It’s clearly too soon to expect honesty from the Mini Countryman PHEV’s trip computer – but, in that respect, it’s no better or worse than every other plug-in hybrid.
The Mini indicates running efficiency for both its petrol engine and its electric motor but doesn’t stop counting ‘mpg’ when running on amperes nor ‘miles per kilowatt hour’ when running on unleaded.
So neither indicator is of practical use if you want to know how much your car may actually be costing you to run.
Here’s the truth, then. On a mixed touring run started with a flat battery, you can expect just short of 50mpg from the petrol half of the powertrain – and on a typical inter-urban commute, about 3.7mpkWh from the electric half (enough for 22 miles of electric-only travel, which is almost twice as far as some rivals).
The car is relatively expensive compared with its PHEV rivals and even more so when you consider what you need to spend on options to get it to a matching kit level – but neither fact has ever stopped a Mini selling before.
For a private buyer, this is an expensive hatchback to buy although it could be a cheap one to run.
But compared with a conventional petrol alternative – say, the slower and less frugal £28,530 Countryman Cooper S All4 auto – the PHEV would be around £130 cheaper per month for a 40 percent tax-paying fleet driver, accounting for a typical contract hire rate.