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#15

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $22,750 - $35,350
Invoice: $20,930 - $32,520
MPG: 27 City / 34 Hwy
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MINI Cooper Countryman Interior

Most test drivers like the 2015 Mini Countryman’s interior styling, which consists of rounded features like a circular speedometer screen and vents. Many also report that most materials are of good quality, although a few say some feel cheap. Automotive journalists like the Countryman’s spacious front and rear seats. According to critics, adjusting climate and audio settings is difficult because the dashboard buttons are small. While the Mini Countryman has less cargo space than most rivals, reviewers still find the amount of space suitable.

  • "The interior is dressed in distinctive Mini styling flourishes, including an oversized speedometer located in the center of the dash and Mini's overall rounded styling theme." -- Edmunds
  • "The Countryman and Paceman interiors are as charming as those in other Minis. There's the big round speedometer in the center, plus a bunch of small switches and buttons, a round tachometer, round air conditioning vents, round door pulls, more round things here and there - it's certainly distinctively Mini." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "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 (2013)
  • "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)

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Seating

The Countryman seats five and comes standard with faux-leather seats. Heated front seats, leather-trimmed seats and seats with adjustable lumbar support are optional. According to reviewers, the Mini Countryman’s front and rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom to accommodate even tall adults. A few test drivers also report that there’s good forward visibility.

  • "Unlike smaller Cooper models, the Countryman offers enough room to accommodate 6-foot passengers in both rows with the rear seats moved back." -- Edmunds
  • "On the plus side, the sightline are superb, affording an excellent view of the road ahead." -- Left Lane News
  • "The tall, boxy body furnishes ample head- and legroom for larger adults despite fairly high-set seats. That seat positioning combines with good-size doorways to make entry much easier than in the smaller, lower-slung Minis. The available leather seats are comfortable and do a good job of holding occupants in place around fast turns. Long seat tracks and the standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel help tailor a basically upright driving position." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "At their most rearward setting, the rear seats offer generous legroom and an uncharacteristic- for a Mini - amount of headroom." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)

Interior Features

Standard features in the 2015 Mini Countryman include a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, a USB/iPod adapter and push-button start. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, satellite radio, a Harman Kardon sound system, a voice-controlled infotainment system with a 6.5-inch high-definition display and navigation.

Critics agree that the 2015 Countryman’s tiny controls make it difficult to adjust climate and audio settings. A few also note that the optional infotainment system has a small screen, and that its control knob is time-consuming and distracting to use. According to automotive writers, the Mini Countryman’s center-mounted speedometer isn’t in the driver’s line of sight. However, they note that a digital speedometer readout in the tachometer helps drivers remain focused on the road.  

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  • "The cabin is marked by MINI's quirky control layout, which is highlighted by a speedometer mounted in the center of the dashboard. Secondary controls are arranged in a whimsical but not always logical fashion. ..." -- Left Lane News
  • "… the Countryman is also stuck with small and sometimes frustrating controls that value form over function." -- Edmunds
  • “After a chorus of criticism, Mini has finally relented and placed the switches where you expect to find them: in the door panel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "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 (2013)

Cargo

The 2015 Mini Countryman has 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 42.2 cubic feet of cargo space with them folded. That’s a smaller cargo hold than nearly every rival has. However, most reviewers say the Countryman has a useful amount of cargo space and handy features like a trunk partition and under-floor storage. The Mini Countryman also comes standard with roof rails.

  • "With the rear seat all the way back and the clever flip-up trunk partition in place, the Countryman's cargo area is about twice as large as in the hatchback. Lowering the rear seatback expands cargo capacity to 42.2 cubic feet, although that's still noticeably less than larger crossovers such as the Ford Escape, Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5." -- Edmunds
  • "The underfloor bin is nice, but the jack steals quite a bit of the space. Small-item storage around the driver is stingy; the little tray at the base of the center stack is nearly useless." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "If you have always wanted a Mini but your daily driving responsibilities require a more practical vehicle, the 2012 Countryman's four doors, rear liftgate and 41.3 cubic feet of cargo space might be the answer you were looking for." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)
  • "… there's even enough luggage space for a week in the country.” -- Popular Mechanics (2011)
Review Last Updated: 12/10/14

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