I’m sure when you hear of Mini Cooper, you won’t hear the words like performance, great handling, fantastic acceleration, or maybe even big and tall. After all, it is still called a “Mini” Cooper. You will hear words like cute, small, British or even Mr. Bean’s car. However, Mini Cooper isn’t Mini anymore. From the looks of this car, we already notice how wide the wheelbase is. You will also realized this Mini Cooper Countryman is almost as big as a Volvo XC40. However, when it comes to performance, this Mini will go up against some of the best in its class.
0 to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds is impressive from a car of its size especially with 385Nm of torque and 221 hp, especially when you paired that amount of power to an AWD. I know 6.8 seconds might not sound a lot, but hey, hybrid cars are meant to save fuel, not drive like Michael Schumacher. Which brings me into my next point, fuel economy. Given it’s a hybrid, it will give you 2.5 l/100km if you consistently charge it. If you drive it around all day and only charge it when you arrive home, don’t expect the car to consume just 2 liters of fuel on a 100km drive. One full tank usually gave us around 500km of fuel on a 35-liter tank.
Since this is our family car around city drive, I can say this is an excellent car to go on city drives. There are both green and sport mode. Green only lows you to do low revs to save fuel and this is especially useful when it comes to saving fuel during city drives. Sport mode kicks the car into high revs mode like most cars sport mode do. However, maybe because of its BMW DNA, I always felt that the Mini came alive to match the driving dynamics of the BMWs, especially when it is in sport mode.
Now to talk about the features, one thing I don’t like about BMW Malaysia was that they don’t give you all the features that a full spec car is supposed to give. I’m sure many BMW drivers will agree with me on this one. Because to pay a price of 265k and not getting any blind spot sensor is just ridiculous. To put into context, when you pay 280k for a Volvo S60, get pilot assists, lane departure warnings and blind spot sensor. But for my Mini Cooper, I don’t even get paddle shifters. I mean come on BMW Malaysia.
There are still many features that you come to expect of a premium car manufacturer. I get 12 Harmon Kardon speakers ,which might sound a bit quiet but otherwise great in sound quality, a head-up display, 19-inch rims and even a Mini Cooper welcome logo carpet. You get pretty much a standard feature set as a BMW 3 series expect for any driving aids. As for the driving itself, the Mini’s AWD system just makes it great fun to drive. It handle corner with so much grip due to its wider body and 19-inch rims. The power is excellent and the steering really feels sport and confident. You will feel all the BMW DNA is a Mini Cooper.
Unfortunately, the same can be said for the ride comfort. BMW philosophy has always been about performance and a driver’s car, but ride comfort can still feel frustratingly hard for any passenger. Like a BMW, Mini Cooper uses hard suspension to allow better handling and performance but that would sacrifice ride comfort. The seats are also not the best compared to some of its rivals which makes for an uncomfortable trip for passengers especially for a trip from Penang to KL, but because this Mini is a big car the space is still acceptable. However, the one thing I really like about this Mini is how the ambient lights come on at night, with different lines of ambient lightning coming down on the dashboard. It makes the Mini stand out from some of its rivals with just the one line across the entire dashboard.
Total Score: 4
Quality & Features: 3
Ride Comfort: 2
Fuel Economy: 4
Price & Cost: 3
Overall, it really depends what kind of vehicle do you prefer. If you want something that is comforting and relaxing to drive, Mini Cooper is not the car for you. However, if you like the thrill of driving and want something that is fantastic to drive like me, Mini Cooper is the car for you. Hybrid will also be an added bonus for any city drivers and the AWD is fantastic to drive in any condition. Lastly, it looks unique and special too especially in todays crossover market.