The new MINI Countryman is an interesting car, as it’s the largest and most grown-up MINI to ever be made. With its chunky looks, black plastic wheel arches and higher ride height, it’s also the most rugged and off-road ready production MINI ever made. This sort of upsets the MINI community, as fans of the famous British brand like their cars as small and fun as possible. But one could argue that if a MINI customer needs more space or practicality, the Countryman is the car for them. So CarBuyer drives it to find out if the Countryman packs enough MINI DNA in it to make it as fun and charming as the brand’s cars are usually known for.
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In it, we see the practicality of the Countryman’s trunk and how much cargo it can actually fit. for a MINI, it’s not bad at all. In fact, it’s downright capacious. Plus, for a few extra bucks, you can get a MINI-branded cushion for the tailgate so you can sit down and have a picnic. No seriously. You can even get a MINI picnic blanket.
But aside from the trunk, the back seat is also quite spacious. In the video, you can clearly see an adult woman sit in the back seat in comfort with ease, ample head room and more than enough knee room. You could easily fit two adults in the back in complete comfort. The back seats even slide fore and aft, for a few more extra dollars of course, which makes it even more spacious. Up front, the seats are comfortable and everything seems laid out properly, with even some care taken to the ergonomics, which isn’t typical of MINI. However, there are still some of the usual quirks associate with the famous British marque.
In terms of how it drives, it’s certainly the more grown up MINI. Gone are the fun driving dynamics of the smaller MINI Coopers and even the Clubman, replaced with a more mature and relaxed experience. The Countryman is also more capable off-road and more comfortable on the highway. However, it does lack some of the dynamic capabilities of other MINIs.
All in all, the MINI Countryman seems to be the car for MINI customers who need more space, practicality and maybe a bit of off-road capability. It may not be the most enthusiast-oriented MINI but it certainly has its purpose in the market.