We currently have a plugin MINI Countryman on loan (technically it’s an “F60 MINI Cooper S E ALL4 PHEV Countryman AUTO” but that’s too much of a mouthful) and I was lucky enough to get the first go with it last night. What’s special about this MINI is that it has a conventional petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor and battery driving the rear wheels.
This means it can drive entirely on electricity for up to about 20 miles and then go over to petrol for longer journeys (300 miles or so). Also, it can act as a hybrid like a Prius to get good economy. Finally, the drive layout means it can be used in four wheel drive mode – very useful in rain and snow.
I drove it home, had use of it for the evening, and drove it back to the office today.
The first thing that struck me when I was it was the size – this is not a small car! Having grown up with the original Mini (my Dad had a series of them) I was surprised just how big the new MINI Countryman is.
It is intended, of course, for families with children so its size shouldn’t be a surprise. The upside is that it has a lot of interior space and feels very roomy.
In fact, I took a number of passengers in the back and they all remarked on how much space there was, and in particular its high ceiling.
It also has a pretty big boot.