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Discussion Starter #1
So after a good few 1,000 miles in the car now I am really noticing the slightly 'weird' brake pedal feel.

In the first few 100 miles I put it down to deglazing of the discs / pads or general mechanical bedding and me learning the foibles of a new car, but now i'm finding it a bit more annoying and wondering if anyone else experiences the same ?

Two areas where I find the pedal feel 'weird' and difficult to modulate correctly are :

1) Very hard braking from high speed (e.g. Coming into a roundabout on a dual carriageway) the initial pedal feel is good with initial good bite, but then the actual retardation really tails off noticeably and the linearity feels artificial and I cant push the pedal hard enough to make the car stop as quickly as I would like it to.... (the first couple of times I experienced it I thought I wasn't actually going to be able to stop in time as I was pushing quite hard and the car didn't slow down any quicker)

and

2) Low speed pedal feel (e.g. In very slow speed creeping traffic in the urban driving environment) where this time, the pedal effort vs. the retardation is totally the other way around and I find myself stopping too suddenly and end up with passengers nodding forward as my slight brush on the pedal vs. the aggressive slam on of the brakes that results is really hard to control.

I guess its all to do with the energy harvest strategy of the driveline, but as this is my first PHEV/EV I was expecting a better experience, a more polished driving experience - anyone else experience this ?
 

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Yep! I put it down to the automatic clutch kicking in. I'm still not quite judging the stopping distance right, and I regularly find myself jumping on the brake because it's not slowing down quickly enough!
 

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1/ very high speed braking coming into a roundabout

W H A T!!!!

It's an EV drive it as such and use anticipation and regeneration.

The only high speed braking should be for emergencies that can't be anticipated.
 

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1) Very hard braking from high speed (e.g. Coming into a roundabout on a dual carriageway)
You’re going too fast is that problem :LOL:

I’m not sure about the mini regen but I must say I’ve never had confidence in my brakes as I never use them and when I do they’re covered in crud from under use :rolleyes:
 

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This has probably come up before, but do the brake lights come on when you only use regen to slow down? I regularly stick it in 'sport' mode and only have to use the brake to bring it to a standstill but I feel a bit nervous that drivers behind me may not pay enough attention to notice that I've gone from 30mph to 5mph without braking.
 

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This has probably come up before, but do the brake lights come on when you only use regen to slow down? I regularly stick it in 'sport' mode and only have to use the brake to bring it to a standstill but I feel a bit nervous that drivers behind me may not pay enough attention to notice that I've gone from 30mph to 5mph without braking.
Certainly do on the i3
 

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The key to life is in the question...
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Discussion Starter #7
1/ very high speed braking coming into a roundabout

W H A T!!!!

It's an EV drive it as such and use anticipation and regeneration.

The only high speed braking should be for emergencies that can't be anticipated.
Please don't misquote (or misread) @freddym

I said "very hard braking from high speed (e.g. Coming into a roundabout on a dual carriageway)" not "very high speed braking" - different use cases and different connotations

Very hard braking = Pushing the pedal with a lot more effort than under normal driving conditions
High speed = 70mph on a dual carriageway

Very High Speed Braking = Braking from a very high speed

Maybe its the old racing driver in me, but when its a case of getting stuck behind a line of much slower traffic on the long single carriageway section after a dualled part, or being the last of the late brakers on the way into the roundabout, i'm the one making up time under braking rather than trying the death or glory overtakes into oncoming traffic that the rest of the users of the A421 seem to do...

Ive not had to do a maximum rate decel yet (e.g. an emergency stop), but can only imagine the heart in mouth experience on this car when I do.
 

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If I were you I'd be out on a quiet bit of road practicing full emergency stops to make sure that works properly and know what it feels like.

I'd be a nervous wreck if I doubted my brakes like you seem to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I were you I'd be out on a quiet bit of road practicing full emergency stops to make sure that works properly and know what it feels like.

I'd be a nervous wreck if I doubted my brakes like you seem to.
I've been driving since I was 15 years old and i can tell the decel rate vs. pedal actuation of any vehicle pretty much within the first press of the pedal - its easy, you just calibrate what your foot and head are telling you !
In my lifetime (and given my professional career) I have been lucky enough to have driven everything from standard road cars, to 1000bhp Hyper cars, through to vans, emergency service vehicles, HD vehicles, buses and military trucks.
Every vehicle has an "Amount of push = an amount of decel" - and everyone is different.... The Mini just has this weirdly disconnected non-linear feeling that differs depending on speed and driving mode - I felt it first when I drove the first Hybrid London buses, but they were running EV regen + foundation brakes + retarders. The Mini is different to any other vehicle (PHEV or not) that I have ever drive - Thats why I commented.

It does make me wonder with some people though that they have never felt ABS actuation before.... it should be a mandatory requirement for every driver to perform a maximum rate decel once in their lives. Lots of crashes would be avoided - Unless you are stupid enough to try it without looking in your mirrors first !!
 

