by Cameron Rogers, Staff Writer
What Did We Get?
Seven years ago, we asked a simple question: "How big can a Mini get and still be called a Mini?" We added a brand-new 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman S to our long-term fleet to find out. And over the course of a year, we found that, despite a more substantial footprint and a somewhat hefty curb weight, Mini had successfully injected its fun-to-drive DNA into a small SUV.
We were skeptical that lightning would strike twice when the wraps were pulled off a new, even larger model last year. We decided this redesigned Countryman was worth a second go-round in our fleet, but there was some debate over which powertrain to get. A vocal contingent supported the Cooper S for its strong turbocharged four-cylinder, while others rallied for the new Cooper S E plug-in hybrid for a chance to explore its unique powertrain. At the end of the day, the Cooper S E won out, and we ordered a 2018 Mini Countryman Hybrid.