We were surprised by the interior which feels more up market than previous MINI's we have tested.
Comfort and Refinement
We were surprised by the interior which feels more up market than previous MINI's we have tested. The materials are better and feel softer to the touch. Our test car had an optional leather interior - Leather Gravity-Polar Beige at £675 which finished off the interior to a tee.
The standard specification is fairly generous with MINIMALISM Technology (Automatic Start/Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, Shift Point Display). Wheels and chassis - (16" Alloy wheels: 5-Star Single Spoke, 7J with 205/55 R17 tyres (Anthracite as standard, Silver optional), MINI ALL4, all-wheel drive system, MINI Mobility System (MINI MS)). Seats - (Height adjustable driver's seat, Sport seats for driver and front passenger, with storage pocket on backrests). Interior equipment includes (Air conditioning (manual), Electric front and rear windows, MINI Centre Rail: unique functional rail system fitted between the front seats (extended Centre Rail on 4 seat version), Start/Stop button). Audio and communication - (Auxiliary -in connection (3.5mm), Basic Bluetooth with USB connection, Central bass Hi-Fi system, DAB radio).
As with the rest of the MINI range there is a wide range of customisation options on both the exterior and interior supplemented by new, model-specific features exclusive to the MINI Countryman. New combinations in the range of interior colours, trim strips and upholstery enable even the most discerning customer to create his or her own very special car with a truly unique character.
The MINI Countryman is not the cheapest SUV and the options soon add up, in fact our test car had £6,500 worth of optional extras which is around a third of the price of the initial car and of course you would want all of those extras. Still it is not too bad value even with the extras when compared to the price of a Nissan QASHQAI of a similar specification.
As standard the Countryman is fitted with a Central Bass Hi-Fi system which comprises single slot CD and a FM/DAB radio tuner, plus there is an auxiliary 3.5mm connection jack and basic Bluetooth with USB connection. It is impressive to see a DAB radio tuner and it worked well even in rural Devon.
It was easy to connect an iPod via the USB interface and we had full control over the iPod. We also connected not only mobile phones via Bluetooth, but we could also connect them using audio Bluetooth so that we could play back music stored on our phones.
Our test car was fitted with the optional Satellite Navigation package and at £995 it is an option we would probably choose. It is very similar to the BMW system and uses the i-drive interface to control the functions. The display is very clear, especially in 3d mode. Ultimately it is a little too low for the driver but it works well and adds to the up market ambience, and looks far better than sticking an aftermarket Satellite Navigation unit onto the windscreen.
- BMW X1
- Mitsubishi ASX
- Nissan QASHQAI
- Nissan Juke
What We Liked
- All round fun
- Excellent quality interior materials
- Exterior and interior styling
- Driving dynamics
- Refined diesel engine
- Excellent Satellite Navigation interface and display
What We Disliked
- Central Speedo difficult to read, especially with the Satellite Navigation option
- Some controls are awkwardly placed for the driver, such as the front and rear fog light switches
- The expensive options (that you really want)
- Vision is poor from the side mirrors
What We'd Like To See
- Hill Descent control
- A reversing camera
The MINI Countryman is very likeable and it has the near driving dynamics of the MINI hatch which is good thing, with the practicality of a small SUV. The four wheel drive system is helpful on hostile winter roads but do not expect to venture off road (well not too far). It housed four adult passengers with ease and you would get some luggage on board too.
If you are looking for a small SUV with personality, performance and real driver appeal then the MINI Countryman is the car for you.24 December 2010
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|