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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am now 2 months into our Countryman PHEV, extremely pleased with it and thought I would share some observations.

Clearly how well it works depends entirely on what you use it for. As I hoped, I have hardly done any mileage on petrol, as most of my driving has been within 20 miles of home and in Max E-Drive, often with a charger at the other end. Free chargers are a welcome bonus and worth searching out. Charge rate is a bit disappointing, making e.g. free supermarket chargers a bit pointless - 40 minutes charge whilst you shop has little effect.

I'm not altogether convinced about Auto E-Drive, as it seems to always drain the battery first, whatever I do - even after setting my destination on the satnav, e.g. it doesn't start the motor on hills (and we have a lot of them here) unless it is already nearly flat or I put my foot down, although it has started twice whilst I overtook cyclists, and of course it then runs for a minimum period before stopping. After the battery is flat, it then seems to keep the battery between 4% and 6% to allow a bit of a boost and for pulling away.

On a recent motorway trip I used SAVE to recharge the battery because I expected some traffic in the destination city. It recharged astonishingly quickly from about 10% to 60% in 40 mins, and seemed to give a penalty of about 5mpg, although this was only a perception from watching the MPG readout!

Next week I will be taking it to Scotland from the West Country, about a 1200 mile round trip without time or facilities to recharge, which will give me a chance to play with the various options when well outwith electric range and to drain a tank in one session. Advice online on which mode to choose seems to be very variable, with some owners force starting their motor (via gearstick) as soon as they hit the motorway, to avoid any charging whilst driving. Others seem to use Green mode for the same reason and I can see that this might work. Theoretically Auto E-Drive should be best, but as I mentioned, I am not convinced - will it regenerate a decent charge for destination driving on a long motorway trip or just fritter it away as it goes? I am keen to have some charge for city driving at the end, so switching to SAVE may be the answer, perhaps within 40 mins of my destination? What I don't know yet, is what happens if you use SAVE after it reaches its specified 90% charge - although there will be a hit from initial charging, this may be the best option? Does it just behave like a conventional hybrid in this mode? We shall see!

I shall report back my own findings, but would be interested to hear of any other drivers experiences!
 

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2019 Mini Cooper S Sport and 2019 Mini Countryman Cooper SE (PHEV)
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Only just got our Phev so can't advise yet but off on a similar long trip to John O Groats, so would be interested to see how you went on.
 

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still think the best miles is buy some rope and attach it to a truck and front of car with a slip knot for when get near a junction you want to go different direction, slip the knot ,, just keep lurking around truck stops for the next one lol, and while being dragged can charge up battery on passive regen lol,
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well the tow rope is certainly a thought! So I'm back home and here are my thoughts and observations.

We were lucky enough to have clear traffic and clear weather (so no wipers/light/ Air Con) throughout. For the first part of the trip up (173 miles at constant 70 mph), I left it in AUTO, it emptied the battery to about 20%, then we joined the motorway and it remained at 20% until we left. Measured mpg filling at Haydock was 47.8, with the engine running for about 150 miles of the 173. The next day I ran it in SAVE for 209 miles, with a brief 3kWh charge at motorway services over lunch, achieving 39.6 mpg, but with a 90% charge remaining on arrival. As I thought, it charged to 90% with reduced mpg, then kept it there with an occasional charge whenever it fell and mpg back to the same as AUTO. Over the next 2 days most of my driving was in town or on country A-roads. No opportunity to charge, but we achieved 49.3 mpg in AUTO over 173 miles, and a 10% charge from recuperation. It ran remarkably well when starting from 4-6% charge, recuperating more than I expected and running on battery through most towns/villages. For the final day, another mostly motorway run at 70mph, in AUTO, with a measured 45.4 mpg and 11% charge when I filled up in Birmingham. Spookily, 45.4mpg was also the average for the whole trip, which suggests it is a good planning figure and that the period in SAVE didn't really cost me anything overall. Note that when I say "measured mpg", I mean recorded miles versus full tank - the trip meter read about 5mpg higher than my measurements/calculations.

So, AUTO or SAVE for a long trip ? - it seems to make little difference overall, but if you have the chance to charge at your destination, you should use AUTO and arrive discharged. It will recuperate on the motorway, but probably not above 11%. Plan on 45mpg and refuel accordingly. It can't do Edinburgh to Bristol on one tank, but it can do Edinburgh to Birmingham in comfort with about 7l left in the tank. That is only just a little less than my Evoque diesel managed. Mileage around town and on A-roads was slightly better than the motorway, and if you know you will be driving in town traffic at your destination, using SAVE on the motorway beforehand seems to be worth it.

All in all, a good performance, much better cost per mile (11.6p) overall than the Evoque, free charge at the motorway services. As a postscript, the following day I tried using the gearstick to switch in and out of sport mode, to save battery manually for my destination - the temptation to drive accordingly probably lost me any benefit, but it was fun!
 
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