High Life in a Hybrid

on 07 August 2018.

high life in a hybrid

TOWNSITE™ test drives the MINI Countryman

The last MINI I drove was straight out of The Italian Job, distinctive and stylish but you had to fold yourself in half to drive it and every time you hit a bump at speed your head met the roof. But that was more than 30 years ago and since then both MINIs and I have got larger. Nevertheless, high life in a hybridI was expecting the contemporary version to still be a bit, well, cramped. As for speed, my only reference for electronic vehicles was a milk float, so I had no great expectations.

The shiny MINI Countryman I collected from Dick Lovett in Hungerford looked compact enough on the outside but when I climbed in there was space all around. The footwell more than accommodated my long legs and above my head was a reassuring bump-proof gap. Over my shoulder I could see that the MINI had 3 proper seats in the back and would easily hold a few child seats and attendant paraphernalia. A Tardis in other words.

But first I had to investigate if the MINI met my minimum criteria: cup-holder, check; room in the boot for shopping, check; room in the boot for dog, check; room in the boot for shopping and dog, check. So far so good. Like any woman of sound mind, the first thing I did on my test drive was visit a friend for coffee and show off the car.

Driving in auto mode which allows the car to decide when to use the petrol engine and when to switch to electric, I bombed along the A4 to Marlborough and was astonished at the way it picked up speed. Far from its hybrid

high life in a hybrid

properties making it slow, the battery kicks in to actually increase acceleration. Smooth and responsive, I made use of the long straight road to play with the controls which have a central dash console with touchscreen function. I easily and instinctively worked out the built in Sat Nav, radio and other media options.

Out the other side of Marlborough I was into crop circle country and flew cross-country with stunning views until I reached my friend’s studio where she paints large canvasses. We properly put the MINI through its paces by loading several big paintings in the back and had room to spare. It didn’t look as though it should be possible. But it was.

high life in a hybridPerhaps it was the gloriously sunny day but driving the MINI was a lot of fun. It has a youthful feel: high-design aesthetic, great technological features and with a range of 26 miles on electrical power alone, as environmentally friendly as they come. Initially I found the MINI Countryman’s hybrid technology unnervingly quiet but quickly adjusted. When I drove my diesel Golf again it felt like being in a lorry. Depending on the driving mode selected, the MINI Countryman uses anywhere from 48-83 mpg and can be purchased for less than £300 per month. It’s an economically and environmentally sound car purchase which looks very groovy into the bargain.

Check out the MINI Countryman offers here

Ultimate Wedding Show 2018
This September, Donnington Grove Hotel will be hosting their 2018 Wedding Show, offering a relaxed day out for couples tying the knot. On Sunday the 2nd of September they will hold an immersive wedding show...

Donnington Grove Wedding Fair exhibitors preview part 3
The third part in our series featuring wedding suppliers who will be exhibiting at the Donningtone Grove Country Club Wedding Fair on Sunday 2nd September, 2018 at 11:00am.

Everything you need for your wedding, at Donnington Grove
Sunday 2nd September, 2018 at 11:00am Weddings can be stressful, but they don’t have to be! Whether you are starting from scratch or looking for the final touches for your day, Donnington Grove’s Wedding show 2018 has everything you need to bring it all together

A cruise for me, free for you!
Fancy experiencing a cruise and bringing your loved one for free?

A brand new local jobs board
Hungerford TOWNSITE™ is well established as a conduit for local people featuring news, events, attractions and special offers and NOW we've added a LOCAL JOBS BOARD to our already successful mix. This comprehensive section aims to connect with local job hunters in a friendly and more engaging way

Luxury Health Club offer: FREE personal training sessions
We all know that getting fit is imperative to feeling great and looking our best but finding the right place to exercise can be the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Make a wish come true
David Chambers and his colleagues from Elcot Park Hotel in Newbury have taken on a challenge.

Open Studio at Little hidden farm
Local artists Sue and Claire Acworth are participating in Marlborough Open Studios: an event where artists across the North Wessex Chalk Downs (AONB) open their studios for members of the public to come and view their work in its natural setting.

Beautiful Neranjo Limestone: 20% off
Treat your home this summer with these beautiful flagstones in Neranjo limestone.

Three Swans exclusive: 25% off your food bill
The Three Swans in Hungerford are offering a sizzling summer deal this month for Townsite readers.

Getting to know you… Cobbs, much more than a farm shop
As you walk into Cobbs newly refurbished and extended café, it’s easy to see why this business is thriving.

Get pampered at Donnington Grove
This month Donnington Grove Hotel has revealed its grand opening of Avalon Retreat: a purpose built new salon set in the grounds of this beautiful hotel.

#2 laid back honeymoon ideas 2018
Pick an idyllic spot in the Mediterranean, combine it with panoramic coastal walks, snorkeling and beautiful turquoise waters to make it a perfect honeymoon!

Freedom of the town awards
Last month, three upstanding citizens from our local community: Norman Barr, Chris Scorey and Catherine Wooliston were presented with the prestigious Freedom of the Town award for 2018, recognising their unique contributions to Hungerford.

Luxury honeymoon on a budget
Are you getting married over the Christmas period in 2018? Fare Wise Travel are offering an exclusive 7-night winter beach-chillout honeymoon with an all-inclusive luxury package.

18 idyllic championship holes
Once considered the preserve of retired bank managers, the game of golf has been re-branded for a new generation and not only now has mass appeal, but in certain quarters is even considered quite groovy

Those of us who live here don't have to think twice, we love it and, you've had a job to persuade us to go elsewhere.

Compared to many towns, Hungerford High Street is in good shape. It is better now than it has been for years...

Walking in the beautiful areas of outstanding natural beauty in and around Hungerford is a very special experience.

Next time you visit Littlecote House keep a wary eye out for ghosts. That black dog you see on the stairs may not be all it seems!

Enjoy your visit and don't foget to let us know how it went