First Drive: Mini Cooper S E Countryman

The Mini Cooper S E Countryman has arrived in all its electric-hybrid splendor. With high mpg figures mixed with traditional Mini capabilities, we take a look at this economy-focused hatchback.
What is it?

Diesel cars have been featured heavily in the news recently, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s therefore understandable why manufacturers are bringing more alternatively fuelled options to market.

Here we have Mini’s offering – the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. Under the bonnet lies a three-cylinder petrol engine coupled to an electric motor. It is capable of a claimed 134.5mpg and can run on all-electric power for 25 miles at speeds of up to 78mph. It’s a car for those who want to keep running costs down, then, and all for a smidge under £30,000.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s three-cylinder petrol engine – coupled to an electric motor mounted underneath the boot floor – works alongside a large lithium-ion battery. This produces 220bhp and 385Nm of torque.

The power from the petrol motor is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission, while drive from the electric unit goes to the rear wheels via a two-stage single-speed transmission. Together, they can send the Countryman to 60mph in just 6.5 seconds, and on to a top speed of 123mph.

 What’s the spec like?

The Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is priced at £31,585. However, it qualifies for the government’s plug-in grant of £2,500, giving a sizeable incentive to those who are thinking of buying it. As standard it comes with satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control. Also, because the Mini emits just 52g/km CO2, taxation costs are much more affordable than some of its rivals.

As always, there’s a sizeable optional extras list on the Countryman, with highlights such as wireless telephone charging and a larger satellite navigation screen improving the car’s overall feel, but adding considerably to its price.


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