MINI Countryman review - Interior, design and technology
The Countryman’s exterior look is divisive, but the attention to detail in the interior is impressive, while quality and tech are both top notch
Given that MINIs are designed to appeal to more fashion-conscious buyers, the Countryman has to look good. While this is subjective, the bulkier Countryman Mk2 appears to push the brand’s design language to its limit.
The front-end design, with its gaping front grille and bulbous headlamps, has always looked a bit awkward, while the squared-off rear isn’t much better. The 2020 facelift addressed some of these issues with a new radiator grille, new front and rear bumpers and Union Flag-branded tail lights.
Customers also benefit from adaptive LED headlights with auto-dimming as standard, while MINI’s Piano Black exterior styling package can now be optionally specced in place of the standard car’s exterior brightwork.
There’s plenty of scope for personalisation, with contrasting roof and mirror colours available. You can team this with bonnet stripes and themes, but these hike the price. The S E hybrid also comes with yellow badging to mark it out.
Inside, things are less controversial. The design is typical MINI, with overstyled yet neat touches like the huge circular display and chrome toggle switches, while the facelift introduced a new five-inch digital instrument binnacle (as seen in the MINI Electric) as standard across the entire model range. There’s also some new Piano Black trim for the dashboard and doors cards, along with two new leather upholstery colours.
Quality is largely excellent - the materials for the seats feel classy, while a mixture of soft touch plastics on the dash and fabric trim on the door pulls lifts the ambience. The black trim on the dashboard feels solid and looks upmarket, too.
Delve into the huge options list and you’ll find ambient lighting packs, which light up the cupholders, door handles and even shimmer through the black dash inlays in whichever colour you desire.
You can spend thousands speccing up a MINI with all sorts of customisation choices, but standard equipment is good - all cars include LED headlights and taillights, rear parking sensors, cruise control, air-con, a DAB radio and Bluetooth, while MINI offers a range of Comfort, Navigation and Activity packs that allow you to upgrade your Countryman.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
The standard infotainment system is now a 8.8-inch colour display with sat-nav and Apple CarPlay functions. For an extra £1,300 you can specify the Navigation Plus Pack which brings a digital cockpit display, wireless charging capability and Amazon Alexa connectivity.
In this review
- 1MINI Countryman reviewThe MINI Countryman offers good space and efficiency, while it now looks more polished and includes improved on-board tech.
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Countryman’s ride is quite firm, but in handling and refinement terms it’s up there with the class best
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Countryman is competitive across the board for running costs, justifying its high purchase price
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Countryman’s exterior look is divisive, but the attention to detail in the interior is impressive, while quality and tech are both top notch
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceWith good space for passengers and luggage, the Countryman is a genuine small SUV
- 6Reliability and SafetyCustomers can be reassured by the Countryman's good standard safety kit and top Euro NCAP rating