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2021 Mini Countryman gets a fresh face, better electric range

John Law

Mini has updated the Countryman line-up with a focus on urban performance. That means a new look, revised plug-in hybrid with better range, and diesel options dropped altogether.

A slight nip-and-tuck outside headlined by distinctive lighting features and bumpers gives way to more interior features including wireless Apple CarPlay and increased connectivity levels. 

Naturally, it all comes at a price. Now starting at $44,500, the entry-level Cooper Countryman has climbed in price by $2,300, with the S and hybrid up $3,700.

2021 Mini Countryman Union Jack
Union Jack taillights make an appearance for 2021.

If you didn’t have the old Countryman to compare it to, you might miss some of the styling tweaks – namely the re-styled lower portions of the front and rear bumpers, new LED headlights and Union Jack signature in the brake lights.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual, the Countryman bringing some distinct Mini flare to a segment that’s all about standing out. And it does that, even compared to the Mazda CX-30 or Mercedes GLA-Class.

Inside the Mini is unique, too, with a 5.5-inch digital driver’s display and 8.8-inch central touchscreen both housed – oddly – in circular design elements. If you’re wondering, there are plenty of other circular features that remain inside for 2020, and some snazzy switchgear to boot.

2021 Mini Countryman Interior
Inside hasn’t changed much for 2021.

The Countryman range starts with the $44,500 Cooper powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol with outputs of 110kW and 220Nm sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to the front wheels only.

Mini has equipped the base-model Cooper with 17-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, a power tailgate, faux-leather upholstery and keyless entry. Safety equipment is fair and includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, parking sensors, reverse camera and AEB with pedestrian detection.

However, being based on an older platform, no Mini Countryman is available with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert or AEB with junction assist.

2021 Mini Countryman Light
New-look LED headlights.

Stepping up to the sportier $52,900 Cooper S Countryman does net forward collision warning. There is also more power courtesy of a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, up to 141kW with 280Nm of torque sent to the front wheels by a dual-clutch gearbox.

Larger 18-inch alloy wheels and piano black exterior trims including a dark radiator surround differentiate the S from the outside. The interior boasts leather-appointed sports seats, piano black inserts, a John Cooper Works steering wheel and drive mode selection.

Surprisingly the plug-in Countryman Hybrid boasts a 0.7 second quicker 0-100km/h time than the S at 6.8 seconds, naturally the asking price climbs to $60,900.

2021 Mini Countryman Plug
The plug-in hybrid now has between 55-61km of range.

For that, a three-cylinder petrol engine with outputs of 100kW and 220Nm is teamed with an electric 65kW/165Nm electric motor and a 9.6kWh battery pack – up from the prior 7.6kWh unit. That makes for a generous EV only range of 55-61km, so says Mini.

The Hybrid is also equipped with all-wheel-drive, the same black package as the S and a special Green+ mode in the drive selector.

Rounding out the range with impressive performance figures of 225kW, 450Nm and a standard sprint time of 5.1 seconds is the Countryman John Cooper Works. The Pure is priced from $61,915 and gets a sportier suspension tune, dual exhaust tips, red grille surround, four-piston front brake callipers and a JCW rear spoiler.

2021 Mini Countryman Rear 3/4
But do you like the styling tweaks?

Also available is the full-fat John Cooper Works which starts at $67,818 and includes extra goodies like a premium harman kardon stereo, 19-inch alloy wheels, head-up display and leather-appointed sports seats.

The refreshed Countryman will arrive in short order, and although there are no diesel options, the better range of the plug-in hybrid Countryman may make it the pick of the bunch.

2021 Mini Countryman Pricing

All prices are before on-road costs.

Mini Countryman Cooper Auto – $44,500 (up $2,300)
Mini Countryman Cooper S Auto – $52,900 (up $3,700)
Mini Countryman Hybrid Auto AWD – $60,900 (up $3,700)
Mini Countryman JCW Pure Auto AWD – $61,915 (new model)
Mini Countryman JCW Auto AWD – $67,818 (up $1,918)