Our Cars: MINI Countryman PHEV

28 November 2017: 1,000-mile(ish) report: this MINI makes sense, somehow

The Details

Current mileage 1121
Claimed economy 134.5mpg
Actual economy 62.2mpg

It’s been a few weeks with our expensive part-electric BIG MINI and it’s working out just dandy. It’s working out that way because it’s largely being used for the 20-odd-mile round trip to Mrs. Nichol’s place of work, which is just a little more than the range of the battery.

In the last update I postured that if BIG MINI could match the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s Real MPG performance – 58% of its claimed average economy among drivers – that would be excellent. It would mean we’d get 78mpg.

We’re not getting that, but we are getting more than 60mpg and we’re pretty pleased. Our happiness comes with a significant caveat though because, again, BIG MINI isn’t really doing much more than that short-ish round trip. Usually, the battery runs out 4-5 miles before getting home. Ergo, 4-5 miles of fuel use per day.

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            Imagine having these three in your MINI Countryman at all times. That's MINI PHEV life. 

And the plugging it in bit doesn’t really mater either, because it then ends up parked outside the house for the evening so it can fully charge for the next day. The upshot is, we’re rarely dipping into the tank and the MINI is making a lot of sense for us. I can see already, though, that life with it won’t remain this simple.

And actually, when you think about how few miles we’re doing, 62mpg isn’t that clever. I suppose that’s what happens when a three-cylinder petrol motor is dragging along 1735kg (plus me and that) on its own. For comparison, the BIG MINI Cooper, sans electric gubbins, weighs 1440kg. That’s 650lbs-odd extra in old money – three wrestlers in the car, at all times, in other words. 

In conclusion then, so far so good, but I’m not convinced it’ll stay that way once BIG MINI’s remit expands a bit.

« Earlier: Our big MINI PHEV: what's it all about?     Later: Drive modes in different area codes »

Updates
An unexpected late night knock at the door starts the latest chapter in the MINI's odd behaviour…
In cold statistical terms, BIG MINI works very well for some and not so for others - but there's joy for all in the cabin.
Our Countryman isn't giving us anywhere near its claimed mpg - obviously - but what if you're a company car driver?
As the temperature drops so too does the MINI's battery range, and so too does overall fuel economy...
Our Countryman PHEV isn't giving us anywhere near the economy it should be. It's getting frustrating.
We've established that BIG MINI electric is fun to drive, but unfortunately it's also a very flawed long distance car.
We've had our big hybrid MINI for a while now, so if you're after a road test, here's the first half of one.
The hybrid Countryman is part zero-emissions car, part hybrid hot hatch, depending where you are...
28 November 2017: 1,000-mile(ish) report: this MINI makes sense, somehow
The first few weeks toing and froing with our big plug-in MINI is bringing much frugal enjoyment.
The MINI Countryman plug-in has a complicated and intriguing drivetrain. Here's the crack.
Our big plug-in MINI has arrived. It's confusing and exciting in equal measure. Mark explains all...
 

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