Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Exclusive 2020 review


26.09.2020 19:40

Mini Countryman Cooper S E All4 Exclusive 2020 review

What is it?

Its funny, isnt it? The Mini Countryman has been around since 2010 and we know that Minis arent mini any more, but when you park up somewhere in deepest Hesse, mid-west Germany, and someone perks up with an honest comment of Thats part Mini and part tank, you do wonder about just how far the brand is pushing the envelope.

Or perhaps that comment merely reflects the somewhat aggressive looks of this facelifted Countryman, which wears its restyled bumpers, grille and de-chromed brightwork like a young tyke looking for trouble. What's it like?

It looks pretty sporty, doesnt it? And the minute you flick it left or right into the first bend you come across, you find yourself thinking: Christ, thats quick steering for a small crossover. But the Countryman is like one of those celebrity impersonators you can hire for parties, who look the part but lack bona fide personality, because you dont feel at ease driving it spiritedly.

Yes, the steering is alert, but theres no heft building as you wind on lock, you never really gel with what the front wheels are up to, and end up making numerous little corrections to get you around every corner. In the Ford Puma, all youd need is one clean sweep of the wheel, such is the beauty of its steering.

The Countrymans tight body control and decent grip do let you carry good speed along a twisting B-road, though, and its well balanced: if the nose starts pushing wide because youve barrelled in with excessive enthusiasm, itll tighten its line neatly if you lift off the accelerator. Should I buy one?

The question of whether to buy a Mini Countryman or not can be looked at two ways. There are better all-round cars for the money, so, firstly, you need to ask yourself: how much do I want a plug-in hybrid?

The Puma is much more fun to drive, the T-Roc more comfortable, and both are far, far cheaper to buy. But, if you do want a PHEV, perhaps because youre a company car driver and want the tax breaks, ask yourself: how much do I want a premium badge? You could have the much larger Kia Niro PHEV for similar money, or the Renault Captur E-Tech will lower your benefit-in-kind tax burden even further.

If you can dismiss both those points with I just love the look of the Countryman and its swanky interior, then fill your boots, because its a decent thing.

Technical specs Model tested: Countryman Cooper S E All4 Exclusive Price: ?35,280 Engine: 3 cyls, 1499cc, turbocharged, petrol, plus electric motor Transmission: 6-spd dual-clutch automatic Model tested Countryman Cooper S E All4 Exclusive Price ?35,280 Engine 3 cyls, 1499cc, turbocharged, petrol, plus electric motor View all specs and rivals Transmission 6-spd dual-clutch automatic Power 217bhp (combined) 0-62mph 6.8sec Top speed 123mph Battery size 9.6kWh (gross) Fuel economy 166.2mpg CO2 39g/km Electric range 30 miles BIK tax band 12% Rivals Kia Niro PHEV Renault Captur E-Tech Power 217bhp (combined) 0-62mph 6.8sec Top speed 123mph Battery size 9.6kWh (gross) Fuel economy 166.2mpg CO2 39g/km Electric range 30 miles BIK tax band 12% Rivals Kia Niro PHEV Renault Captur E-Tech Advertisement Share review Are you as passionate about cars as we are? Get all the best car news, reviews and opinion direct to your inbox. Subscribe to the Autocar newsletter now. Haymarket Media Group, publishers of Autocar takes your privacy seriously. You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe mechanism on any email you receive from us. We will use your information to ensure you receive messages that are relevant to you. To learn more about how we use the information you provide to us please see our Full Privacy Notice. Join the debate Comments 2

pigface mini countryman phev road test. 23 September 2020

@John Howell

"but there\'s no heft building as you wind on lock", "like a young tyke looking for trouble"

Crikey, what an absolute load of tosh. Almost as ridiculous as Andrew Frankel\'s silly road tests of yore.

And it\'s boot not trunk, or is that a young hack looking to be cool.



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