Mini Countryman is now available as an electric car: We test drive in Portugal

Mini Countryman is now available as an electric car We

Electric-powered Mini Countryman enters a segment that in these times offers high competition.

Compared to the old Countryman, the car has grown by as much as 13 centimeters in length, and therefore plays in the same division as the Volvo EX40 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The design language is reminiscent of an overgrown hatchback rather than an SUV, and in my eyes the whole is attractive.

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Unique interior with robust controls

Inside, the Mini continues to follow its characteristic, retro-inspired design language, boasting the first round OLED infotainment system in a production car.

During the test drive in Portugal, Mini emphasized the importance of digitization, and the new infotainment system proved to be both attractive and user-friendly. The material quality is high, and the controls feel robust.

The round OLED screen should be the first of its kind in a car – Photo: Mini Two powertrains on the menu

As an electric car, the new Mini Countryman will be offered in E and SE versions, the former of which is front-wheel drive with an output of 204 horsepower.

However, we only had the opportunity to test drive the sportier SE version, which shares a base plate with the group sibling BMW iX2. The power is sent to all four wheels and the effect is 313 horsepower.

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Must not travel in silence

The test route consisted of a combination of motorway, winding country roads and a lot of city driving.

The first thing that strikes you when you drive away is how low the noise level in the cabin is, which is not a total surprise considering that it is an electric car.

The model has grown by 13 centimeters – Photo: Mini

If you don’t like silence, however, many of the seven driving modes offer different synthetic sounds that are pumped into the cabin. It may seem like a fun feature, but you get tired quickly and turn off the sound.

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A nimble companion on the road

Out on the road, the Countryman appears lively, and acceleration at full throttle is lively. The steering is also nimble, and the impression from behind the wheel is that the car is both sporty and fun.

The chassis handles uneven roads well. Thanks to the high ground clearance, the car is also not afraid of muddy roads, where the four-wheel drive also reacts quickly and inspires rally-inspired driving.

As expected, the electric Countryman SE is significantly heavier than its fossil-powered siblings, and this contributes to a sense of robustness.

Mini Countryman SE is a nimble companion on the road – Photo: Mini

However, our test car was equipped with the largest rims available. Personally, I would have instead chosen slightly smaller rims for better comfort.

As for the powertrain and braking system, the transition between the regeneration and the mechanical brakes is barely noticeable.

The character of the car as a whole does not scream electric car, but in line with the BMW Group’s strategy, it appears rather as a good car that just happens to be electric.

Range and charge

The range in the front-wheel drive Mini Countryman E is up to 462 kilometers.

The four-wheel-drive Countryman SE with its 313 horsepower comes slightly shorter, with a range of up to 433 kilometers.

The range is up to 462 kilometers – Photo: Mini

Both versions of the car can be charged with an output of up to 130 kW, which is lower than competitors such as Hyundai Kona and Tesla Model Y.

The charging speed means that charging from 10 to 80 percent is theoretically possible in just under 30 minutes.

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The Mini Countryman SE is a new favourite

The new generation Mini Countryman is a big step forward for the brand, and the car’s recipe is the same for both the petrol and electric versions of the car.

Electric-driven Mini Countryman SE offers a very appealing overall package, with a high dose of driving pleasure, decent practicality and an impressive sense of quality.

Marcus Berggren has found a new favorite – Photo: Mini

The price tag can also be considered reasonable for what you get. The Countryman SE is an unusually grown-up and mature element in the Mini brand’s 65-year history, but does not sacrifice the classic playfulness for the sake of it.

Whether the good impression remains in daily use will be decided by a longer test at home in the future.

First impressions of the Mini Countryman SE ALL4: 4/5

Mini Countryman SE ALL4 (2024)
Engine: An electric motor at the front, an electric motor at the rear, 313 horsepower, 494 newton meters
Transmission: Stepless automatic transmission, four-wheel drive
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h: 5.6 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Electrical range: 432 km
Weight: 2,075 kg
Dimensions (length/height/width): 4445/1635/1843 mm
Award: From SEK 529,400