2018 Mini Countryman S E Hybrid: Monthly Update for June 2018
by Dan Frio, Staff Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
After a month of "All Brent, All the Time," in which our 2018 Mini Cooper Countryman S E Hybrid spent the bulk of May at our Central California office with editor Brent Romans (and racked up many miles with two road trips and lots of local driving), we tried something different with the Mini in June: We made it an all-gasoline month.
That meant no recharging in the Edmunds HQ garage or at home. Just driving solely on the Mini's tiny 9.5-gallon fuel tank, which meant plenty of trips to the pump. Our driving was limited to local trips and office commuting, and we were pleasantly surprised by the results.
We also formed a few more impressions of the Mini's cargo utility and tech features.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We usually follow a standardized way of driving the Mini electric hybrid, driving in all-electric mode until we consume the hybrid battery pack's charge, then continue driving on gas. Exhausting the battery pack isn't hard; it's only rated at 12 miles of electric-only range, although we've managed to extract more on a few occasions.
In June, we didn't bother with charging. Instead we wanted to see what kind of efficiency we could wring from the 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine. Turns out, you can wring from it about what the EPA says you should. We drove 1,154 miles and averaged 26.9 mpg in combined driving. The EPA estimate is 27 mpg combined. For comparison, the non-hybrid Countryman is rated at 25 mpg combined.
We filled up six times in June, averaging 192 miles of range per tank (farthest range, 237 miles; least, 147 miles).
Miles driven: 1,154
Average fuel economy in June: 26.9 mpg
EPA mpg rating: 27 mpg combined
Electricity used in June: 0
Current odometer: 7,191 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Driving at average freeway speeds, you definitely feel all of the bumps. This car might not be a great choice for people with back problems. The headrests lean really far forward. Luckily at 5-foot-5, I'm just short enough to not be too affected by it. If I was any taller, it would have been really uncomfortable." — Laurel Carden, social media manager
"Got all cozy in the fabulously well-bolstered driver's seat for the slog home and put my Edmunds tumbler full of water in the front cupholder. It didn't exactly fit but sat atop the cupholder insets. All was fine until I took a turn and the cupholder tumbled out of its tenuous hold, dumping water on the floor mat and my pants. Luckily it was just water and not hot coffee." — Kathleen Clonts, copy chief
"The oh-so-Mini ambient lighting really accentuates the center console display in the dark." — Kathleen Clonts
"This Mini's cargo capacity doesn't seem to be impacted much by the addition of the hybrid battery. I was able to fit two bicycles (not at the same time) into the cargo area with the seats folded down. First was a large-framed mountain bike. I had to remove the front wheel for it to fit. The second time I tried a medium-size road bike. The best part was that I didn't have to remove the wheel." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"I had a strange connected app error happen in our Mini. I gave the system permission to stream Amazon Music and Spotify, since those were natively supported apps. But once I did, it always wanted to play songs from Amazon. I switched to a podcast and a few seconds later the system wanted to play the Amazon song again. I got back into the car after running a few errands and despite force-closing the app, it started playing the Amazon Music again. This was so frustrating that I disabled the feature and went back to 'old-fashioned' Bluetooth audio." — Ron Montoya
"Discovered that the Mini won't show you the backup camera if the hatch is ajar. Somehow the hatch opened while I was parked in a grocery store lot as my husband ran inside to grab PopCorners (for the win). Maybe I hit the trunk release button, but I don't recall going anywhere near it. When I put the Countryman in reverse, an icon showing the open trunk popped up in the display instead of the amazingly clear backup camera feed." — Kathleen Clonts