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I've been driving since I was 15 years old and i can tell the decel rate vs. pedal actuation of any vehicle pretty much within the first press of the pedal - its easy, you just calibrate what your foot and head are telling you !
In my lifetime (and given my professional career) I have been lucky enough to have driven everything from standard road cars, to 1000bhp Hyper cars, through to vans, emergency service vehicles, HD vehicles, buses and military trucks.
Every vehicle has an "Amount of push = an amount of decel" - and everyone is different.... The Mini just has this weirdly disconnected non-linear feeling that differs depending on speed and driving mode - I felt it first when I drove the first Hybrid London buses, but they were running EV regen + foundation brakes + retarders. The Mini is different to any other vehicle (PHEV or not) that I have ever drive - Thats why I commented.

It does make me wonder with some people though that they have never felt ABS actuation before.... it should be a mandatory requirement for every driver to perform a maximum rate decel once in their lives. Lots of crashes would be avoided - Unless you are stupid enough to try it without looking in your mirrors first !!
Sorry if I came over as doubting your driving experience. That was not my idea.

I totally agree that everyone should find out what an emergency stop feels like in their new car (not just once in a lifetime). Particularly if they have never felt the ABS in operation as the first instinct is to lift off. Before the days of ABS it was even more important since you had to deal with getting the maximum braking right and handling often got very exciting too. Now all that's sorted for you. I believe some cars also apply maximum pedal pressure automatically if you lift off. Not sure how that works or if it is universally helpful.
 

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I occasionally have to use my car very hard whilst being involved in Motorsport. I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed in the brakes on the MINI, they just do not scrub off enough speed quickly, the ABS seems to cut in too much to allow real heavy braking.
The brakes on my previous Leon FR184 were great stopping me from high speed repeatedly without fade, they were excellent for standard brakes. But as I have said I an a bit disappointed with the Countryman’s brakes, perhaps it is down to the weight of the vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry if I came over as doubting your driving experience. That was not my idea.

I totally agree that everyone should find out what an emergency stop feels like in their new car (not just once in a lifetime). Particularly if they have never felt the ABS in operation as the first instinct is to lift off. Before the days of ABS it was even more important since you had to deal with getting the maximum braking right and handling often got very exciting too. Now all that's sorted for you. I believe some cars also apply maximum pedal pressure automatically if you lift off. Not sure how that works or if it is universally helpful.
Thanks a very true point - I do a full rate stop in my new cars quite regularly (just to make sure they still work) as a matter of course, but thats just because i'm a hooligan and the beauty of not paying of tyres / pads / discs etc.

I dont think BAS (Brake Assist Systems) are mandatory on all new cars until 2021 - but the majority of them have that as part of their ADAS packages - along with lane keep assist and the likes
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I occasionally have to use my car very hard whilst being involved in Motorsport. I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed in the brakes on the MINI, they just do not scrub off enough speed quickly, the ABS seems to cut in too much to allow real heavy braking.
The brakes on my previous Leon FR184 were great stopping me from high speed repeatedly without fade, they were excellent for standard brakes. But as I have said I an a bit disappointed with the Countryman’s brakes, perhaps it is down to the weight of the vehicle.
The Mini is pretty portly, but I dont think its a mass issue. The front rotors are huge and the back discs are ventilated (never seen that on a production car under £100K before).

Maybe its a driveability thing ? If the foundation brakes were really strong AND then you get the regen effect, you would be able to slow down mighty quickly.... Maybe its just the brakes attribute engineers way of tell Countryman PHEV owners to "Have fun, but not TOO much fun"......

Not driven the Leon FR, but if its anything like my old Golf GTD then they were awesome..... happy days :)
 

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The Mini is pretty portly, but I dont think its a mass issue. The front rotors are huge and the back discs are ventilated (never seen that on a production car under £100K before).

Maybe its a driveability thing ? If the foundation brakes were really strong AND then you get the regen effect, you would be able to slow down mighty quickly.... Maybe its just the brakes attribute engineers way of tell Countryman PHEV owners to "Have fun, but not TOO much fun"......

Not driven the Leon FR, but if its anything like my old Golf GTD then they were awesome..... happy days :)
The Leon had 312mm rotors on the front and the standard pad material was VERY good and fade free. On many of my “hooligan drives” (off the public highway) the discs were frequently a cherry red colour and the brakes still hadn’t faded! I know this is extreme use.
When I first tried the MINI brakes in anger, with ABS kicking in, I was surprised and disappointed to see the distance the car travelled whilst attempting to stop!
Only this last weekend, I was on a gravel downhill road, when I attempted to slow down the ABS was constantly kicking in, so much so I thought I was going to go off as I could not get the speed down! I suspect the ABS is cutting in far too soon, but how do I broatch this at the dealers?!?
One other point, as it is the ABS that appears to be the issue, I cannot see changing pad material will make any difference.
One great thing is the pace with both engines and 225bhp!!!! One of the primary reasons for buying the MINI!
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The Leon had 312mm rotors on the front and the standard pad material was VERY good and fade free. On many of my “hooligan drives” (off the public highway) the discs were frequently a cherry red colour and the brakes still hadn’t faded! I know this is extreme use.
When I first tried the MINI brakes in anger, with ABS kicking in, I was surprised and disappointed to see the distance the car travelled whilst attempting to stop!
Only this last weekend, I was on a gravel downhill road, when I attempted to slow down the ABS was constantly kicking in, so much so I thought I was going to go off as I could not get the speed down! I suspect the ABS is cutting in far too soon, but how do I broatch this at the dealers?!?
One other point, as it is the ABS that appears to be the issue, I cannot see changing pad material will make any difference.
One great thing is the pace with both engines and 225bhp!!!! One of the primary reasons for buying the MINI!
A man after my own heart sir !

