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2016 MINI Cooper Countryman Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 MINI Cooper Countryman was new.


Interior: 7.3

The 2016 Mini Countryman has a stylish interior, according to critics, but they say it features both low-rent and high-quality materials. Automotive journalists think that the interior has poorly arranged dashboard controls that are tricky to use, and they add the infotainment control knob is awkwardly located on the console. Test drivers say the front and rear seats offer plenty of room and good visibility. The Mini Countryman's cargo space is smaller than nearly every rival, and reviewers say there aren't enough places to store small items in the cabin.

  • "Sometimes more whimsical than functional, the Mini Cooper Countryman's cabin is still a charming place." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The interior is dressed in distinctive Mini styling flourishes, including an oversized speedometer located in the center of the dash and Mini's overall rounded styling theme. But the Countryman is also stuck with small and sometimes frustrating controls that value form over function." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Materials quality is also inconsistent. We get a kick out of the pie-plate central speedometer, though, and hope it never changes." -- AutoTrader (2013)
  • "Again per Mini tradition, the Countryman cabin mixes hard- and soft-touch plastics with stylish shapes and textures to create an upscale ‘designer’ ambience. Most materials look quality, but some fittings feel low-buck flimsy." -- Consumer Guide (2013)


The 2016 Mini Cooper Countryman seats five on standard leatherette seats. Leather upholstery, heated front seats and sport seats with added side support are available. Most critics say the front seats provide good support and a comfortable driving position with good outward visibility. The rear seats offer enough room for a couple adults and all seats have decent head- and legroom, according to automotive journalists.

  • "The front seats are supportive, and the 3-across bench is suitable for two adults - three of any-size human is a pinch." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On the plus side, the sightline[s] are superb, affording an excellent view of the road ahead." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The base Countryman's standard front seats are rather flat -- that's where the optional contoured sport seats (standard on the Cooper S Countryman) come in. But we love the chair-like driving position, which is absolutely commanding thanks to the Countryman's extra ride height. The pedals are perfectly placed, and the steering wheel tilts and telescopes for comfort." -- AutoTrader (2013)
  • "The tall, boxy body furnishes ample head- and legroom for larger adults despite fairly high-set seats. That seat positioning combines with good-size doorways to make entry much easier than in the smaller, lower-slung Minis. The available leather seats are comfortable and do a good job of holding occupants in place around fast turns." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Interior Features

The 2016 Mini Countryman comes standard with a six-speaker audio system, HD Radio, an auxiliary audio input jack, a USB port, Bluetooth, push-button start and automatic climate control. A Harman Kardon audio system, satellite radio, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors and the Mini Connected infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display are optional.

Most automotive journalists find it difficult to see the large speedometer and the incorporated Mini Connected infotainment screen due to its placement on top of the center stack, outside of the driver's sightline. They add that the layout of the controls on the center stack is confusing and note that the infotainment system's control knob is located on the console, making it hard to reach and use.

See 2016 Mini Countryman specs »

  • "Mini Connected can be tricky to use, however, because of the car's control layout." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The cabin is marked by MINI's quirky control layout, which is highlighted by a speedometer mounted in the center of the dashboard. Secondary controls are arranged in a whimsical but not always logical fashion. …" -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "We love the eccentricity of Mini's retro-style switches. But having to target the awkwardly placed metal toggles in the low center dash gets to be a pain in daily driving. After a chorus of criticism, Mini has finally relented and placed the switches where you expect to find them: in the door panel." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
  • "The central speedometer is huge but hard to read without leaning inboard, though the standard tachometer includes an easy-read digital speed readout. However, the available information screen shrinks the main speedometer needle to a small speck. The screen is small enough and low enough to require a long glance down from the road. Worse, it operates not by touch but by a small knob ahead of the shifter, so cycling among navigation, audio, and phone functions is tedious, as well as distracting." -- Consumer Guide (2013)


Cargo space is limited in the 2016 Mini Countryman, with 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 42.2 cubic feet with them folded. Nearly every other SUV in the class has more cargo space. Some test drivers are disappointed in the lack of small-item storage in the cabin and they say the bin under the cargo floor isn't very useful because of the placement of the jack.

  • "With the rear seat all the way back and the clever flip-up trunk partition in place, the Countryman's cargo area is about twice as large as in the hatchback. Lowering the rear seatback expands cargo capacity to 42.2 cubic feet, although that's still noticeably less than larger crossovers such as the Ford Escape, Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-5." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Cargo space behind the rear seats is 16.5 cu ft, which is a lot by MINI standards -- although not by anyone else's standards." -- AutoTrader (2013)
  • "The underfloor bin is nice, but the jack steals quite a bit of the space. Small-item storage around the driver is stingy; the little tray at the base of the center stack is nearly useless." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "If you have always wanted a Mini but your daily driving responsibilities require a more practical vehicle, the 2012 Countryman's four doors, rear liftgate and 41.3 cubic feet of cargo space might be the answer you were looking for." -- Kelley Blue Book (2012)

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