If Mini purists were upset by the arrival of the first Countryman as its first SUV back in 2010, there will be even more tears caused by this new third-generation model.

At more than 4.4m long, it’s Mini’s largest car ever by some margin – being 14cm longer than its predecessor, and larger than a Nissan Qashqai It’s been done for a reason, and that’s to make the Countryman more suitable for families, while also leaving space for Mini to introduce a smaller Aceman crossover later in 2024. But has Mini stretched itself too far with this new SUV?

It’s been seven years since there was a new Countryman, so the arrival of this new car is a pretty big deal, with no stone left unturned. There are a pair of new petrol engines available, but the stars of the show are two new electric versions – a first for a Countryman. A previous plug-in hybrid model has been discontinued to make way for it.

There are some pretty major advancements inside, too, not least a modern interpretation of the big circular dials of the classic Mini, as the Countryman is the first production car to use a circular OLED display. You’ll see the same look on the firm’s new Cooper hatchback, as well as the upcoming Aceman.

Read the full test-drive at timesmotors.com 

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