2013 MINI Cooper Countryman Interior
While auto writers like the 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman’s retro-inspired design, some agree that the materials are cheap and that the design places style over function. The newly standard three-seat bench is tight for three people, according to reviewers. Cargo space is good for the class, but most reviewers focus their attention on how ineffective the center rail storage system is.
- "Again per Mini tradition, the Countryman cabin mixes hard- and soft-touch plastics with stylish shapes and textures to create an upscale ‘designer’ ambience. Most materials look quality, but some fittings feel low-buck flimsy." -- Consumer Guide
- "Overall fit and finish is on par with what you'd expect in a Mini. No drastic changes have been made to the major touchable surfaces and the seats remain comfortable and supportive. The standard Mini toggle switches still continue to amuse and confuse, but we're happy the interior refinement has largely been left alone." -- Autoblog (2011)
For the 2013 model year, the Cooper Countryman’s standard seating capacity increases to five thanks to a standard three-seat rear bench. Two individual rear seats are available without charge, decreasing the seating capacity to four. All models come standard with faux-leather upholstery and cloth upholstery is optional. Heated front seats are also optional.
One test driver is pleased with the front seats, saying a driver who is 6 feet 6 inches tall will have enough head- and legroom, though he wishes the seats had more thigh support. A different critic adds that visibility is good thanks to a tall seating position and big windows. Only one reviewer comments on the Cooper Countryman’s new standard rear bench seats, and says they are hard, don’t have enough thigh support and will be too tight for three people. Another critic likes the individual rear seats, though. He says adults who are 6 feet tall can sit comfortably when the seats are pushed back.
- "Narrow thresholds and relatively small footwells complicate entry/exit, especially with a front seat set more than halfway back. The newly standard rear bench is too narrow for comfortable three-abreast travel. And like the no-cost twin buckets, it's a bit hard for long-haul comfort and lacks adequate thigh support." -- Consumer Guide
- "For the most part, I was happy with the cabin space. Drivers as tall as 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-6 had no complaints about headroom and were reasonably satisfied with legroom, though a few of us noted that the low seats left little support for the front of a tall driver's thighs." -- Cars.com (2011)
- "The large windows and elevated seating provide wide, unimpeded views." -- Truck Trend (2011)
- "If you're used to the Cooper hatchback's cramped quarters, the Countryman's generous passenger compartment will surprise. Two reclining bucket seats in the rear slide back far enough for the Countryman to accommodate 6-footers in both rows. If you've always yearned for a Mini but couldn't live without a usable backseat, the Countryman is your answer." -- Edmunds (2012)
The base Mini Cooper Countryman comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, auxiliary input jack, HD Radio and Bluetooth. Satellite radio, a USB adapter, a Harman Kardon sound system, Mini Connected infotainment system and Mini Connected with navigation are optional. For 2013, Mini moved the controls for the window to the doors.
Most test drivers dislike the Cooper Countryman’s confusing interior features. Their complaints begin with the speedometer, which is located in the center of the dashboard, and forces the driver to look over to read it. Some critics also say the navigation, audio and Bluetooth features aren’t user-friendly because they’re operated through a knob and not a touch screen in a long, multi-step process they dislike. Only one reviewer comments on the optional Harmon Kardon sound system, but isn’t impressed with the sound quality. He says it’s adequate, but desires more bass and better clarity.
- "The central speedometer is huge but hard to read without leaning inboard, though the standard tachometer includes an easy-read digital speed readout. However, the available information screen shrinks the main speedometer needle to a small speck. The screen is small enough and low enough to require a long glance down from the road. Worse, it operates not by touch but by a small knob ahead of the shifter, so cycling among navigation, audio, and phone functions is tedious, as well as distracting." -- Consumer Guide
- "The sound quality from this system is not bad, but it lacks a strong bass punch. Midranges come through muddily, which makes vocals sound uninspired." -- CNET (Harman Kardon sound system, 2011)
- "Up front, the … entertainment and navigation systems are integrated into the Countryman’s speedometer, which we found intuitive and easy to use via the joystick on the console." -- Road and Track (2011)
- “Quirky styling flourishes like its gigantic central speedometer are charming reminders that the Countryman is indeed a Mini. Unfortunately, the wagon also shares the regular Cooper's penchant for curious and sometimes frustrating controls that value form over function." -- Edmunds (2012)
The Cooper Countryman has up to 41.3 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded and 16.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in use. One critic is unimpressed with the available cargo room. However, compared with its rivals, the Cooper Countryman’s cargo space is good for the class. For example, the Cooper Countryman has more cargo room than the Nissan Juke, but less than the Buick Encore. The Cooper Countryman’s cargo space is also competitive with hatchbacks like the Volkswagen GTI.
The Cooper Countryman has a center rail, which extends from the front seat to the back seat. It has removable storage compartments and cables for your iPod or cell phone. Reviewers are divided over this feature. One test driver thinks the center rail is useful, but notices that the parking brake can block it. A different critic dislikes the center rail altogether.
- "The center-rail storage system isn't that useful and seems of dubious worth. ... The console cupholders can only secure standard foam coffee cups and small water bottles, and even those are easily ejected by contact with the shifter just ahead." -- Consumer Guide
- "What about the cargo area? Is it big? Not really." -- Cars.com (2011)
- "While in most cases, we found the Mini rail system to be highly functional and an attractive feature, the parking brake tends to interfere when tall items are placed in the rail (i.e. an iPhone4 in the rail charger with a tangled power cord)." -- Road and Track (2011)