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 2019
This September, Donnington Grove Hotel will be hosting their 2019 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...

The Crofton Beam Engines
These are two magnificent pieces of industrial archaeology that will appeal to both families and steam enthusiasts.

Highclere Castle visitor information
World famous from its starring role in the smash hit drama series Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle’s future is secure thanks to the scores of visitors who have flocked to witness its imposing façade first hand.

Your next mountain is waiting in 2019 – try trekking in Nepal
Booking now for Spring and Autumn 2019, Fare Wise Travel offer the epitome of physical endurance and spiritual enlightenment with bespoke Himalayan adventures.

The ultimate lifetime trip: Canada
Canada is a country of immense beauty and diversity. A destination that is best enjoyed over a few weeks, you can experience spectacular wildlife and stunning scenery whilst taking in historic towns natural parks and deluxe resorts

No excuse not to keep fit this winter
Do you find that the winter shroud of darkness just makes you retreat to the warmth and comfort of your home

No ordinary school run… in the MINI Cooper 5 Door Hatch
Raising children is a constant merry-go-round of getting people to the right places at the right time with all the required paraphernalia: school bag, check, lunch box, check, homework, check.

The Fairy Godmother of travel
As Fare Wise Travel celebrate 25 years in business, we meet with MD Veronica Bailey to find out the secret behind their success.

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

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.

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

Avebury
Avebury is a henge monument (which is an ancient place surrounded by a bank and ditch) and is the world’s largest prehistoric stone circle, originally comprising of some 100 standing stones, with two inner stone circles.

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