Mini Countryman Electric review

Category: Electric car

This new electric version of the Countryman offers space, style and a bit of driving fun

Blue Mini Countryman Electric front cornering
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front cornering
  • Lawrence Cheung test driving Mini Countryman Electric
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior front seats
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior infotainment
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric left driving
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front cornering
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear left driving
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear cornering
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front right static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric left static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear left static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front detail
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear detail
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear lights
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior front seats
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior dashboard
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior steering wheel
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior detail
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior detail
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front cornering
  • Lawrence Cheung test driving Mini Countryman Electric
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior front seats
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior infotainment
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric left driving
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front cornering
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear left driving
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear cornering
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front right static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric left static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear left static
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric front detail
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear detail
  • Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear lights
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior front seats
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior dashboard
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior steering wheel
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior detail
  • Mini Countryman Electric interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

For a brand called "Mini", the launch of a car as large as the Countryman was a big break with tradition – and the Mini Countryman Electric is another leap forward.

You see, the Countryman Electric is the first Mini Countryman powered full-time by batteries and a motor instead of an engine. It's also bigger than its first and second-generation predecessors (a bit longer than a Hyundai Kona Electric but shorter than a Skoda Enyaq).

Two versions are available, badged E and SE ALL4, and there are plenty of personalisation options to help you make it stand out from the crowd even more.

The model’s pricing means it's up against the Kona Electric and the Enyaq, as well as premium-brand rivals including the Audi Q4 e-tron, BMW iX1 and Volvo EX40.

So, is the Countryman Electric good enough to compete against the best electric SUVs? Read on to find out...

Blue Mini Countryman Electric rear cornering

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

So far, we’ve tried the more powerful SE ALL4 version of the Mini Countryman Electric. "ALL4" means it has an electric motor on both the front and rear axles to give it four-wheel drive, and it has a combined power output of 308bhp.

With a 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds, it has plenty of punch to get up to motorway speeds swiftly or overtake on a country road. Even so, we reckon the entry-level E will provide enough performance for most buyers. The E has one motor driving the front wheels, producing 201bhp for a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds.

Both versions are powered by a 64.7kWh (usable capacity) battery. On the E, that’s good for an official range of up to 286 miles on a full charge, while the SE ALL4 dips to 266 miles.

Both fall short of any Volvo EX40 (even the entry-level Single Motor has an official 294 mile range), and are a lot less than the 348 miles you can officially travel in a Skoda Enyaq 85. The latest Audi Q4 e-tron has an increased battery range of around 330 miles. 

Regenerative braking is standard to recover energy as the car slows down. You can increase the strength of the braking effect by selecting the Green drive mode.

More settings are available, including one strong enough to bring the car to a stop when you take your foot off the accelerator, but you have to delve into a sub-menu on the infotainment system to select it. That's far less convenient than using paddles mounted on the steering wheel, as you can on most Enyaqs.

A sportier Go Kart driving mode sharpens up the response of the accelerator pedal while generating an artificial sound through the speakers. The tone changes as you accelerate but you can turn the sound off depending on your preference.

Mini Countryman image
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Elsewhere, there’s a moderate level of road noise on the motorway while wind noise is localised to the upright windscreen and pillars. 

The Countryman Electric cushions occupants against bumps better than the more performance-oriented John Cooper Works petrol version, but it has a firmer ride than other electric SUVs. We suspect our test car’s optional 20in wheels won’t have helped, but if you want comfort, stick with the lower trim levels fitted with 17 or 18in wheels, or take a look at a Q4 e-tron or Enyaq. 

The upside to the firm ride is the way the car flows neatly from corner to corner on a country road. It grips well and the steering responds precisely, giving you a far better sense of connection with the front wheels than the light setup in an EX40.

The tall, boxy body means the Countryman Electric doesn’t feel quite as composed as a BMW iX2 (which has the same underpinnings and electric motors), but it resists body lean well.

Driving overview

Strengths Neat handling; swift performance from SE ALL4 version

Weaknesses Firm ride; some wind and road noise

Lawrence Cheung test driving Mini Countryman Electric

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

With a wide range of adjustment available from the seat and steering wheel, finding a comfortable seating position in the Mini Countryman Electric should be a doddle. Plus, the front seats come with plenty of side bolstering to hold you in place when cornering. 

You get a clear view over the bonnet, thanks to the raised seating position and low dashboard, while the front pillars are upright and positioned in such a way that you can see around them easily at junctions and roundabouts.

Chunky side and rear pillars can make visibility over your shoulder a little trickier, but every Countryman Electric comes with parking sensors (front and rear) and a rear-view camera as standard to help out.

All versions come with LED headlights, while the higher-powered SE ALL4 version adds automatic high-beam assist and cornering lights that light up when you turn into bends (it’s optional as part of the Level 1 pack on the E model).

There's no driver display in the Countryman Electric, so to see your speed, you have to look across at the 9.6in infotainment touchscreen or use the head-up display, if fitted (it comes with the SE ALL4 as standard, and as part of the Level 1 pack on E models). The head-up display also shows sat-nav directions.

