2024 MINI Cooper Countryman Untamed Edition - Review by Auto Journalist Larry Nutson
2024 MINI Cooper Countryman Untamed Edition
An urbanist’s escape vehicle
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
THE AUTO CHANNEL
The MINI Cooper Countryman is about to become a little less mini. But that won’t happen until late in the first quarter of 2024.
Meanwhile, MINI’s Countryman of right now makes for a very nice urban-use car. I recently drove a Countryman. For the 2024 model year there’s some minor trim and option changes as this iteration is built-out.
I’ve driven a number of different MINIs over the years and they always put a smile on my face. The low seating position, easy maneuverability, go-kart-like handling, sporty ride, good powertrain performance as well as good fuel economy all make for a vehicle package I like a lot.
My wife had a 2016 Cooper S convertible with a manual transmission that we both enjoyed. We drove it on a few week-long vacations. Although packing in all our stuff was a bit challenging, once we got to our destination the top-down driving made our stay-away even better.
The Countryman is MINI’s utility vehicle whereas the Clubman is MINI’s station wagon. EPA classifies the Countryman as a midsize car, which is a bit curious. In the marketplace it is categorized as a premium subcompact utility vehicle. Countryman seats five. It is available with a choice of four different engines and with front-wheel drive or MINI’s ALL4 all-wheel drive.
A 134-hp, turbocharged 1.5-L three-cylinder powers the Cooper Countryman and Cooper Countryman ALL4. Cooper S Countryman and Cooper S Countryman ALL4 have a 189-hp, turbocharged 2.0-L four-cylinder. A 221-hp plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powers the Cooper SE Countryman ALL4. Lastly, for the ultimate in performance the John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 has a 301-hp, turbo 2.0-L four-cylinder.
All Countryman are equipped with an 8-speed automatic. MINI has reduced its manual transmission offering to the 2-door and 4-door hardtops, the convertible and the Cooper S Clubman with FWD.
Of note, the SE Countryman PHEV does provide an EPA-estimated 18 miles of electric-only driving. This may not sound like much, but in a dense crowded city most all can be accomplished within five or so miles of your home. Research data looking at the United States’ 10 largest cities shows that more than 50 percent of weekly vehicle trips are under five miles.
The 2024 Countryman is offered in Classic, Signature or Iconic trims. Prices start at $32,650 for the Cooper Countryman Classic trim. The top of the line is the John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Iconic trim priced at $50,100. Destination and Handling charge is an additional $995.
My drive in the Countryman was in a 2023 Cooper S Countryman ALL4 fitted with the Iconic trim in a new, special Untamed Edition. Available on Cooper S Countryman, Cooper S Countryman ALL4 and Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 PHEV the Untamed Edition is an extra $1,500. It is available in two colors: Nanuq White or Momentum Grey, which I drove.
Untamed Edition features unique 2-tone 18-inch wheels, piano black exterior trim with black roof, roof rails and mirror carps, unique Untamed upholstery (sort of a green/grey), Nappa leather steering wheel, anthracite headliner, as well as the MINI Excitement package and MINI Driving Modes.
More info on the Countryman and the entire MINI lineup can be found at www.miniusa.com
The Countryman is fun to drive. Ride is a bit firm but nicely compliant. Handling is like it’s riding on rails. With 4-doors and rear hatch there’s lots of practicality. I would opt for the Cooper S with its increased horsepower and yet low fuel consumption…EPA rating of 26 combined mpg.
A bit more on the all-new 2025 MINI Countryman S ALL4 that is planned to be in dealer showrooms next spring. MINI says it is the first SUV for the brand. The wheelbase is longer. The track is wider. Interior space increases. Ride, handling and comfort will improve. An adaptive chassis with 15 mm lowering and frequency-selective dampers is optionally available. A new feature of MINI is the option of semi-automated driving on multi-lane routes. This allows the driver to take his hands off the steering wheel at speeds of up to 60 km/h, (37 mph) as long as he/she continues to closely monitor traffic and is ready to intervene at any time.
In US trim the MINI Countryman S ALL4 will offer 241 hp and 295 lb.ft of torque. The new MINI Countryman S ALL4 will offer three styles, Classic, Favoured, and John Cooper Works. Starting base price is $38,900 plus $995 destination and handing.
Check back next spring!
About Review Author Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy
Larry has been the executive producer for The Auto Channel for more than 20 years.
Larry is a graduate mechanical engineer and an automobile enthusiast at heart. "I’ve enjoyed a diverse automotive corporate career that began in product planning and expanded into marketing and communications. I’m established as a successful contractor, a founder of the Individual Communicators Network (ICN) and operated a well-regarded 1000-home residential property management service. I'm equally at ease with technical matters, strategic planning, architectural plans, or communicating to an audience. Project management suits me well and I love to travel.
A Founding member and past-Chairman of the Individual Communicators Network. Past chairperson of the SAE International Public Affairs Committee. Public relations services for SAE Congress and Formula SAE. Sponsorship representative for and early-supporter of the Woodward Dream Cruise, Detroit, Michigan.
Independent management and communications professional since 1997.
Guest commentator on Drive Chicago-WLS 890AM, Consumer Guide Automotive Car Stuff Podcast, KRTK 93.3 Automotive Insights, Shunpiker's Journal-Michigan Business Network and Talk Lansing.net Radio. Executive Producer for The Auto Channel. Contributing writer to ClassicCars.com Blog and Chicago Tribune/Autos.
Past member of the Board and Treasurer of the Midwest Automotive Media Association
Specialties: Automotive Product Evaluation, Brand Communication, Automotive Event Planning and Management, Government Liaison, Automotive Marketing, Education Advocacy, Homeowner Association Management, German Language
© 2023 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy