2019 MINI Cooper SE Countryman

2019 MINI Cooper SE Countryman: spacious with agile handling

  • Friday, November 16, 2018 1:30am
  • Vehicles

I love oxymorons. And large MINI qualifies.

So the 2019 MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4 (PHEV), with John Cooper Works appearance package, was right up my alley.

After all, this MINI is the LARGEST, most spacious, MINI built to date. That said, Countryman still maintains the brand’s (under the BMW umbrella) unmistakable, beloved design and unmatched, agile handling.

Designed for outdoor adventure and city dwelling alike, the ALL4 is perfect for Northwest residents looking for year-round safety and security. A MINI that isn’t afraid of the snow or rain-slickened fall roads.

Countryman is available in Cooper S, Cooper ALL4, and John Cooper Works ALL4 powertrains – each with three trims – Classic, Signature and Iconic. It’s truly a global effort as the engine is German, the transmission from Japan and final assembly in the Netherlands.

My tester, a plug-in hybrid, was powered by a 1.5-liter, twinpower turbo, 3-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor. The two combine to produce total output of 221 horsepower and 284 lb.-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission and 7.6kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack complete the ensemble.

The Countryman SE seats five adults with a rear hatch opening to display a surprising amount of rear cargo storage. It cuts a head-turning swath with combination of Anthracite paint with Chartreuse accents on the wheels and backs of the side mirrors. The EPA rates mileage at 28 miles per gallon in combined

city/highway driving.

Other exterior appointments include 18-inch JCW Thrill spoke wheels, rear spoiler, fog lamps, roof rack and LED headlights with cornering.

MINI Cooper SE is quick, and handles with ease. I thoroughly enjoyed zipping around corners with complete confidence, and turning into small parking spots on a dime. It is nothing, if not a driver’s car.

That said, there are plenty of creature comforts to keep smiles on the faces of passengers. Highlights include a touchscreen navigation package, panoramic moonroof that encompasses front and back, heated John Cooper Works sport seats, Harman/Kardon premium six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, LED center instrument ring, super clear backup camera, ambient lighting with adjustable colors and Apple Car Play.

The control panel features a stylish circular design that appears to be a portal into the future.

When it comes to safety, the MINI Cooper comes to play. There are eight standard airbags designed to protect each passenger from multiple angles. The frame of the car is made from study materials that create a protective barrier. You can also help keep yourself safe with the Active Driving Assistant system that features forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

Base Price: $37,775

Price As Driven: $45,750

Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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