The last MINI I drove a was another All4 Countryman, as you can read here, and it’s fair to say that I wasn’t overly enamoured. Although I concluded by saying that it was a fun and comfortable car to drive, I felt that the interior let it down, for me at least, it felt claustrophobic.
Fast forward almost 2 years and at the SMMT day in Wetherby and Muddy Madam wanted to go out in the Cooper ALL4 PHEV Countryman. Dragging my feet and huffing like a child in a supermarket, I begrudgingly went along, and I’m really glad I did because wow, it didn’t half make me smile!
MINI reckons that 90% of its buyers drive only 30-40 miles per day, making it a compelling choice, with undeniable appeal, for town folk who want emissions-free driving in a crossover. Fully charged, and with gentle right foot, you’ll get to 26 miles before the turbo-charged 1.5ltr 3-cylinder engine kicks it, and when it does, coupled to the 87bhp electric motor, it gives the MINI a surprising turn of pace.
On the straight the Countryman was wonderfully smooth and quiet, then taking it along a bouncy country lane, with plenty of twists and turns, it turned into a sports car that handled everything I threw at it. I think the extra weight of the battery helps to make it more stable.
Inside there are new displays in the infotainment system to show what the hybrid system is up to and a few yellow trim highlights, overall it looks better.
With emissions of just 49g/km the ALL4 falls into the lowest Benefit in Kind company car tax bracket at 9%, and with a base price of £31k the MINI’s lower list price ensures it escapes the £310 road tax surcharge for cars costing over £40,000.
With Muddy Madam insisting she did the majority of the driving, my 'mini' experience (snigger) was quite enjoyable. I can see a week long loan appearing very soon, so watch this space.