MotoringFile is Testing the New MINI Countryman S E Hybrid – What Do You Want to Know?

We’ve got the new MINI Countryman S E Hybrid for the next week and want you to come along for the ride. So let us know what you’d like to know about the car and what You’d like us to test.

To recap this is the brand’s first ever plug-in hybrid model and a look into the future of MINI hybrids.

  • High-quality BMW Group eDrive components, configured to suit this specific model, that draw on expertise gained from the development of BMW iPerformance automobiles
  • Tue Countryman S E drivetrain is not far off from the i8s drivetrain – it’s just turned backwards.
  • 3-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor combine to produce a total system output of 221 hp.
  • Electric driving at speeds of up to 77 mph with a range of up to 24 miles*.
  • Novel driving experience due to the electrified all-wheel drive system ALL4.
  • Three operating modes available for selection via eDrive toggle switch. Hybrid-specific displays.

    1) How seamless is the transition from gas to electric and back? 2) Is there throttle delay before accelerating? 3) How is it on the turns vs the non hybrid, is a weight difference noticeable? 4) What is the actual real world electric range in testing?

  • Pedro Alicea

    I’ve averaged 13 miles of all electric max. The overall efficiency with 507 miles driven is 29.6mpg, these are real numbers. There is no way to precondition the battery/cabin or monitor start/stop charging from the app like you can do on the iPerformance BMW cars or the i3/i8. If you are looking at a unique vehicle and efficiency is not the priority then this is a great choice given the All4 system and the torque. If what you want is the best efficiency/electric range wait until the next generation. Best bet is to wait 2-3 years and grab one of these at 50% off and Certified.

  • ????? ????? ????????

    When you drive the car in All Electric Mode, can you start the A/C if it hot outside? And if it is cold outside, can you turn on the heat, again without the gasoline engine? And if yes, how does this affect the range? Thank you

  • Oli Mortimer

    Performance with the electric motor is supposed to be close to the JCW, however what is the performance like when only running on the petrol engine? Ie 0-60 acceleration when electric has run out.

    • Greg

      And I want to know electric-only 0-30 and 0-60 performance.

      • Just got it. Quick answer is slow and slower (coming from a JCW Clubman).

  • Nick Dawson

    I look forward to the answers from MF with interest. In the meantime, the following link might provide some answers now.

  • karrock

    How are the MPGs if you don’t plug it in and treat it like a standard hybrid? My daily commute is 30 miles in each direction and I don’t currently have the capability to plug in at home (townhouse, no garage) or work (ChargePoints installed but they’re not activated).

    • That’ll be interesting to figure out because it’s constantly recharging the battery (to minimum amount) which positively affects MPG.

      • karrock

        Oh, I don’t mind if it’s performing regenerative charging. It’s the plug that I may not be able to use.

        • So far it’s definitely clear to me that there’s a benefit to normal driving even when you don’t plug it in. The question would be – is the premium worth it if you aren’t leveraging the plug daily.

        • karrock

          Exactly. $5K or so for hybrid privileges. And a much smaller gas tank.

    • David Carr

      To get the best use the computer to program the commute and set to green. The Countryman will compute the best route to maximise MPG. The benefit of the battery full charged is initial start and urban areas. I am averaging 88mpg British winter with range of 18miles as the car is pre heated. Summer I averaged 105MPG with a 22 miles range. I calculate on miles covered again refill. The computer only does 99.99MPG. Note the electric range recalculates on a 20mile cycle and it will engage the engine at 6percent. Also it will show zero when you have around 2 miles left. I have used the engine only mode only to build battery MPG will reduce to 65MPG. So better than the 1.5 cooper but not as good as plug-in. I would pressure your work to get the charger sorted that would help on the return journey and look at home charging options assuming you park next to your home off road. In uk chargemaster (polar) is the lead supplier for the car companies including BMW and have options for external home chargers

  • Reuben Herries

    No questions here, I drove one home last night and am sold by it. But… did you know… we had a timed slalom ‘race’ on track in a JCW Clubman and the Countryman Cooper SE All4, the fastest time of the day was in the Countryman?! and you basically cannot run them out of battery in terms of E-boost and All4 ability!! so so amazing. ==> Everyone needs to try one! <==

  • David Carr

    I will be interested in the electric mileage you find and associated MPG. The reports I have seen from the USA and Canada are quoting 12 miles electric and 65 to 70 MGP. This is below my experience and the figures quoted in Europe by sensible publication from Autocar, EVO etc.

