Making its first public appearance at next week’s 2023 IAA Munich, the MINI Countryman is going maxi for its third generation as the new model is much larger than its predecessor. Big changes are afoot for what we can now safely say is a legitimate compact crossover considering the growth spurt. Not one but two electric versions will be offered: a single-motor E and a dual-motor SE ALL4.
2024 MINI Countryman Goes Maxi with New Design and Tech
So, how big is it? The 2024 Countryman stretches at 4433 millimeters (174.5 inches) long, 1843 mm (72.5 in) wide, and 1656 mm (65.2 in) tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2692 mm (106 in). That makes it slightly shorter and just about as wide as the mechanically related BMW iX1 while being a smidge taller than the Bavarian electric crossover.
The exterior styling is evolutionary in its purest form and the next-gen Countryman largely shares the design DNA with the new electric Cooper three-door hatch also unveiled today. “Charismatic Simplicity” is how the Oxford-based automaker refers to its new design language, and aside from looking fresh yet familiar, there are some functional benefits. The smoother surfaces have lowered the drag coefficient from 0.31 to 0.26 to achieve greater efficiency.
MINI Countryman Gets Level 2 Assistance Systems
Although the revamped crossover has an octagonal front grille similar to the Cooper hatchback’s, the difference here is a built-in radar sensor to make the Countryman the first MINI with Level 2 assistance systems. It enables semi-automated driving in certain scenarios, which should come in handy while racking up miles on the highway during extended journeys.
MINI Countryman Gets Larger Wheels and Updated Exterior
Being a crossover, the Countryman looks more rugged than the three-door model, as evidenced by the front and rear skid plates as well as the roof rails. You can easily tell it’s much larger than the model it replaces by looking at the size of the quarter glass where the C-pillar has a distinctive design. On the same note, the crossover can be fitted with not-so-mini 20-inch wheels in the high-end versions.
MINI Countryman Interior Gets Minimalist Design
The interior is largely shared with the new hatchback, incorporating access to most functions in the 9.4-inch OLED circular display dominating the gently curved dashboard. Much like the exterior has been simplified, the cabin adopts a minimalist approach by getting rid of the driver’s display and most of the traditional controls. Substituting the instrument cluster, albeit at an extra cost, is a new head-up display providing relevant info in the driver’s field of view.
The upsized touchscreen always shows the temperature for the driver and front passengers on the edges of the OLED. By the way, the new infotainment runs on the MINI Operating System 9, based on the Android Open Source Project, much like the newly built BMW X1s are equipped with iDrive 9. As with the three-door hatch, there are selectable Experience modes that alter the settings of the display, ambient lighting, and other functions. Drivers can pick from Go-Kart, Vivid, Core, Green, Timeless, Balance, Personal, plus the exclusive Trail mode.
MINI Countryman E and SE ALL4 Get Up to 287 Miles of Range
Moving on to more important matters, the Countryman E will offer 204 horsepower (150 kilowatts) and 250 Newton-meters (184 pound-feet) of torque whereas the SE ALL4 is getting 313 hp (230 kW) and 494 Nm (364 lb-ft) to perfectly match the iX1 xDrive30. The base variant could hint at an entry-level iX1, potentially an eDrive20, but nothing is official yet.
Stick to the Countryman E and the zero-emission crossover will hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 8.6 seconds en route to a top speed of 106 mph (170 km/h). The beefier SE ALL4 with a pair of motors and all-wheel drive can do the sprint in 5.6 seconds and max out at 112 mph (180 km/h).
While the battery’s size isn’t mentioned, we do know it’s good for 287 miles (462 kilometers) of range in the E and a lower 269 miles (433 km) in the heavier SE ALL4. Both can be charged at up to 130 kW, in which case it’ll take less than 30 minutes to go from 10% to 80%.
In terms of practicality, the rear bench slides fore and aft by 13 centimeters (5.1 inches) and you can adjust the backrests in six positions by as much as 12 degrees. With the rear seats in place, the Countryman offers a cargo volume of 460 liters, expandable to 1,450 liters after folding the bench. To haul even more, an electrically operated optional trailer hitch can be used to tow up to 1,200 kilograms.
Although MINI is focusing on these two EV variants, it will also sell the 2024 Countryman with gasoline engines and even a diesel. The previously available plug-in hybrid derivative is being retired to make way for the pure electric models.
New MINI Countryman to be Produced in Germany
MINI is moving production of the Countryman in-house as the third generation will be assembled in Leipzig, therefore making it the brand’s first car to be produced in Germany. The outgoing model is made in Born, The Netherlands by the VDL Nedcar automotive manufacturing company.
Next year, a smaller crossover positioned below the Countryman will join the range as the electric-only Aceman manufactured in China.