2019 MINI Countryman Hybrid Cooper S E ALL4 4dr Wagon AWD (1.5L 3cyl Turbo gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Why would someone (me) plunk down tens of thousands with zero research on a mini hybrid? I'll tell you why. Having owned a mini before, and having had a wonderful experience with both the product and the dealer, we didn't think twice about checking out the 2019 hybrid. When I walked into the showroom and saw the hybrid with a big 60+ on the sticker, I got googly-eyed like a girl seeing Sting for the first time. Clearly I didn't have enough knowledge to understand that the 60+ sticker on the window meant something very different from the sticker I had seen on other hybrids. Have you ever impulse bought an expensive item only to get it home and realized by your spouse's expression that you have made a really bad purchase? I have. Buyer beware of the Hybrid Mini. I look forward to having it out of my garage and out of my life.
That won't happen for a while though. After putting 800 miles on it and realizing the reality about the lack of economy of my new Mini/BMW product, the dealer offered to buy it back for $10K less than I paid for it and with 800 miles on the odometer. As much as I wish I could take a 10K loss, I couldn't. I could have rented a Porsche 911, maybe two, for that much.
This car gets ~30 mpg and I commute 74 miles each way to work. It does not have the range of 60+ as implied prominently on the sticker. It uses Half of a tank of gas, round-trip in the Eco Green mode. It has to be plugged in when not in use. Every single time it is not in use. it has a wimpy 9 gallon tank. On the highway, it's a dog.
I understand now that the 60+ on the sticker has no relationship to actual fuel economy. Rather it's one component of a math formula required to estimate economy based on an individual's driving. So if you're happy to go from 0-60 in a few minutes, from the metering light, if you're all about appearance no matter how impractical, if you're a soccer parent whose kid isn't on a travel team, if your grocery store is walking distance, if you drive without the wheels touching the ground at a sedate speed, this is the car for you. It's cute and gives the illusion of fuel economy.
Drove the kid to school. ~3 miles round trip, in "Eco Green" mode. Avg speed 21. MPG: 34.4. I commute in this car only to advertise my displeasure. Give a little honk if you see me. Mine is the one with prominent "Buyer Beware" signs all over it.
Please don't insult me for not having done my homework, I feel stupid enough as it is. Please don't make unrealistic recommendations I can't implement.
The salesman was a good guy, the dealership is nice, the car is cute. But, what I was looking to buy was a vehicle with good gas mileage like my cheapo last hybrid. Didn't like that car but at least the gas mileage was good. And I hoped for a car that offered a nicer driving experience.
Things I didn't notice during the test drive. The toggles are cute but are rendered non-functional if a drink e.g. water bottle, is placed in the cupholder -- blocks the toggles. The power windows squeal when putting the windows down. The automatic lift gate works to raise occasional and only after my shin is covered in grease from attempting to open. It doesn't work for closing the liftgate at all. The dash is a strange material that draws and holds dust. The cargo capacity is small when the back seats are up. The owners manual is dumber than I am for buying this car. Look up what a color on the dash means. The manual will enlighten you by telling you it's a color. Haven't yet determined how to use the online manual. For optimizing mileage, multiple steps are required to program for efficiency. While driving, I don't want to toggle a bunch of things to gain efficiency. One button or in this case, toggle, should suffice. The controls on the round knob are not intuitive. Someone must have noticed that because there are redundant buttons to bypass the knob and shortcut to functions e.g. turning on the radio. Not sure why they couldn't just design it to turn on by pushing the on/off button. That button works for turning the radio off, but the shortcut button is used to turn it on.
Mini offered to send someone out to teach me how to drive it. In this case 40 years of driving experience didn't cut it. So far, I've heard nothing further about this Unicorn Engineer who is going to teach me that driving 3 miles with an average speed of 21 mph is not the way to get good economy.
If you're buying this car, plan to spend a few hours at the dealer for a class on functionality after your purchase. If you want a nice driving experience, combined with economy, for a sticker price less than a mortgage payment, I'm not sure where, but look elsewhere.