    • Charles

      The European test cycle for mileage is far less challenging than the US EPA test cycle. It’s quite typical for the same car to have a much higher mileage rating in Europe than the US. I believe that this car was officially rated for 25 miles (about 40 km) electric-only range in Europe — and Mini advertised that number. But if you read forum comments in UK, you’ll see that real users are saying no one’s gotten above 16 miles and many less than that. Unfortunately, some of the lazier UK publications simply quoted the official mileage number in their articles. The US EPA number of 12 miles seems realistic.

      • David Carr

        I am achieving 18miles full electric presently’ which is consistent with a bmw engineer quote of 15 to 18 miles driving Munch all conditions. However on trips I charge at home and publicly to maximise the performance as the computer cycles every 20 miles. We have just had an unusually cold spell for the UK with temperatures down to -7 over night and 0 to -2 in day the ranged reduced to 16miles considering full heater, lights and seat heater were on. However this is nothing in comparison to North America and Canada winters

  • Scott G

    I’m curious how the hybrid will fare in Chicago winter weather temps.

  • Charles

    Your model doesn’t by any chance have “Active Driving Assistant” (what everyone else calls Adaptive Cruise Control)? I’d be interested in how well it performs, but I’ve been told by a Mini dealer that it’s only available via a custom order — none of the Minis on dealer lots have it.

    • Nope. In fact it may surprise you but I have personally never seen a singe MINI with that option in my life. I’ve wanted to test it for years.

      • Rodney Comegys

        I have it on mine. Welcome to try it if you are in the pzhilly area. It is outstanding in how it works!

        • Thanks Rodney. I’ve had the chance to test it on various BMWs and I loved it. I wish MINI would make it more financially accessible and thus readily available.

        • Rodney Comegys

          Would agree completely – the custom order was the only way that I could get it! It is hard to understand why it isn’t included as a great safety feature and the lack of blind spot monitoring is pathetic too!

          FYI – have had my SE PHEV for about 1000 miles – glad to give you any input if you need it for your review. Real world – am averaging 58.5 MPG with a 12 mile commute to work and am lucky that can charge on both ends.

          While you are right that the car can’t compete with the JCW, I still think in sport mode, it can move and I have had a good bit of fun with it on the country roads on weekends. Also found it (with winter tires) to be a beast in snow!

  • Charles

    Here’s a question I’ve been thinking about — the electric motor is only connected to the rear wheels. Does this mean that it can only capture energy from re-gen braking on the rear wheels? I’m not sure that you can test this yourselves, but it might be a question to ask Mini.

    If only the rear wheels are capable of re-gen braking, that would seem to be a problem because on most cars, I believe over 50% of the braking effort is on the front wheels. Perhaps this means that your initial press of the brake on this car starts only with the regen function of the rear wheels, and the front wheels only come into play when you press harder. That you might be able to play with while you’re driving this car.

    • David Carr

      Charles it has a motor generator which also starts the engine in addition to regenerative braking. You may find this of interest. It the rescue document for BMW engineers.pages 18

      • Charles

        Thanks! That’s a really useful document should I come across a burning Countryman S E. :-).

        I guess I should have realized that they’d have the usual over-sized starter motor for re-starting the ICE.

        But what’s this “bonnet” the brochure talks about? Do Mini’s the UK really wear hats?

      • Charles

        I was actually joking about the bonnet thing :-). Believe it or not, most Americans can actually understand UK English. I was flabbergasted some years ago when I discovered that Harry Potter had been translated for the US market — as if it would kill our children to read that Hermione wore a jumper, or a Ford Cortina had a boot. (Although “Philosopher” is a tad bit more confusing).

        But yes, that Tent would be a proper “bonnet” for a car, but they really should have left it at the April’s fools joke.

  • What is the fuel economy when in the worst possible scenario stop-and-go traffic?

    In electric only mode. In hybrid mode. In battery save mode.

    For reference my Cooper 4-door 3 cylinder gets between 18-20mpg.

    • Rodney Comegys

      Electric – infinity till the battery runs out!

      Hybrid stop and go about 40 seems to be about right, so much depends on if you have a full battery, up or down hill and if cold or warm out

      Highway in battery save seems to be around 30 MPH

  • JakPott

    Just got mine a month ago. I love this car!…seamless battery/hybrid transition, great ride, amazing mileage, fun driving performance. My commute is 15 miles round trip with weekend ski trips about an hour away, so this is kind of the perfect car for me. I do plug in every night tho, so as a general hybrid, this may not be the best choice for some people (other than the fact that this is a super cool car!) It would be great if the battery only distance were a little longer, but I do understand the trade off in terms of additional dollars/weight, so am happy with that compromise.