The 2024 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) and Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid are small and agile SUVs that can zip around purely on electric power for short distances. 

Plug-in hybrids are a convenient bridge between a conventional gas-fed vehicle and an entirely electrified model. They add extra peace of mind for car shoppers curious about going electric but worry they’ll be stranded if a charge point can’t be found. 

The Kia Niro PHEV sports a fresh and modern exterior and some very impressive in-cabin technology, given its price point. As for the Mini, its full working title is the Cooper Countryman SE ALL4 PHEV (say that three times fast); it comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) and the quick reflexes synonymous with the British brand.   

Want to know how they compare? Let’s examine the highlights of the Kia Niro PHEV and Mini Countryman PHEV.

2024 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

The 2024 Niro Plug-In Hybrid offers a choice of two trims. Pricing starts at $35,765 for the base EX model and $41,515 for the SX Touring, including the destination charge. Standard features include a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless device charging, dual-zone climate control, satellite radio, heated front seats, and much more. Take note, the Niro PHEV is front-wheel drive only. The Niro is also available as a hybrid and full-electric, but we’re focusing specifically on the PHEV.

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Highlights 

Class-leading warranty: Car shoppers who like the peace of mind that comes with a great warranty, well, here could be your next ride. The Niro PHEV comes with a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Better still, the basic warranty also comes with 24/7 roadside assistance.  

Dual-screen display: The upscale cabin of the Niro PHEV is made even better when equipped with a dual-screen display that puts a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster alongside a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. This looks like a setup belonging to a pricier luxury vehicle. This system is extremely easy to navigate and has sharp graphics.

Vegan-friendly interior: We’re not suggesting you start eating the seating upholstery of the Niro PHEV, of course. Yet, for those who want to keep their animal buddies happy, you can let them know the Niro PHEV’s vegan-friendly seating upholstery is standard. It looks like leather, though we can’t vouch for its taste. 

Standard safety gear: The Kia DriveWise bundle of safety features includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a driver attention monitor, safe exit warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, and more. It’s standard on each trim.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Niro models for sale near you. 

2024 Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid

2024 Mini Countryman SE PHEV driving through a forest.

The Mini Countryman PHEV comes in only one trim and has a starting price of $43,695, including destination fees. This steep entry fee puts the Mini in competition with the Niro PHEV and a range of small luxury SUVs like the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLB. Does the Countryman PHEV justify its premium? 

Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid Highlights

Premium-grade interior: There is no doubt about it; the cabin of the Countryman is something special. Few small SUVs have this much style baked into their interior design. The chrome-colored toggle switches and circular dials are fun and functional. The materials used feel robust and worthy of a luxury-badged vehicle.

Corner-carving steering responses: Fancy switches are cool, but the real party starts when the Countryman PHEV gets some curves tossed its way. The steering isn’t quite as go-kart-like as the 2-door Mini Cooper. Yet the agility of this little SUV is outstanding, and few competing models come close to matching it.  

Throwback exterior design: This generation of Countryman dates back to the 2017 model year, so you might worry it’s beginning to look dated. Thankfully, the retro design still works, and it helps this Mini SUV stand out in a crowd. There is also a wide range of customization options to add all sorts of racing stripes and other exterior accents. 

Peppy acceleration: Thanks to its 221-hp turbocharged 3-cylinder gas/electric powertrain, the Countryman has enough verve for highway merging and quick passing maneuvers. It’s a happy medium between the Countryman’s underwhelming 134-hp base engine and the track-ready 301-hp John Cooper Works model.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Countryman models for sale near you. 


The plug-in versions of the Kia Niro and Mini Countryman are perfectly sized for anyone looking for a maneuverable small SUV with an appetite for electrons. They’re stylish and have a commanding view of the road with excellent outward visibility. Thanks to their electric-only driving range, they can zip around for short distances without needing a single drop of gasoline.


The Niro PHEV and Countryman PHEV make a compelling case for taking that half-step toward an EV. What are some of their key advantages and disadvantages? The Kia is much less expensive, at least in the base SX trim, and has 33 miles of electric range versus 18 miles in the Mini. It also boasts more rear legroom, a slightly larger cargo hold, and some truly world-class infotainment tech. While the Mini Countryman PHEV has all-wheel drive and is a hoot to drive thanks to its scalpel-sharp steering, it’s ultimately the less practical — not to mention pricier — of these two plug-ins. 

  2024 Kia Niro PHEV  2024 Mini Countryman PHEV
Starting Price  $35,765 $43,695
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  1.6-liter gas-electric 4-cylinder Turbo 1.5-liter gas-electric 3-cylinder
Horsepower  180 hp @ 5,700 rpm 221 hp 
Torque  195 lb-ft 284 lb-ft @ 1,300 rpm 
Transmission  6-speed dual-clutch automatic  6-speed automatic/AWD
Fuel economy MPG 108 MPGe/48 mpg combined 73 MPGe/29 mpg combined 
Basic Warranty  5 years/60,000 miles  4 years/50,000 miles 
Powertrain Warranty  10 years/100,000 miles  4 years/50,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety  NA  NA
Max Seating Capacity 
Wheelbase  107.1 inches  105.1 inches 
Overall Length  174.0 inches  169.7 inches 
Width  71.9 inches  78.8 inches with mirrors
Height  60.8 inches  61.4 inches 
Turning Diameter  34.8 feet  37.4 feet 
Headroom, Front  40.5 inches 40.5 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  39.6 inches  37.0 inches 
Legroom, Front  41.5 inches  40.4 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  39.8 inches  37.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  56.3 inches  54.8 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  55.4 inches 53.9 inches
Cargo Volume  19.4 cubic feet   17.2 cubic feet 

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