After taking the MINI Cooper Countryman S E All4 plug-in hybrid back to BMW, I must confess I didn’t really miss it. It’s not without qualities, but the more I drove it, the more I just wished it was the Cooper Countryman S, with the 2-liter engine and only front-wheel drive.
This feeling partly stems from the fact that I didn’t have easy access to charging (and I also got the car with the battery only half full), so I didn’t really benefit much from the electrified powertrain. While the battery still had juice in it, the car was averaging around 3.5 l/100km in the city, but as it ran out, that quickly climbed and stabilized around 8.4 l/100km.
That’s probably more or about on par with what the 2-liter Cooper Countryman S could have mustered, and that model feels lighter on its feet and it also sounds better when you’re revving out the engine. So basically, I wasn’t especially fond of the PHEV part of the package, even though the car itself was quite likable - check out my video review of it for a more in-depth look.
Gallery: 2019 MINI Cooper Countryman S E All4 Plug-In Hybrid
And now on to answering our readers’ questions about the Countryman PHEV.
“What is the 0-100 km/h acceleration time on EV power alone? With some PHEVs forcing the gas engine on, is it even possible to do this?”
Yes, it is possible. The Countryman PHEV can be driven up to 131 km/h (81 mph) in pure-electric mode. Regarding the acceleration time, you can see my actual run in the video, and I timed to to roughly 14 seconds from naught to 100 km/h (62 mph).
“Can it provide heat to the interior without starting the engine? If so, down to what temperature?”
Yes, it can provide heat without starting up the engine. You can even precondition it to start itself up at a particular time and have both the cabin and batteries warmed up before you set off, preferably while the car is still plugged in and charging.
“Why conceive of such an imbalanced car, why design it, why build it?”
Well, what I can say after driving the car is that it makes sense to buy it only if you have a home wall box and/or a plentiful selection of chargers in your area. Otherwise, its extra weight, complexity and slight reduction in cargo volume make it less desirable than the regular Cooper S model for most buyers.