The circular touchscreen looks striking and has sharp graphics and various themes to choose from. It’s packed full of features, including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, and you can also play arcade games on the screen using a smartphone as a controller.

The infotainment menu system is fairly easy to get to grips with, with a row of icons permanently on display to allow you to hop between functions directly. There are also a few user-friendly knobs and buttons below the screen.

However, because it’s so packed with features, there’s a lot of information and icons on display at the same time, so it takes a while to get used to where everything is at a glance.

During our test drive, we found the operating system slow to respond to inputs, which proved distracting while driving.

A 365W Harman Kardon sound system upgrade with 12 speakers is available as part of the Level 2 pack.

The interior is up there with the better efforts in the class, both in terms of build quality and plushness of materials. Knitted fabric that feels soft and hard-wearing adorns the dashboard and doors, while adding a dose of colour.

It feels more modern and appealing than the BMW iX1 interior, although the plastics don’t feel as high quality as in the Volvo EX40.

Interior overview

Strengths Good forward visibility; interior has plenty of visual appeal

Weaknesses Laggy infotainment system; rear visibility could be better; no driver display; head-up display costs extra on E models

Mini Countryman Electric interior front seats

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

The Mini Countryman Electric makes good use of its boxy dimensions, and there’ll be few complaints when it comes to interior space. Whether they’re sitting up front or in the rear seats, the car's high roof gives even the tallest of occupants plenty of head room. 

There's also plenty of leg room for a 6ft passenger sitting behind someone of equal height. However, due to a raised floor to accommodate the battery, there's less foot space under the front seats than in the petrol Mini Countryman. That's true of most electric SUV rivals, though.

Storage space is generous up front, with a pair of cupholders, a lidded cubby and a few storage areas that can easily accommodate a phone each. The door bins are quite long but the armrest above it limits how tall the items can fit in there. 

At 460 litres, the Countryman Electric’s boot capacity is close to the Volvo EX40's (452 litres) but trails the BMW iX1 (490 litres) and is far behind the Audi Q4 e-tron (520 litres). It still has a usable load area that is uniform in shape and the underfloor storage is more than big enough for charging cables. An EX40 has a front storage area under the bonnet, though.

The rear seats split in a 40/20/40 configuration, which is more versatile than the 60/40 format in the Q4 e-tron, Skoda Enyaq and EX40. That makes it easier to carry long, narrow items between two rear passengers.

As standard, you get a reclining rear backrest, which you don’t find in the Enyaq or EX40. The Countryman Electric loses out on the sliding rear seats that can be had on the petrol version – or indeed a Smart #1.

Practicality overview

Strengths Plenty of space for occupants; rear bench reclines

Weaknesses Boot space is average up to the parcel shelf; high load lip

Mini Countryman Electric interior infotainment

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The entry-level Mini Countryman Electric is slightly pricier than a Skoda Enyaq or Volvo EX40 but costs less than an Audi Q4 e-tron or BMW iX1.

With strong resale values, the model is expected to lose its value more slowly after three years than many rivals, including the iX1, Enyaq and EX40. In other words, private buyers should get more of their money back when they come to sell it.

A maximum charging speed of up to 130kW means a 10-80% charge will take around half an hour. That’s on a par with the four rivals mentioned above.

There are three trim levels available – Classic, Exclusive and Sport. All versions come with alloy wheels, LED headlights, two-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, keyless start and adaptive cruise control. 

Entry-level Classic trim represents good value, but there isn’t much in the way of exterior paint colours if you’re hoping for something vibrant. 

Three option packs can be added – called Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3.

Level 1 comes as standard on the more powerful SE ALL4 version and we'd recommend adding it if you go for the Countryman E. It adds keyless entry, adaptive LED headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats, wireless phone-charging and a head-up display.

Level 2 adds rear privacy glass, a panoramic glass sunroof and a Harman Kardon sound system upgrade.

Level 3 is only available on the SE ALL4, and adds electrically adjustable front seats with a massage function, Park Assist Plus, interior camera (which displays an image remotely on your phone via the Mini App) and an augmented-reality view for the sat-nav.

In terms of safety equipment, every Countryman Electric gets automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keep assist, traffic sign recognition and an emergency call function (e-Call). It hasn't been tested for safety by Euro NCAP yet.

The model is too new to have featured in the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey but Mini deserves praise for finishing third place overall, out of 32 manufacturers. Only Lexus and Toyota did better.

Hopefully that means you won't need to call upon the three-year, unlimited mileage warranty. That’s on a par with BMW's and slightly better than the three-year/60,000-mile warranty from Audi, Skoda and Volvo. The battery is covered for up to eight years with a 100,000-mile cap.

Costs overview

Strengths Well equipped; strong resale values

Weaknesses Plenty of tempting options can quickly drive up the price

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FAQs

  • The version with the longest range – the Countryman E – can officially travel up to 286 miles on a full charge.

  • Yes. You can now buy the regular petrol Mini Countryman or the electric car version covered in this review.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £1,804
Target Price from £28,200
Save up to £1,804
or from £318pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £28,990
RRP price range £29,340 - £56,180
Number of trims (see all)4
Number of engines (see all)5
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)electric, petrol
MPG range across all versions 36.2 - 49.6
Available doors options 5
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £84 / £3,376
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £168 / £6,753
Available colours