Test: Mini Countryman SE ALL4 – Maxi Mini now also electric

Electric Countryman more potent than petrol JCW

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Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024

The new Mini Countryman shares its technology with the BMW X1. The Maxi Mini is therefore not only available with combustion engines but also as an EV. In fact, the most powerful Countryman is electric. Does a sporty petrol version still have a right to exist?

Do you have a choice with an electric Countryman?

Details such as the headlights and the grille are slightly more angular, but the new, third generation of the Mini Countryman is still immediately recognizable as a Mini. Generation 3 is built on the same scalable platform architecture as the BMW’s X1 and X2 and, like those BMWs, it is also fully electric for the first time if desired. The base EV is the Countryman E with a 204 hp electric motor driving the front wheels. In addition, there is the Countryman SE ALL4, which also has an engine between the rear wheels. The two electric motors of this four-wheel drive together peak at 313 hp. These are the same numbers as those of the BMW iX2 we drove earlier.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024

With its more angular design, the Countryman is still clearly recognizable as a Mini.

Is it about form or function?

The new Countryman is also clearly recognizable on the inside as a Mini, not least thanks to the large round multimedia screen in the middle of the otherwise fairly minimalist dashboard. You can set as many as eight different experience modes, in addition to optical as well as acoustic; just what suits your mood at that moment. The multimedia system works with BMW’s latest software, OS9. Anyway, new software or not: the system does require the necessary attention. If you don’t feel like swiping and scrolling, you also have voice control at your disposal, invoked via the text “Hey Mini”. However, the Mini is not yet as fool-proof as the voice control that we have known from Mercedes for years.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024

Accountants have reduced the number of buttons and switches to an absolute minimum.

Is it bigger than its predecessor?

Although the Countryman is a Mini, it is no less than 40 centimeters longer than the Austin Maxi of old. The new model is also 13 centimeters longer than its predecessor. All occupants benefit from this. In the front you sit like a king, you have more than enough space in all directions, with enough seat rail length for those who appreciate it. It is nice that you can pull the handlebars close to you. The legroom in the rear is middle class, headroom is more than enough, just like in the front. Even with a length of two meters, the top of your head won’t even come close to the headliner at the back. Under the floor of the luggage compartment you will find a storage compartment for charging cables. And you will have to make do with that, because there is no frunk. Under the hood it is full of electrical technology.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024

You have plenty of space in the front of the Mini Countryman. You also have headroom in the back.

How potent is the SE?

We got our introduction to the new Countryman with the SE ALL4. Its two electric motors are together more powerful than the two-liter four-cylinder in the hottest petrol version (the JCW, which stands for John Cooper Works), 313 hp against 300 and 494 Nm against 400. Yet the experience is different. Although the SE ALL4 also has a Go Kart driving mode (the sport mode) and shoots through traffic above average, it remains much more down-to-earth than the JCW. The response to the power pedal is less biting. For those who appreciate it, the electric Countryman can be driven virtually with one pedal: the degree of engine braking (and thus energy recovery) is adjustable. By the way, you have to go through the menus of the multimedia system for this setting, unfortunately it is not possible with paddles behind the wheel.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024 exterior

With 313 hp and 494 Nm, the Mini Countryman SE is a potent SUV.

Does such a large Countryman still have Mini genes?

Even though the Countryman, as an SUV, has slightly higher wheels, the chassis invites you to play; While maintaining enough comfort, the tuning of springs and shock absorbers feels nice and firm. In that respect, the car has real Mini genes. Partly thanks to the battery pack placed under the floor, the car is nice and stable on the road. And if you can’t resist the temptation to tap into the engines’ potential when cornering, the chassis will certainly not let you down, and without JCW or Cooper logos. The controls are not super communicative, but pleasantly direct.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024 driving

The handling of the electric Countryman is exactly what you would expect from an SUV at Mini.

Do its support systems really provide support?

Don’t feel like steering yourself? With its lane assistant, the Countryman stays neatly on track, wandering between the lines is foreign to him. The adaptive cruise control is quite adaptive. Not only does it adjust the pace to the car in front of you or to the limits on the speed signs along the road, it also determines the distance to the car in front. Occasionally we want to determine that distance ourselves, for example in heavier traffic to keep the traffic jam shorter. But unfortunately there is no button for that. It is a small thing, otherwise the system makes a neatly mature impression. That also gives confidence in the (safety) systems that we have not needed.

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 2024 interior

There are few reasons to hand over the wheel, but you still have prmea assistance systems at your disposal.

Do you get value for your money?

The front-wheel drive Countryman E, with its starting price of €43,990, just qualifies for the Subsidy for Electric Passenger Cars for Private Individuals (SEPP), the SE is too expensive for this with its base price of €49,490. On the other hand, SE is €27,500 cheaper than the equally potent but petrol-fired JCW Countryman. And if you would like to have a corresponding sporty appearance, you can equip the SE as a JCW for €6,600, count your profit.

– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl

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