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In-depth reviews

MINI Countryman review - Interior & comfort

The MINI Countryman is well built and gets a new stylish, yet minimalist interior

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Interior & comfort Rating

4.5 out of 5

The MINI Countryman is just as well-put-together and high-quality as we’ve come to expect from the brand. This time around it’s a much more minimalistic affair, with most of the car’s controls and information incorporated into a circular infotainment screen on the centre of the dash. 

Our Countryman SE test car’s interior had a mix of colours and materials that contributed to a soothing atmosphere. We much preferred it over the JCW’s racier red and black pattern on the dash. 

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Below the central screen there are a few buttons, including a switch for ‘Experience Modes’, which change the driving modes and also the colours of the interior and screen. There are some features designed to amplify MINI’s sense of fun, including a ‘go-kart’ mode which, when toggled, lets out a ‘woohoo!’ from the speakers reminiscent of an arcade video game. All the switchgear feels solid and sturdy, which is to be expected of such an expensive car.

Is the MINI Countryman infotainment and navigation system easy to use?

The latest Countryman uses a circular OLED screen which is 9.4 inches in size and makes use of the brand’s latest infotainment software. It is a very crisp display which is bright and vibrant in colour. MINI has worked hard to incorporate a sense of fun in the infotainment system, with quirky sound effects and graphics and even a personal assistant called ‘Spike’. 

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As well as music apps, the Countryman’s infotainment system can be used to stream video content, too, which could come in handy catching up on your favourite TV shows while waiting for the E or SE to charge up at a rest stop.

Our only gripe with the system was that, because there are no dials ahead of the driver and this information is displayed through the single screen along with so much else, it can look a little busy and might be overwhelming for some drivers used to traditional dials.

Is the MINI Countryman well equipped?

The MINI Countryman comes with a great amount of equipment as standard. After choosing your car’s performance, MINI divides each model into ‘styles’ comprising Classic, Exclusive and Sport (aside from the JCW which comes solely in Sport style). In Classic, all cars get LED lights, the 9.4-inch central OLED display, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, parking assist and a rear-view camera among other features.

What options should you choose on the MINI Countryman?

After choosing the car’s style, buyers can choose from Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 packs. The Level 1 pack comes as standard on the Countryman S and SE models and above, bringing kit like adaptive LED headlights, keyless entry and go, heated front seats, a head-up display, folding wing mirrors, and even a larger 54-litre fuel tank on petrol models (an increase of nine litres). These features among others included in Level 1 should be enough for most buyers, but we’d recommend paying the extra £2,800 to upgrade and get them if going for the Countryman C or E model.

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Level 2 brings a premium Harman Kardon sound system, a panoramic sunroof, privacy glass and wireless smartphone charging – nice additions, but at £5,300 extra when adding to base models, we could do without it. Level 3 can be added to Exclusive models, and brings 22kW AC charging capability to the electric models, plus a massaging driver’s seat, sat nav, and an interior camera for taking selfies, or monitoring the car wirelessly via an app when you’re away.

Key features

Classic

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Body-coloured roof
  • Faux-leather ‘Veschin’ and cloth upholstery
  • Heated sports steering wheel

Exclusive

(Classic plus…)

  • Full faux-leather interior
  • Optional contrast roof
  • Anthracite roof lining
  • John Cooper Works sport seats

Sport

(Exclusive plus…)

  • John Cooper Works sporty styling
  • Black roof
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Faux leather and cord combination upholstery
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Uprated brakes
 

Equipment packs

 

Level 1

  • Adaptive LED headlights
  • Keyless entry and go
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Electrically folding and heated wing mirrors
  • Heated front seats
  • Automatic high beams
  • MINI head up display
  • Wireless smartphone charging

Level 2

(Level 1 plus…)

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Privacy glass
  • Premium Harman Kardon sound system

Level 3 (available on Exclusive and Sport)

(Level 2 plus…)

  • 22kW AC charging capability (electric models)
  • Ventilated and massaging driver’s seat
  • Memory function for electrically adjustable front seats
  • Interior camera
  • MINI sat nav system
  • Autonomous parking system
 
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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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