Used MINI Countryman (2010 - 2017) Comfort

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 06 Oct 2015
4
The MINI Countryman is a new entrant to the lucrative crossover market. When rival Nissan launched its Qashqai crossover the strange name masked the genius behind its conception.

2.5 out of 5

Comfort

Sadly MINI Countryman comfort levels are not its strong point. The ride does get a little busy because the car is pretty stiff - like every other MINI really. It's not unbearable, but rear-seat passengers might start to look a little queasy on poorly surfaced country lanes and potted city streets after 30 minutes of driving.

Although the high driving position is welcome the seats are on the firm side. They are better than those on other MINIs but back sufferers might find them somewhat uncomfortable.

Both cars we tested were noisy, particularly the diesel, which sounded unreasonably agricultural. Inside we experienced buzzing from the rear of the car, which was irritating, and overall wind and road noise suppression was inadequate: the Countryman has a tinny ambience and although you might consider that all part of the charm, we don't.

4.5 out of 5

Practicality

This is a surprisingly practical five-door car if you have a couple of young kids to ferry around each day. The rear seats can slide backwards and forwards and the back angle can be adjusted too. At their full extent there's plenty of legroom for rear-seat passengers and, predictably, for a crossover there's a lot of headroom too.

There's a 350-litre boot, which can be increased to 1,170 litres when you fold the rear seats down. That's pretty good: the Nissan Qashqai offers 410 litres with seats up, but only 860 litres of total load space. The Countryman is not quite as good as a Ford Focus though (it has 385 litres with seats up and 1,247 litres with seats down) but this is a MINI, which has never been considered a paragon of practicality.

There's also a clever panel behind the rear seats that can be folded down to create a flat floor (without it the boot floor is sunken), but the rear seats cannot be folded totally flat because there is a very slight angle.

You can either have a five-seat version with three seats in the back or a four-seater with an extended central rail running down the middle where you can attach all manner of things such as a mobile phone holder, a sunglasses case holder, cup holder and if you are of a flashy disposition, an iPad holder.

Depending on the rear-seat configuration you can fold them down in a 60:40 split for three rear-seat passengers and the backrests, by contrast, can be arranged in a 40:20:40 split for extra flexibility.

Get a MINI Countryman valuation

How does the boot space compare?

420 litres
416 litres
400 litres
MINI Countryman (10-17)
350 litres
3 out of 5

Behind the wheel

MINI insists on putting the electric window buttons on the central console, which some may find annoying, but that control button located on the central tunnel is a cinch to use.

There's a gargantuan speedo in the middle which still requires quite a sizeable glance away from the road ahead to check your speed although there is a digital readout in front of you that you never ever notice. Again, MINI insists on putting the rev counter right in front of you, which only serves to remind you that this is where the speedo should be.

The aircraft-style u-shaped handbrake is an unnecessarily fancy inclusion that is normally impeded by your mobile phone if you have dutifully put it in the holder in the central tunnel. You may like the MINI quirkiness, but that illogical layout is not made any better by the rather hard plastics used for the dashboard and glovebox. The Countryman cabin isn't a disaster but form has ruled over function here.