|U25 MINI Countryman SE ALL4*
|MINI Countryman – ICE Models
|U25 MINI Countryman C
|U25 MINI Countryman D
|U25 MINI Countryman S ALL4*
|U25 MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4*