Thursday, December 1, 2022
Reviews 2022 MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 Review: A Rare PHEV No Brainer

2022 MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 Review: A Rare PHEV No Brainer

The 2022 MINI Cooper SE Countryman is more powerful and efficient than the Cooper S Countryman


  • Pricing for the 2022 MINI Cooper S Countryman starts at $43,190 in Canada.

  • The Cooper SE Countryman plug-in hybrid technology is only about $2,000 more.

  • This is a rare case where not opting for the PHEV version makes little sense.


It looks as though 2022 is the year that plug-in hybrid vehicles will win me over, if barely. Of the ones I’ll have driven this year, the 2022 MINI Cooper SE Countryman All 4 will turn out to be the easiest one to appreciate thanks to its pricing and packaging.

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

The summarize as best as possible how I’ve felt about PHEVs for the last few years, I’d say they represent little more than an expensive and burdened compromise. Over the years and the dozen or so PHEVs I’ve reviewed, only once, up until now, did it make more financial sense to select the plug-in version over the lesser one, and that car was the Toyota Prius Prime. With the Federal and Provincial (Quebec, in my case), the premium for the technology is reimbursed and then some.


Limited range, but it doesn’t matter

This is the exact case with the 2022 MINI Cooper SE Countryman. If you’re considering the Cooper S Countryman, selecting the SE will set you back $1,800 but will offset by the $2,500 Federal kickback. Then you add the provincial credit and fuel is covered for a few years.

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

As such, the “expensive” portion of my issues with PHEVs is out. Burdened compromise relates entirely to what makes a PHEV and that’s the battery. The SE Countryman carries a small 7.2kWh unit that, for one, weighs in at about 270lbs, and two, provides the MINI with up to 29km of EV range. In my real-world testing, 25km is what you’ll get in ideal driving conditions. If you buy this solely to cover your 20km daily commute to work, you’ll just barely make it for six months out of the year. For the other six, petrol will be involved. Thankfully, the MINI allows the driver to lock out the battery, or save the battery’s range, which can be very useful before jumping on the highway.


More power than an S

But frankly, it doesn’t really matter. The MINI Cooper SE Countryman’s turbocharged 1.5L 3-cylinder engine (same as in non-S models) produces 134hp. It is coupled to an 87hp eDrive electric motor that together, belch out 221hp and a happy helping of 284 lb-ft of torque. These numbers cast a huge shadow on the S’ 189hp and 206 torques. It’s no surprise then that it bests the S to 100km/h by more than a half-second or about 6.8 seconds.

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

And then there’s the fact that the SE is a hybrid and despite the extra weight, is still more fuel efficient than the S. The latter is rated to return a consumption average of about 6.5L/100km while the SE’s average is rated at about 2L/100km. In the real world, it works out to roughly three times that amount while the last S I drove some years managed to consume over 8L/100km.

The driving experience goes either, depending on your expectations. If you’re looking for real MINI fun, it’s not here – consider a Cooper 3-door. Otherwise, the Cooper SE Countryman behaves like a small 4,000-lbs SUV with MINI characteristics. It’s still relatively nimble, and zippy with decent steering response and braking power. It’s not however tossable like a mini MINI.


So MINI

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

MINI has one of the most unique design languages in the car business. Although it’s literally been stretched to its limits over the last 15 years or so, a MINI is always instantly recognizable. The Countryman has always adhered to the MINI look despite it taking proportions to the extremes.

Even so, the Countryman is very handsome. Painted British Racing green 4, the handsome turns to stunning. And in true MINI fashion, there are loads of easter eggs as well as plenty of accents such as faux skid plates, rocker extensions, and raised roof rails.

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

The cabin follows the same program as every detail is also all MINI. Despite being the largest vehicle from the brand, it’s still relatively snug overall. The boot is good for an average Costco run while the second row can handle two baby seats, or two adults, just. Up front, the occupants get supportive seats, and a decent amount of room, and are faced with a unique dashboard.

Highlights are numerous and include the ultra-cool toggle switches to start the car, work the drive modes, and stability control. The 8.8-inch touchscreen however is compromised by the circular housing it’s in. The display is narrow, and the menus are convoluted, at best – not the best infotainment experience.


MINI PHEV

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

The bottom line here is that there’s really no reason not to opt for the MINI Cooper SE Countryman, especially if the Cooper S Countryman is a target. In fact, even a base Countryman, at $37,990, makes little sense once the incentives are applied to the SE’s price.

Among other small premium PHEV SUVs such as the Lexus NX450h+ and the Lincoln Corsair Grand Touring, the Cooper SE Countryman is among the least expensive due to its very limited EV range. Up to you to decide what you need, also, how long you’re willing to wait for your new PHEV.

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

2022 Mini Countryman All4 SE | Photo: Mat St-Pierre

Trending Now

Ford and Lincoln will be Absent from Every Canadian Car Show in 2023

The automaker mentions the fast pace of changes in the automotive industry to justify its decision. Car shows have been declining in popularity...

The first Electric BMW M Model Could be the iX M

A trademark for the name was uncovered. The iX is currently offered in M60 spec, with 610 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. ...

The degradation of batteries is concerning in the UK

When the battery capacity reaches 80 %, its life cycle is near its useful cycle. Battery degradation varies from car models. EV owners...

Ford Recalls 634,000 Bronco Sport, Escape Models over Fire Risk

Cracked injectors could lead to fire Fix involves new software, drain tube Ford is recalling more than 634,000 Bronco Sport and Ford Escape models...

51.4% of Canadians Prefer an EV Over an ICE for Their Next Vehicle

The biggest hurdle remains pricing. Only 33.8% of Americans prefer the idea of an EV over a traditional ICE vehicle. A recent survey of...
Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.