MINI Countryman Cooper S E All4 running costs

The MINI Countryman hybrid is well priced next to key rivals, but finance is expensive and it misses out on the lowest company-car tax band

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 appeal is clear.

Even so, rivals like the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid are cheaper despite being better equipped and more efficient, and while company-car users will find the Countryman cheaper than diesel alternatives, CO2 emissions of under 60g/km mean it misses out on the cheapest tax band (which requires sub-50g/km CO2 output).

Finance options on the MINI are also expensive, and you'll struggle to get monthly payments down to under £500 per month even with a healthy deposit or part-ex to trade in.

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. Early forecasts are positive, with the car predicted to retain around half of its new value after three years and 36,000 miles.