2025 MINI Countryman SE: New Electric Model Eclipses Old Plug-in Hybrid

Published on March 5, 2024 in First Drives by Antoine Joubert

Larger, stronger and heavier. Much heavier. The new and fully electric 2025 MINI Countryman SE is a major departure from the previously available plug-in hybrid variant that offered just 27 km of zero-emission range. Blessed with a 66.45kWh battery, it can travel up to a WLTP-estimated 433 km, which means around 340 km by North American standards.

That’s obviously shorter range than the Audi Q4 e-tron and Volvo C40 Recharge, but MINI fans are probably not going to care that much. And sadly for BMW enthusiats, perhaps, there’s no signs of a similarly equipped iX1 or iX2 coming to our shores.

More Versatile

Offering more space than its predecessor, the second-generation Countryman SE can now serve as a proper family hauler, with 460 litres of trunk capacity and 1,450 litres of total cargo room when the rear seats are folded. Legroom and headroom have increased quite a bit, too, while additional storage solutions can be found throughout.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The interior design perfectly fits with MINI’s philosophy. The round HD touchscreen taking centre stage is extremely attractive and fun, though the infotainment system proves fairly complex at first. Drivers also need to get used to the various switches on the upper dashboard. Fit and finish is vastly improved and on par with the premium segment.

The magnificently sculpted front seats provide excellent comfort and support. Visibility is great, and while the Countryman has grown in size, handling remains sharp and responsive. On the other hand, the cheap-looking head-up display using a folding transparent panel should be either removed or replaced by a windshield-based system.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

JCW-Like Performance

One-upping the 312-horsepower MINI Countryman John Cooper Works, the 2025 Countryman SE delivers 313 horsepower. It sprints from 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds—a mere two tenths of a second slower than the gas-powered JCW, which is 340 kg lighter. Think about that.

Of course, the thrill isn’t the same: with the fully electric variant, you get an immediate boost thanks to the electric motor’s torque, but the fake and driver-selectable sound is unlike anything you’ll hear coming out of the quad tailpipes on the high-performance Countryman.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Sure, the Volvo C40 Recharge gives you an extra 89 horsepower, but the MINI Countryman SE is more fun. And that’s despite weighing 2,000 kg—or two full tons, if you prefer. All that mass can be felt when attacking corners, but the crossover still impresses with remarkable agility and alertness.  

MINI offers as many as eight drive modes with the new Countryman SE, although only three of them influence powertrain characteristics—Normal, Green and Go-Kart, the last two making for duller or sharper driving, respectively. The others are so-called “MINI Experience Modes,” which maximize the options for customizing the interior atmosphere by means of light projections, animations and sounds.

Aceman Coming Next

Set to go on sale this spring, the 2025 MINI Countryman SE carries a base MSRP of $59,990 and therefore qualifies for the federal EV rebate of $5,000 as well as provincial incentives where applicable. The conventionally powered Countryman S ALL4 is $15,000 cheaper, by the way. Oh, and watch out for expensive options that can seriously increase the price, like the 20-inch wheels.

Photo: Antoine Joubert

Some other things you should know about include a maximum DC fast charging rate of 130 kW and future compatibility with Tesla Superchargers. The Countryman SE will share its technology with the smaller MINI Aceman, which is slated to launch as a 2026 model exclusively in EV configuration. Which one will enjoy more success? Hard to say, but if you want a fun-driving electric crossover, MINI should definitely be at the top of your list.

Test drive report
Test model N/A
Trim level SE ALL4
Price range $59,990
Price as tested CA$59,990
Warranty (basic) 4 years/80,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 4 years/80,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) N/A
Options N/A
Competitive models Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Volvo C40 Recharge, Volvo XC40, 2024 Audi Q4 e-tron
Strong points
  • Lovely design
  • Increased versatility
  • Pleasant handling
Weak points
  • Below-average range
  • Significant weight
  • Centre screen requires some getting used to
Editor's rating
Fuel economy 2.5/5 Average of 24-25 kWh/100 km. Not so good.
Comfort 4.0/5 A pleasant surprise, really.
Performance 4.0/5 Lively acceleration and remarkable handling despite a weight of 2,000 kg.
Infotainment 4.0/5 Really cool system and display, though a bit complicated at first.
Driving 4.5/5 More fun than an Audi Q4 e-tron or Volvo C40 Recharge.
Overall 4.0/5 We love it. Our only complaint is the disappointing range.
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