Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Mini keeps getting bigger and now offered as plug-in hybrid

If the Mini grows any further, BMW may need to change its name to Maxi.

Thirty per cent more spacious than the outgoing model, it seats five adults with more elbow and cargo room. The rear seat folds and slides, and the cargo floor is adjustable. For tailgating, camping and hanging by the airport to watch jets land, the Mini "picnic bench" turns the tailgate into a seat.

The big news though, is the plug-in hybrid option with the Mini Cooper S E Countryman ALL4, creating an all-electric range of 40 kilometres and speeds up to 126 km/h. The technology, already integrated into the BMW 2, 3 and 7 Series, X5 and i8, comes to Mini for the first time.

Story continues below advertisement

The vehicle automatically switches from electric to gas combustion; the electric motor, with more rapid delivery of high torque, operates primarily in stop/start traffic. The battery recharges fully in about three hours.

There are two twin-turbo gas engines: a 1.5-litre three-cylinder with 134 horsepower, and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with 189 horsepower. Each pairs with all-wheel drive and a standard six-speed manual transmission with options for a six-speed automatic and eight-speed "Steptronic".

The Countryman will be available in Canada in March, the hybrid option in June.

Cool Quotient

3.5 stars (out of 5)

It's bigger and better, with increasing BMW technology, but the Countryman is in a compact crossover field with a plethora of choices.

We've redesigned the Drive section – take a look

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at