If the battery’s flat, or the car doesn’t think EV power alone will get the car to where it needs to be, a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine can assist proceedings. The two motors generate a combined 217bhp, enough to get you from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds and up to a hefty 122mph. MINI says it’ll do all of that while managing 166mpg and emitting 40g/km CO2.
In its electric-only mode you’ll find yourself travelling at speeds up to 50mph during normal driving, or 83mph in ‘Max E Drive’ mode. If you use the car’s navigation system to get around it’ll feed route data back to the car and let it know whether to use internal combustion engine, pure electric power, or a mix of both to get the best out of the motor on your drive. Of course, if you’re nowhere near a charge point and want to grab some more electricity to whisk you silently through town, the car can recuperate energy from things like coasting and braking.
The MINI’s latest look keeps the hallmarks we all know, and gives the Countryman a fresher face. It’s not quite as aggressive as before, a little more fun instead. The biggest change cosmetically is a set of Union Flag rear lights. They’re not as detailed as the MINI hatch’s rear lamps, but once you clock them you won’t forget them. Inside there’s nothing approaching a sharp edge, as you’d expect from a MINI.
It’s not the most engaging car to drive, but it’ll certainly be entertaining enough for its target market: people who want something a little different from the norm, but still feels suitably high end. The last point is reflected in the price – there are other, cheaper PHEVs out there, but few as charming as the MINI.