MINI Countryman hybrid reliability & safety

The Countryman has a good safety rating and all the essential equipment, but MINI's reputation for customer satisfaction leaves a little to be desired

MINI Countryman hybrid

The MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 is the company's first plug-in hybrid. So, does that relative inexperience mean you should be a bit wary of it? Well, not really. After all, MINI is owned by BMW, which has extensive experience with this sort of technology.

In that sense, we’re encouraged by the amount of effort that has gone into making the Countryman a seriously safe car. Again, it'll have benefitted from the knowledge of BMW, but the five-star performance in official Euro NCAP crash tests is reassuring.

MINI Countryman hybrid reliability & problems

No MINI model featured in the 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, which is perhaps a little worrying for those considering a Countryman Cooper S E ALL4. In previous surveys the MINI hatchback finished well below average, too, and as the two models share a number of engines and other key components it's a possible cause for concern.

The MINI brand didn't fare any better, either. Finishing 26th out of 30 manufacturers, existing owners cited poor practicality and fiddly infotainment systems. It's reassuring however, that only 8% of owners had reported faults; over 20% of BMW drivers had experienced issues with their cars.

It's a shame that the Countryman PHEV's battery is only covered by the car's standard three year warranty, however, especially when you consider that many rivals offer a much longer battery warranty. Still, the brand’s parent company, BMW, has again spent huge sums on research and development and already used the technology in models like the BMW i3 and i8.

Safety

The Countryman achieved the full five-star score in Euro NCAP crash tests, with individual results of 90% for adult occupant protection and 80% for child occupants. It's a shame that you can't have a space-saver spare wheel, as the batteries take up the space in the boot. You also have to pay extra for a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance.

Still, there are eight airbags as standard in addition to the compulsory anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Also standard are autonomous emergency braking and a bonnet that pops up slightly in a pedestrian collision to help cushion the impact.