Mini's large circular homage to the original remains housing an 8.8-inch touchscreen media system display that's standard across the range. In terms of quality, the interior is beautifully appointed with a leather-wrapped steering wheel fitted as standard on all models. The overall design is quite striking, and it's easy to get comfortable. Being the maxi Mini, there's ample space.
For 2022, a five-inch digital instrument cluster is now standard across the range. It looks extremely cool with its rounded edges and is well worth investing in. We're pretty surprised by the lack of features, especially since the Mini's pricing starts at around $30,000. At the base level, you get manually-adjustable seats. Even something as basic as Apple CarPlay isn't standard. We're aware that the Mini badge comes at a premium, but even an entry-level Chevrolet Spark, which costs less than half the price of the base Countryman, comes as standard with a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay.
The Countryman certainly has the advantage when it comes to interior space. Yes, you can squeeze four people into the Cooper hatch, but it will be an uncomfortably intimate experience. The Countryman can easily accommodate four, and five for short periods of time. Both legroom and headroom are adequate front and rear, and only those over six-feet tall and above will feel cramped. Every Countryman is equipped with comfortable, supportive bucket-like seats in the front. In base trim and Signature trim, they adjust manually, but the Iconic trim gets power-adjustable front seats.
Another advantage of the Mini SUV is the ease of access. It's just the right height to get in and out of. It's also easier to see out of, thanks to the tiny windows located behind the C-pillar. The floating roof concept doesn't work as well, but it's a small price to pay for having a clear view all around.
|Mini Cooper Countryman Trims||Cooper||Oxford Edition||Oxford Edition ALL4||Cooper ALL4||Cooper S||Cooper S ALL4||Cooper SE ALL4|
|Headroom Front Seat||40.5 in.||40.5 in.||40.5 in.||40.5 in.||40.5 in.||40.5 in.||40 in.|
|Headroom Back Seat||38.3 in.||38.3 in.||38.3 in.||38.3 in.||38.3 in.||38.3 in.||37 in.|
|Legroom Front Seat||40.4 in.||40.4 in.||40.4 in.||40.4 in.||40.4 in.||40.4 in.||40.4 in.|
|Legroom Back Seat||37.6 in.||37.6 in.||37.6 in.||37.6 in.||37.6 in.||37.6 in.||37.6 in.|
|Shoulder Room Front||54.8 in.||54.8 in.||54.8 in.||54.8 in.||54.8 in.||54.8 in.||54.8 in.|
|Shoulder Room Rear||54 in.||54 in.||54 in.||54 in.||54 in.||54 in.||53.9 in.|
While we don't appreciate Mini's selfish approach regarding standard equipment, we can't fault the material quality. Classic and Signature trim levels come with Carbon Black leatherette, which already has a premium feel. Signature and Iconic trims offer a selection of premium leather upholstery options, although you need to pay extra for these on the Signature. The Signature leather options include Cross Punch Carbon Black and three Chesterfield options: Malt Brown, Indigo Blue, and Satellite Grey. The Mini Yours Leather Lounge Carbon Black upholstery is also available for an added cost. The Boardwalk Edition comes with black Cross Punch leather upholstery only.
The interior is lifted by Piano Black accents and, depending on the trim and options, British Oak dark accent strips. Mini's PHEV has a nice yellow ring around the center console to differentiate it from the rest of the lineup.
In our humble opinion, this is where Mini completely lost the plot as far as brand ethos is concerned. We tend to forgive Minis for not being as spacious as their rivals because these British-built icons aren't supposed to be practical. This is nothing more than a mix of clever marketing and misinformation. The original Austin Mini was a practicality masterpiece and one of the main reasons it was so beloved by many. A 1960s Mini has more than enough space for four adults and large interior storage bins on either side of the rear bench. Fact.
The Countryman's 17.6 cubic feet trunk (17.2 cubes in the PHEV) is enough for daily errands but lacking compared to its rivals. BMW's X1, which uses the same platform, offers 27.1 cubes. And unlike most, we're not as willing to forgive simply because "it's a Mini." We will concede that 17.6 cubes are perfectly adequate in most daily scenarios and that the cargo space is not a deal-breaker. The rear seats fold flat in a 40/20/40 split, increasing cargo capacity to 47.6 cubes in the standard Countryman car, and 47.4 in the PHEV.
Interior storage space is adequate but not class-leading. Front passengers get dual cupholders and a narrow storage space under the center armrest. There are also door pockets for storing other small items but these are not massive.
Considering its retail price, we feel justified in saying the Mini is sparsely equipped. The Classic trim comes as standard with adaptive cruise control, manually adjustable seats, a rearview camera, manual air conditioning, a panoramic moonroof, and a rearview camera with park distance control. Forward collision warning is standard as well and, from this year, lane-departure warning. The Signature trim adds keyless entry, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and a power tailgate. The top-spec Iconic trim includes premium leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and power-folding exterior mirrors.
Last year, Mini dropped the old 6.5-inch display and the larger 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is now standard across the range. This year, all trims are equipped with a digital instrument cluster. In the Classic and Signature trim levels, the infotainment system comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port. In Iconic and Boardwalk Edition trims, you get navigation and Apple CarPlay included in the price. Mini drivers wouldn't be caught dead with anything but the equally iconic iPhone. A six-speaker sound system is standard, but a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is available as part of the Premium Package. All models come with HD Radio and SiriusXM with a 12-month subscription.