MINI Countryman Cooper S E All4 running costs

The MINI Countryman hybrid looks impressive here, but a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is more economical

Although the Countryman is smaller than a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, it costs several thousand pounds less, as well as being far better to drive and more stylish inside and out.

The Countryman Cooper S E All4 also starts to look compelling when compared to the Toyota C-HR and Kia Niro, because despite costing slightly more than high-spec versions, its lower BiK company-car tax and zero-emissions range will make it cheaper to run for some customers.

According to the latest official tests, its combined fuel-economy figure is just under 120mpg. That’s pretty impressive, albeit not quite as good as the the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. And, as ever with a car such as this, the economy you see in everyday use depends on how you drive and how often you can top up the batteries.

Drive less than 20 miles a day and charge the batteries every night and you’ll hardly use any fuel at all. Head further afield and once the battery charge is depleted, fuel economy will drop to that of a conventional car.

Perhaps of great importance is the 55g/km CO2 emissions figure, making the Countryman Cooper S E All4 attractive to business users thanks to its 16% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax. However, it’s worth noting that the Outlander PHEV has CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km, so it incurs tax at a lower 13%.

MINI Cooper S E All4 insurance group

Sitting in insurance group 26, the Cooper S E is the most expensive Countryman to insure. However, it’s only one group higher than the other Cooper S models, so it’s not too bad by MINI standards. However, it does look pretty costly when you see that no plug-in versions of the Kia Niro or Hyundai Ioniq sit higher than group 13.

Warranty

MINI provides the same level of cover as parent company BMW on every new car: a three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. That’s pretty much par for the course these days, but it’s not hard to find companies that provide longer cover on their hybrids. Kia, Hyundai and Toyota, for example, offer at least five years’ cover.

You can’t directly extend MINI’s basic cover. But, once it expires, you can take out a MINI Insured warranty. There are three levels of cover to choose from, but none will cover a car with more than 100,000 miles on the clock.

Servicing

Again, MINI follows BMW and how often your car needs servicing will depend on how it’s driven. Doing lots of short trips could well end up with the car needing more frequent attention than one that spends more of its time cruising on main roads.

If you want to ease the costs of servicing, the MINI tlc package is very tempting. For a one-off fee of £299, it covers all your servicing for three years and 36,000 miles.

The package also includes MINI MoT Protect, which means the company will cover the cost of repair or replacement on several parts – as well as the labour costs – if your car fails its first MoT.

Road tax

After the first year's CO2-based road tax (generally included in the on-the-road price), the MINI Countryman Cooper S E All4 costs £130 a year to tax. All you have to be careful of is that you don’t add so many options that it pushes the car’s price above £40,000. If you do that, it’ll cost you an extra £310 in road tax each year.

Among the other incentives in favour of the Countryman Cooper S E All4, its low CO2 emissions mean it’s also free to drive into the London Congestion Charge zone.

Depreciation

It’s too early for many Countryman Cooper S E ALL4s to have made it on to the used market, so we can’t be sure just how well it will retain its value. But early forecasts are positive, with the car predicted to retain around half of its new value after three years and 36,000 miles. That’s better than plug-in versions of the Audi A3 and Volkswagen Golf.