The Mini Cooper Countryman hybrid hasn't exactly stayed true to its roots. Back in the day, the Mini was an affordable city car that afforded working-class people worldwide the privilege of personal mobility. These days, Mini builds ultra-niche luxury vehicles for people going through a serious identity crisis and this Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-in Hybrid is a perfect example of that. It's a subcompact luxury crossover with nothing in common with the original car and costs twice as much as your entry-level hatchback, but most people have come to expect higher prices from this brand, and see it as a lifestyle investment. Despite the costs involved and its odd looks, the Mini Cooper Countryman PHEV is a capable family transporter, and never feels too out of breath thanks to a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-3 gas engine and electric motor with a total combined power output of 221 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, the Mini is comfortably quicker than some other hybrid crossovers like the Lexus UX hybrid, getting from 0-60 in under seven seconds, although the Countryman is much pricier. Can short trips running on only electric power and more interior space qualify this Mini as a sensible purchase? Let's find out.
Mini has decided to make a few new changes for the 2022 model year in the USA. All models now come standard with LED headlights, a free 12-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, a digital instrument cluster, and lane departure warning. The good news for prospective buyers is that there has been no price increase for the 2022 model year. Mechanically, there are no changes, meaning that the hybrid powertrain with 221 hp and all-wheel-drive system remain the same.
See trim levels and configurations:
|Cooper SE ALL4||
1.5L Turbo Inline-3 Plug-in Hybrid
Mini and parent company BMW know precisely what they are doing. The original retro Mini was well executed, but the brand would have faced another die-off if models such as the Countryman hadn't been introduced; after all, if you don't offer some sort of crossover or SUV in this day and age, are you really even trying to compete? Mini has finally started selling an all-electric vehicle, but the hybrid market is still booming, and the Cooper Countryman hybrid SUV is the most practical car the company offers. From the outside, this thing looks like a bloated and amorphous tribute to the original. At least Mini gives you the option of camouflaging it in all kinds of colors and decals. On the road, it's not the most entertaining or comfortable Mini to drive, but at least it's not dead slow, and will do the 0-60 mph sprint in under seven seconds thanks to the 1.5L engine and electric motor. Unfortunately, it fails to return truly class-competitive gas-mileage figures. The interior has a premium feel, but we could do with some more features at the price. This is as far as you can get from the original car while retaining the same brand name.
The 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman plug-in hybrid, known also as the Cooper SE ALL4, comes in two sub-trim levels, namely the Signature trim, and the Iconic trim. The crossover carries an MSRP of $41,500 in Signature guise, excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $850, and goes up to $45,400 for the Iconic sub-trim. Both configurations can achieve 29 mpg or 73 MPGe combined, and they also qualify for a federal tax credit of just over $5,000.
By comparison, the much tougher 2021 Subaru Crosstrek hybrid will cost you only $35,345 and the 2021 Lexus UX hybrid begins at a similar $35,200. There aren't many options available on the top Iconic trim so you won't spend much more than $48,000 on a fully loaded Countryman PHEV including destination.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Mini Cooper Countryman Plug-in Hybrid: