Mini goes big and battery powered with new Countryman

The Countryman, last redesigned in 2017, remains a workhorse for Mini in the U.S. The crossover was a volume nameplate in the year’s first half, accounting for 5,257 units, up 31 percent from a year ago.

Globally, Mini will offer the electric Countryman in two battery versions with front-wheel and all-wheel drive. But the U.S. will receive only the higher performance, awd variant given market preferences.

The 313-hp, dual-motor Countryman SE ALL4 has a 0-62 mph time of 5.6 seconds. Based on European testing cycle estimates, the 66.45-kilowatt-hour battery delivers 269 miles on a single charge.

The electrification of Countryman is a “necessary step to force the vehicle into a more competitive realm,” said Ivan Drury, Insights director at Edmunds.

According to Edmunds data, as of July 2023, Countryman’s average transaction price of $40,025 is at a 40 percent premium over the subcompact crossover segment’s $28,700.

“However, Mini consumers are more about personality versus practicality, and the X factor for EVs is that they have more leeway when it comes to consumers unhinging vehicle size and price,” Drury said. “An electric Countryman allows Mini to compete on another playing field, at least for the time being, in which the number of entrants remains small and the rules of pricing and segmentation are still loose.”

The U.S. electric vehicle market is concentrated in the compact crossover segment, accounting for about a dozen models. According to Edmunds data, almost half of all EVs sold in the U.S. were compact crossovers in the second quarter.

Mini has Volvo’s XC40 in its crosshairs with the third-generation Countryman, AutoPacific analyst Paul Waatti said.

“The two are dimensionally very similar and offer internal combustion and awd EV versions,” Waatti said. “Countryman’s initial performance and range estimates are on par with XC40 Recharge. And considering Countryman is getting larger and offering better packaging, its price ladder may look similar as well.”

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