Review: 2024 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Untamed Edition

Words: Calvin Chan

Photography: Calvin Chan

Published: September 9, 2023



Special editions are an easy and effortless way to extend a car model’s life cycle. What happens when your vehicle has been on the market for four years without any revisions or changes? Simply debut a limited edition trim with some added visual stripes, paint colours, and interior trims to bring back the hype and inject some youth into its veins. Subaru has been the master of this for quite some time with more special editions for the WRX and BRZ than one can list on a standard 8x11 piece of paper. MINI is not shy about this method either.



Their most recent is the Untamed Edition for the Countryman S and SE. For an extra $6,300 on top of the Premier+ model, this package adds an exclusive Momentum Grey (or Nanuq White) paint colour, MINI badge in the same grey, 18-inch two-tone run-flat wheels, side stripe decals, Untamed badges behind the C-pillar window, interior leather in Highland Green, and blue accents on the interior dashboard.



In short, all the additions are exclusive but also purely aesthetic. Momentum Grey appears chic and modern, like a brighter and more vibrant Nardo Grey, and the green interior leather is subtle and unique. But there are no changes to the chassis or powertrain, meaning it’s the same Countryman S bones but the premium means you will definitely stand out from the other MINIs on the road. Given MINI’s extensive options list for customization, we’d assume most of these owners rather stand out than blend in.



Underneath the visuals lies an enthusiastic subcompact SUV with the agility of a go-kart. Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder delivering 189 hp and 207 lb-ft, the Countryman S will sprint from 0-100 km/h in a decent 7.3 seconds. It runs that output through an 8-speed automatic and ALL4 all-wheel drive.



The Countryman may be the largest, heaviest and most portly MINI in the range, but it’s still a hoot to whip around at speed, never feeling underpowered or overpowered. There’s enough vigour and spirit to give some straight-line confidence, and turbo lag isn’t too noticeable. There’s plenty of torque in the mid-range when overtaking is required, but it becomes lethargic in the higher range and it runs out of breath fairly quickly. The 8-speed transmission shifts behind the scenes without much fuss and is polished and gentle even when rowing the gears manually via the shifter.



With the raised-up suspension over the regular MINI Cooper, road clearance is never a worry. And despite a heightened center of gravity, the body motions are very well controlled, and the Countryman S stays wonderfully flat when chucked around corners. The Countryman rides really well actually – pockmarked roads are not very intrusive and there’s an overall sense of structural refinement, which we found lacking in prior generation models.



The Countryman hides its weight well, and the magic of its suspension translates that extra heft into just a bit more body roll. The tight and communicative steering keeps you at one with the road, and the sheer amount of grip is impressive. The bane of understeer still shows itself when you push the Countryman S beyond its grip limits, and the brakes aren’t very linear, springy in fact under application, but these factors hardly hinder the excitement you will be having behind the wheel.



The interior is a modern and chic place to spend time in. The boldly round steering wheel is fat and substantial but stylish with thick grips at the 9- and 3-o’clock positions. The new digital instrument cluster brings MINI up to modern standards, but we miss some of that nostalgic character that the analog example brought with it. We yearn for that old, massive, and round speedometer mounted in the middle from classic MINIs as well, but with the BMW and Rolls-Royce overlords ditching everything for digital real estate, I guess it was only a matter of time. The driver’s screen still moves up and down with the steering column, and the large fonts and crisp graphics make it easy to read.


The Countryman sits at the perfect height for most people to find ingress and egress effortless. You won’t have to bend down to crawl into the cabin like you would a MINI Cooper, but you won’t have to climb up like you would a BMW X5. Interior space is its strong suit, with a vast array of storage cubbies and pockets for small items. Though my knees do slightly grace the front seatback (which has a dedicated alcove that creates some extra room for the knees), headroom and space to wiggle around are quite impressive for the Countryman’s small stature. The rear seats have the ability to slide fore and aft, and are foldable too, allowing you to pull the seats flat for extra cargo space. A rear center armrest is optional too.



Special edition or not, the MINI Countryman S is a customizable and unique vehicle that hides its agility and fun personality under a layer of practicality and five-seater capability. The exclusive grey paint and green leather of the Untamed Edition add exclusivity but we don’t think it’s needed or required to fully enjoy the largest MINI on offer.


Photo Gallery:









Model: 2024 MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 Untamed Edition

Paint Type: Momentum Grey
Base Price: $44,190

Price as Tested: $50,490
Wheelbase(mm): 2,670
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,314 / 1,822 / 1,557

Curb weight (kg): 1,665
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Horsepower: 189 hp @ 5,000 - 6,000 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1,350 - 4,600 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD





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