Unlike the MINI Clubman the MINI Countryman has five doors and is a hatchback.
Ease of Use
Unlike the MINI Clubman the MINI Countryman has five doors and is a hatchback. Getting in and out of the front is a fairly easy affair, far easier than the MINI hatch and of course rear seat occupants get their own door, which whilst they do not open to 90 degrees it easier to get into the rear.
The driver's seat is adjustable for height and the steering wheel can be adjusted for rake and reach - so getting the ideal driving position should be easy for the majority of drivers.
Due to the elevated driving position all round vision is good and makes parking easy. Our test car was fitted with rear parking sensors, which gave audible feedback and utilised the Satellite Navigation screen to give a visual indication of how close you were to hitting something. It would have been nice to have had a reversing camera and front parking sensors.
We did not like the side door mirrors which we felt were far too small and the kerbside mirror seemed be below the window line, cutting our view off. Our test car was fitted with an auto dipping rear view mirror and side mirrors which also power folded in, a £215 option.
In keeping with the MINI ethos the MINI Countryman shares the switch gear with its siblings in the MINI range and whilst its retro styling is attractive but we find it all a little fussy and not particularly ergonomic. But in time you would get used to the layout.
As we have said before the MINI Countryman isn't so MINI - it is 398 mm longer than a MINI Hatch (at 4097mm), 316 mm wider (at 1,789 mm) and 170 mm higher (at 1577mm).
The MINI Countryman offers 190 litres more luggage capacity than a MINI Hatch with the seats up (a total of 350 litres) and 1,170 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The multi-function rear seats are arranged in a 60:40 Base and 40:20:40 Backrest providing absolute flexibility with all three seats capable of folding flat in any combination. With one rear seat passenger, two seats can be folded flat or with two, one can be flattened.
The MINI Countryman is a five seater as standard but can be specified as a four seater (no cost option), so that you utilize the central tunnel for carrying luggage and lifestyle accessories. With the four seat model you can specify the MINI Central Rail system which allows you to clip accessories to a central rail system running down the centre of the car. The MINI Centre Rail runs from front to rear instead of a conventional centre console and opens up new, individual options for integrating all kinds of storage boxes, cupholders, power chargers, music players, mobile phones and other accessories. The five seat model has a shorter track between the front seats.
The MINI Countryman is versatile with its flexible attitude to accommodating the needs of its owner, whether they are parents with young children or empty nesters with an active lifestyle.
Safety and Security
The MINI Countryman has been awarded 5-stars in the latest Euro NCAP crash test results. It features a wide range of standard-fitted safety equipment designed to ensure highly effective occupant protection for both adults and children in various types of collision. Alongside the high levels of active and passive safety designed to reduce the risk of injury inside the MINI Countryman, its pedestrian protection measures also played their part in securing the top rating.
The MINI Countryman's active safety includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), which is fitted as standard. This system comprises not only ABS anti-lock brakes but also Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Brake Assist and Hill Assist.
The MINI Countryman also has a runflat indicator as a standard feature. This system monitors the tyres and uses a visual signal in the on-board computer display to alert the driver to any tyre damage.
To protect your MINI Countryman, it is fitted with a Thatcham Category 1 alarm fitted as standard.
MINI Countryman Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||MINI Countryman|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||112 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||60.1 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / Unlimited miles|
|Price (when tested on the 24/12/10)||£19,875|