Mini, which has been around since the 60s, is most recognised for the fun and engaging driving experience and classic design aesthetic that come with its iconic bijou cars. The brand upholds that driving and design philosophy even today, with the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-In Hybrid. The Mini Countryman is unique, however, as the largest Mini to have ever come from the brand. Under its hood is a 224-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine with a 9.6 kWh electric motor.
Unfortunately, this setup only provides the 5-door subcompact crossover with a meager 16 miles of EV-only driving range and barely decent gas-car-level fuel mileage returns. As a subcompact vehicle, the Countryman PHEV crossover has a confined cabin, however, the rear seats are surprisingly spacious and the trunk reasonably practical. The crossover SUV and PHEV classes demand a whole lot, however, and alternatives such as the Toyota Rav4 Prime and many others simply shrug at the Countryman PHEVs existence.
For the 2021 model year, Mini has given the Countryman Plug-In Hybrid SUV a mild facelift comprising revised headlights, a redesigned front grille and bumper, and union-jack tail light designs all giving the subcompact CUV a more distinct aesthetic. There are now also piano-black exterior accents that can be optioned on to replace the chrome accents, two new exterior color options, and various new wheel designs. The Countryman PHEV's cabin also receives some updates, including a redesigned infotainment system housing. The cabin can also be customized with a new digital driver instrument cluster, which is mounted to the steering column, new dash and door panel styling and materials, and new seating upholstery.
See trim levels and configurations:
|Cooper SE ALL4||
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Plug-in Hybrid
The second-generation Countryman PHEV debuted in 2017 and has been utilizing the same turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-3 gas engine since. Mini did improve the powertrain's performance slightly in 2020, however, with the addition of a larger 9.6 kWh battery pack that replaced the 7.7 kWh unit. The 224 hp is ample power for the subcompact runabout, making it feel rather enthusiastic around town. Outputs are sent to the Countryman PHEV's ALL4 all-wheel drivetrain via a 6-speed automatic transmission. Mini claims charging the Countryman Plug-In Hybrid from empty to 100% will take around seven hours on a standard 120-volt household outlet. As with many electric hybrids, the Mini PHEV has no official towing capacity rating.
If you're a fan of the enjoyable and apt driving dynamics and the iconic designs of the bijou cars Mini produces, and you just so happen to have a small family you regularly commute with, then the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman PHEV may be a good choice for you. In the general sense, however, the Countryman PHEV is just not a class-leading, or class-middling for this matter, PHEV or SUV. There are too many more competent PHEV SUVs at the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-in Hybrid SUV's price. Yes, you likely won't find the quirky design in other cars that Mini carries both in and outside, its contemporary, distinct, and high-grade cabin being a bespoke quality, but you'll definitely be able to find cars in the US that are just as pleasant to drive, more economical, and a lot more practical, even at lower price points. Mediocre crashworthiness ratings and reliability expectations, plus a relatively short list of advanced driver-assist features, also don't inspire much confidence. Inevitably, if you're a Mini devotee, you'll probably like the 2021 Countryman Plug-In Hybrid, especially with all its new cosmetic options, but if you're looking for a leading PHEV SUV, you'll want to keep searching.
We review the 2021 Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-In Hybrid as a standalone model, as it is sold with just the one powertrain and is specced as a top-tier trim. As a Mini fan, and if the base $41,500 MSRP doesn't phase you, then you may appreciate some of the new cosmetics such as the piano-black exterior accents, which actually also go quite well with the new White Silver exterior paint option. The Iconic sub-trim helps to fill some of the gaps with a parking assistant and power front seats, and if you're willing to spend so much in the name of style and fun, a few thousand dollars more shouldn't dissuade you.
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