Hybrids & Electrics

The Mini Cooper Is Getting Large and in Charge

Yes, you read that correctly. The Mini Cooper is getting bigger. This seems to be the exact opposite of what’s expected for the classic, tiny SUV. That’s because the Mini Cooper Countryman is just too small. 

The Mini Cooper is getting larger 

The name Mini could be dropped from the upcoming larger SUV because the Mini Cooper is getting larger. After decades of maintaining their small yet powerful attitude, they have caved. In order to sell more vehicles in America, they need to grow. 

Mini Cooper driving over a crosswalk
Mini Cooper | Mini Cooper

To increase sales, Mini is planning to go beyond the subcompact vehicle segment by crafting electrified powertrains for each vehicle line. They also want to get in on the growing crossover SUV segment by adding two more SUVs to join the Mini Cooper Countryman. 

According to MotorAuthority, one new Mini will be an EV that is similar in size to the Countryman. The other new Mini will offer gas powertrains as well as an electric-battery option. This new model will also be bigger than the Countryman. 

White-and-red-striped 2020 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works driving through a forest
2020 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works | Mini

To try and stay on-brand, Mini suggests that each vehicle they offer will still have the smallest footprint in every class. So, we don’t expect the new Mini Cooper SUVs to grow by that much in size. 

What to expect for the new Mini Cooper SUVs 

The new smaller Mini will be the first vehicle produced by Spotlight Automotive, a new Chinese joint venture between Mini and Great Wall Motors.

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Spotlight was created in 2019 to assist Mini and Great Wall Motors in developing electric SUVs to sell in China and export markets. But production for the new SUV won’t start until 2023. 

The large Mini will be designed for North America, where we apparently like everything the be bigger. Cough…cough, looking at you, GMC Yukon XL. Development for the larger Mini isn’t expected to begin until 2024. 

One rumor suggests that the new Mini SUV coils share the same rear-wheel-drive-based CLAR platform that the BMW X3 uses. This would allow it to be manufactured in both the United States and China. 

Two MINI Countryman SUVs on display
Two MINI Countryman on display | Dasril Roszandi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Also, the development of two new SUVs goes hand in hand with the development of two new SUVs for the fourth generation Mini Cooper lineup. The first new fourth-generation Mini Cooper will be the signature hardtop. It’s expected to arrive in 2023. 

Is the 2020 Mini Cooper a good SUV? 

Mini Cooper thinks it’s too small for the North American market, but is that true? According to Edmunds, there are other issues to consider. Upon reviewing the 2020 Mini Cooper, their team said the ride could be stiff and choppy, especially with larger wheels. The gas-powered hardtop is also more expensive than rivals. 

The driver's front side view of the 2021 Mini Cooper 1499 GT.
2021 Mini Cooper 1499 GT | Mini

But the classic Mini Cooper is a good SUV, with many positive features to mention. Edmunds noted that it has excellent handling and really grips the road. The engine options provide quickness and a pretty good fuel economy too. 

Plus, the 2020 Mini Cooper has a lot of add-ons to help you easily craft a unique degree of personalization, and the interior is very refined. It’s comfortable and includes tons of standard convenience and driver safety features.