Review: MINI Countryman S PHEV

Written by

Lewis Morgan

Posted on

August 14, 2019

As the first plug-in hybrid MINI, the pressure was on for the Countryman S to impress.

And it did.

I had the MINI for a week to see what it’s like as an everyday car, so it was used for a long commute as well as a few trips around town.

The 1.5 litre petrol engine is accompanied by an electric motor that takes the MINI from 0-62 in 6.9 seconds – earning itself that ‘S’ badge.

For the eagle eyed, you may have also spotted the “All4” badge. The badge represents the Countryman’s version of four-wheel drive, which is a petrol engine powering the front wheels and the electric motor powering the rears.

This setup helps put the power down to make that 6.9s 0-62, but can it handle it through the bends? Yes, it can. I was certainly surprised by the nimble handling of the Countryman., the suspension is quite stiff meaning it stays planted through the bends, but it also means that the ride is somewhat uncomfortable on an uneven and bumpy surface.

Practically wise, the car is certainly suitable for families. There’s plenty of space in the back, with the seats split 40:20:40. The 405-litre boot as well as the roof rails provide plenty of storage opportunity

Range and costs

On a full charge, the MINI is advertised to be capable of an electric-only drive of 25 miles. However, multiple reviews online state that nobody has been capable of that and the average seems to be around 17 miles. I managed to get 19 miles but not once going over 50mph.

The fuel tank is also rather small at only 36 litres and with a fuel-only economy of 35MPG you could be visiting petrol stations quite often if you do a lot of long journeys.

Charging takes around 3 hours from a normal domestic socket, or around 2 hours from a 7kW charger.

[Buy your EV cable here with a 5 year warranty]

The MINI isn’t the most affordable car to purchase, and with optional extras the price can go over £40,000. Road tax is £135 a year but £320 a year if pushed over the £40,000 price.

It does however, benefit from free access to the London Congestion Charge Zone!

Verdict

Overall, I believe the Countryman is a great car. The speed, handling and appearance are all great however it is let down slightly by the electric range but that will only be a concern of the car is mostly used for long journeys.

The Countryman makes a great company car due to its performance, comfort and general appearance – it’s just a shame that it misses out on the lower company car tax band.

Priced at £31,895 – I’d say the car is good value for money.

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