Pad material will barely affect the ABS actuation point that you would notice anyway - plus MINI will not be able to do anything other than supply the R13H type approved pads and certainly wont be able to recal your ABS. Totally against Type Approval rules dont you know !

You could buy aftermarket pads yourself and risk a) invalidating your warranty or b) destroying the pedal feel further, but if I were you i'd suffer in silence like me (tsk !!!) - or ask inane questions about in on nerd sites.... Either way we are stuck with it for two and a half more years.... !!!

My company is Paris based and all my fellow Directors 'en France all drive PSA product.... Apparently in 2020 we are due to get a load of Peugeot PHEV products in the UK and having driven the 3008 on one of our proving grounds I can testify to how bloody awesome it was - nearly 300bhp (combined) and driveability as sweet as you liked and the brakes felt like they were carbon-carbon..... Just put up with the Mini for a while ;)
 

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Only this last weekend, I was on a gravel downhill road, when I attempted to slow down the ABS was constantly kicking in, so much so I thought I was going to go off as I could not get the speed down! I suspect the ABS is cutting in far too soon....................
One way to test that theory is to return to that same gravel downhill stretch. Disengage ABS and then drive and brake at the same rates as before - but use your hooligan experience to cadence brake in the old fashioned way ( As we all had to do back in the day ).

That should eliminate any ABS weirdness and also prove whether the brakes are really up to it or not. Such a downhill gravel surface would be the ultimate test and if they work there they should work anywhere. Leaving you back to square one with a suspect ABS system if that test shows no other problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One way to test that theory is to return to that same gravel downhill stretch. Disengage ABS and then drive and brake at the same rates as before - but use your hooligan experience to cadence brake in the old fashioned way ( As we all had to do back in the day ).

That should eliminate any ABS weirdness and also prove whether the brakes are really up to it or not. Such a downhill gravel surface would be the ultimate test and if they work there they should work anywhere. Leaving you back to square one with a suspect ABS system if that test shows no other problem.
Unfortunately "disconnecting" the ABS of a modern car would trigger so many errors its highly likely that the car wouldn't actually function at all, let alone allow you that sort of experimentation.

I think the early ABS intervention is just systemic of the car / model / weight distribution / ABS sensitivity calibration by BMW Mini and something you will just have to learn to drive around like any other foibles of the car. Its pretty much the only thing that makes modern driving fun.... trying to get around the electronic interventions.

Its nice to hear that there are still some people who like to drive cars in the world - and who care enough about what they are feeling to question if things could be better. All modern OEMs have to cater for Mr/Mrs Everyday - from all corners of the globe - with their current products. The cost-down generation of making as few variants for as many markets as possible, for the lowest common denominator driver means that the only way to get "exciting" driving is to turn to one of the premium brands "Special Operations" models (BMW M, AMG, FR, John Cooper Works etc etc) for a slightly more driver focused experience.

Maybe a John Cooper Works - 'Red Hot Dutch' Pack (or whatever Mini call that sort of thing) for the 2020MY Countryman PHEV might be the answer to our prayers ?
 

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One or two things:

1 Gravel and ABS are very poor bedfellows. I spend a lot of time on forest tracks at work and most modern cars/SUVs are a disaster as on loose surfaces you need to skid the wheels a bit to stop in a hurry (build up a wedge of stone in front of the wheels, same as with fresh snow). On Land Rover forums you often get calls for an ABS override switch for people who actually use their 4x4s off road for this reason.

2. I drive the mechanically identical 225xe and get what you are talking about. The issue comes from the hybrid system which tries to use the initial pedal travel for electrical re-generation only without friction brakes. Remember re-gen is off the back axle so the initial few mm of pedal travel gives you rear wheel electrical braking, then the friction brakes come into play when you press harder. This robs the pedal of that initial feel you are looking for. The brakes themselves are powerful enough but take a little more time to dial in because of the not-so- linear nature of the braking. Gives you some interesting potential for attitude adjustment if you are a left foot braker! But if you are accustomed to brakes with good feel it may take some getting used to or you may never come to like it. I replaced a Prius so I was used to this type of system and the 225 is waaaay better.

3. The mini is 1.7 tonnes dry, 'you canna change the laws of physics, Jim'. It comes with tyres optimised for economy, not outright grip, It might go like a hot hatch but it is never going to stop like one.
 
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