Ironically, among plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), the extroverted Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is a wallflower. Blame its impossible-to-remember name, its extremely limited electric driving range, or even Mini’s scattershot attempt to transition from a youthful and fun brand to a serious and premium brand. Of course, the Countryman Plug-in’s price tag doesn’t help.
Now, the 2020 Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 gets improvements that might help it to power out of the shadows. And, from now on, let’s call it the Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid, since that’s what you’re Googling or asking Alexa, anyway.
Changes to the 2020 Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid include:
- More battery capacity, increasing from 7.6 kWh to 9.6 kWh
- Added electric driving range, from 12 miles to 16 miles
- A higher federal income tax credit, expected to rise from $4,001 to $4,835
- Extra standard equipment, and a new optional leather upholstery
- Base price jumps by $1,000 to $37,900
Extra Standard Equipment Justifies Higher Price
That price increase effectively gobbles up the higher federal income tax credit, and then some. And don’t forget that the Countryman PHEV’s base price is for Classic trim, which is offered in a handful of colors and with few of the options that make personalizing a Mini so much fun.
New for 2020, though, Classic trim includes Mini Active Driving Assistant, a suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlight activation, and a speed limit information system. Additionally, LED headlights and fog lights are standard for the 2020 model year, and a new side mirror design is claimed to improve aerodynamics.
Upgrade to Signature or Iconic trim, and the Countryman Plug-in Hybrid costs over $40,000 before you start checking the many option boxes. Add all of the extras, and an Iconic trim version of this PHEV will run close to $50,000 before the tax credit and any state or local rebates and incentives.
Few Interior Changes to 2020 Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid
Inside, the 2020 Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid’s interior is pretty much the same as last year. You can’t get Carbon Black Cord cloth and leather upholstery anymore, and Satellite Gray Chesterfield-style leather replaces the Lounge-style leather in the same hue.
Once the remaining range display drops from 16 miles to zero, don’t worry. The Mini Countryman Plug-in Hybrid’s turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine and 9.5-gallon fuel tank are ready to keep the party going. Together, the gas and electric motors make 221 horsepower and 284 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to accelerate this crossover SUV to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.
Perfect for electric driving in cities and efficient driving on highways, the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is a uniquely expressive way to dabble with EV ownership.
But this experimentation won’t come cheaply.