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I have a 2019MY Countryman Cooper S E All4 PHEV, love it - and have come to it from very luxurious big SUV’s. I would advise that you need to analyze what you use the car for before deciding which version to go for as issues and running cost vary with engines and complexity.
I would suggest that if you do lots of miles a day stop start heavy traffic runs with a bit of motorway then go for the petrol engine or the PHEV - there aren’t( yet)any Particulate Filter issues nor Adblu to add like there are with the diesels when they do short runs with lots of stopping and starting. If you are pounding motorways day in day out then for sure you are the ideal candidate for the diesel powered car, if you do a couple of miles to the office/ station/school run/ shopping run then consider the Plug In Hybrid, especially if you have off street parking where you can charge it up at home.
I don’t think that there any “must have” extras as these things are often a personal decision but I agree that the LED headlights are fantastic on dark nights out in the country, less so under street lights in town. The heated front screen is worthwhile having for frosty mornings if you don’t garage the car. I was advised not to bother with the full leather upholstery as BMW’s leather looks like the leather from a Munich Taxi (looks more like plastic/faux leather) and also creases easily. I have had full leather interiors in all my previous cars in the last 30 years and I have to say that the part leather, part cloth in my Countryman is very nice and is what came as standard from the factory. I have an all black interior but also ticked the opening panoramic roof option which is nice even though I think I have opened the front section probably 3 times since June 2018, it does make the interior a lot lighter. I added nearly £7000 of options to my car though so it is heavily optioned. One option I have regretted having though - the all black contrast roof! I’ve had them on cars before but none of the previous cars seemed to get as hot inside as the Countryman does on a sunny day and I put it down to the black roof - I should have gone for white or red!
One thing for sure - the 1.5 petrol engine is more than powerful enough to haul along the weight of the PHEV even if it is a bit thirsty on go juice when running in petrol mode ( so more reason to use the fully electric mode more!)
Another thing, while it isn’t the hi-tech’est automatic gearbox it is well suited to the car, is smooth and jerk free, manuals are so 20th century these days and autos are often more economical on fuel too with modern electronics controlling them and they are a godsend in city stop start driving!
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