MINI Countryman hybrid interior & comfort
Well designed and with good infotainment, the Countryman's interior is comfortable and solid
We like the well-built interior of the regular MINI Countryman and it’s the same story with this hybrid version. It has the same decent perceived quality and characterful round central infotainment display.
As part of its mid-2020 update, the Countryman got a new five-inch driver's display which sits behind the steering wheel, replacing the previous model's traditional dials. It's the same screen that features on the MINI Electric, showing important information about speed, battery charge and fuel.
The seats are a touch firm and the standard manual adjustment is awkward to use sometimes, but the seats are generally comfortable and most drivers will be able to find a natural-feeling driving position.
The Countryman's ride comfort is a bit firm, but it's not crashy or intrusive – especially if you add the optional adaptive dampers. Likewise, although there's some wind noise at motorway speeds, it's unlikely to bother occupants.
MINI Countryman hybrid dashboard
Anyone who’s driven a modern MINI will immediately recognise the massive, round central 'dial' that features right across its range. It’s surrounded by an LED light ring that responds to various car settings, and houses the infotainment system.
The dashboard will be broadly familiar to existing MINI owners, but takes on a more upright design that's more befitting of an SUV. Heater controls sit below the central screen, while a set of toggle switches sit below these operating a few key functions. The largest of these is the starter button.
Equipment, options and accessories
The plug-in hybrid Countryman comes in three trim levels – Classic, Sport and Exclusive.
Standard equipment across the range includes an 8.8-inch infotainment screen with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, plus automatic wipers and lights, cruise control, rear parking sensors and keyless go.
Classic cars get 17-inch alloy wheels, cloth seats and piano black interior trim, while Sport models add racier exterior styling, 18-inch alloys and a range of interior changes including sports seats.
Top-spec Exclusive cars get 18-inch alloys and a more luxurious interior approach, with leather upholstery and a different design of sports seats.
As this is a MINI product, these basic trim levels are just a jumping-off point: a number of option packs are available to further customise your Countryman. Highlights include the Comfort Pack, which adds features like automatic air-con, heated seats and a front centre armrest, and the Driving Assistant Pack (£800), which brings active cruise control and a range of other active safety features.
On top of these packs, a long list of individual options is offered, including adaptive LED headlights, head-up display and a Harman Kardon hi-fi system, along with a huge colour palette and various contrasting trim and decal options. It'll be very easy to rack up thousands of pounds of extras on top of the list price, so proceed with caution.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The previous model's standard 6.5-inch infotainment screen has been replaced by a superior 8.8-inch version. The system works well and features Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and DAB radio, as well as sat-nav. MINI's Remote Services and online-based ConnectedDrive also feature, offering the ability to send sat-nav information to the car and even remotely operate functions such as the door locks and charging.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe MINI Countryman plug-in hybrid is not only pretty cheap to run – particularly for business drivers – it’s desirable and good to drive, too
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingA useful 30-mile range and low CO2 emissions make the Countryman competitive; real-world fuel efficiency will vary
- 3Running costsThe MINI Countryman hybrid will be cheap to run, especially for company-car users, but comparable rivals are a bit cheaper
- 4Engines, drive & performanceOne of the best plug-in hybrid SUVs to drive, but the ride is on the firmer side
- 5Interior & comfort - currently readingWell designed and with good infotainment, the Countryman's interior is comfortable and solid
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe MINI Countryman hybrid is one of the more practical plug-ins and should be big enough for small families
- 7Reliability & safetyGood crash-test results and low fault rates bode well, but you'll have to pay extra for extra safety systems