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2017 Mini Cooper Countryman S E ALL4

1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with electrical motor (221 system horsepower; 284 system lb-ft)

Six-speed automated, all-wheel drive

27 mixed, 65 MPGe (EPA Ranking, MPG)

TBA (NRCan Ranking, L/100km)

Base Worth: $36,800 (U.S) / $43,490 (Canada)

As Examined: $40,000 (U.S.) / $52,661.09 (Canada)

Costs embody $850 vacation spot cost in the US and $2,345 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border gear variations, can’t be immediately in contrast.

Mini Coopers are a kind of vehicles that simply begins a debate among the many TTAC employees in our Slack channels. Are they enjoyable to drive or not? Too “cutesy” or no? Is there a spot available in the market for them? Are they overpriced?

I’ve lengthy been of the thoughts that Minis are enjoyable to drive, too costly, and it’s as much as the beholder on the subject of the styling. I additionally suppose there’s a place on the earth for small “metropolis” vehicles – although I’m biased, as I stay within the sort of congested space the place small vehicles thrive.

What I wrestle with is why this Mini must exist. Apart from a cynical try at boosting company gasoline financial system numbers, I don’t see a necessity for an all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid that doesn’t have a lot EV-only vary and doesn’t actually have to be plugged in. After all, in case you don’t plug in, you get a shorter gasoline vary when working on fuel than that of its stablemates.

Sure, you continue to get a Mini, and I disagree with different staffers concerning the styling – I just like the appears, which proceed to hold over the retro theme that honors the unique.

You additionally nonetheless get Mini chassis tuning, which makes the S E Countryman (ugh, what a mouthful) nice to drive. It feels as if the additional weight of all-wheel drive and the PHEV setup takes a few of the edge off, however reflexes stay sharp, at the least in Sport and Mid driving modes. Flick the change to Eco, and it turns into a take a look at of endurance.

2018 Mini Cooper Countryman S E ALL4

That applies to each dealing with and acceleration. Certain, PHEVs are all about saving gasoline, however I can’t see a cause to make use of Eco mode until you’re a hypermiler or on an extended, mild freeway cruise. Talking of lengthy cruises – the Mini is kind of secure on the freeway, regardless of its diminutive dimension.

The hybrid system combines a turbocharged three-cylinder with 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque with an electrical motor (87 horsepower, 122 lb-ft of torque) for a complete of 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. The system pairs with a six-speed automated transmission.

Within the spirit of transparency, I by no means bothered to plug the automotive in – accessing an outlet is a little bit of a ache, and with 270 miles of gas-powered vary accessible, I figured I might spare myself a bit of effort. Factor is, the Mini solely provides up 12 miles of EV-only vary, so what’s the purpose of plugging in? You find yourself with a automotive that loses some gas-only vary for an EV-only vary that’s effectively on the quick facet.

2018 Mini Cooper Countryman S E ALL4

Tech particulars apart, you continue to get the Mini inside expertise, which options cool-looking toggle switches and the by-now acquainted circle-heavy design. It’s comparatively spacious for such a small automotive, with my tall body having no issues getting located. Even in again, passenger room is what I’d name “respectable.” Nevertheless, inside cupboard space is missing.

I’m a kind of of us irritated by infotainment methods that require an excessive amount of menu manipulation for primary duties, and the Countryman is responsible of this. It’s a comparatively straightforward system to make use of, however diving by menus is time-consuming and distracting.

At the very least the automotive is well-equipped, with options comparable to nav, 18-inch wheels, rearview digicam, LED head- and foglights, infotainment, satellite tv for pc radio, heated entrance seats, USB, park-assist, and park-distance management.

The Countryman S E ALL4 isn’t a foul car, however as said above, I simply don’t see the purpose in it. It has a base worth of $36,800 and my tester rang as much as a good $40,000 with choices. Many of the above-listed options have been included, so it was the Metallic Silver paint, the game seats, park help, head-up show, and satellite tv for pc radio, plus $850 for D and D, that introduced the worth up.

2018 Mini Cooper Countryman S E ALL4

Which makes me marvel – who’s paying $40Ok (earlier than any tax credit score – I concede the tax credit score might make it value it for some) for a PHEV that gives much less gasoline vary than a non-PHEV Countryman and simply 12 miles of EV-only vary? To not point out that apart from John Cooper Works fashions, all different Countrymans have a lower cost of entry. Oh, and the PHEV is heavier and loses a little bit of the Mini’s dealing with prowess.

So far as MPGs go, the PHEV model does supply the best mixed determine of all of the Countrymans, but it surely’s just one to four mpg higher than the remainder. Hardly value the additional funding.

Perhaps I’m lacking one thing. However in my guide, paying extra for much less doesn’t make loads of sense, even in case you get a tax credit score.

Don’t get me incorrect – I just like the Mini ethos total. But when it have been me on the dealership, I’d get lost from the plug-in and plunk down my money on the “common” Countryman. That appears the higher deal.

[Images © 2017 Tim Healey/The Truth About Cars]

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