Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The Mini Countryman is big by small SUV standards and makes good use of every inch. Its high roof gives even the tallest of drivers plenty of head room, plus there's lots of leg room and, thanks to a broad interior, you shouldn’t be rubbing elbows with your passenger, either.
As well as the two cupholders in front of the gear lever, there's a decent-sized glovebox, a couple of small cubbies for loose items and reasonably large door bins. The optional Comfort Pack adds a front armrest with extra storage underneath.
The Countryman is one of the biggest small SUVs in the rear, too, although not quite class-leading. That honour falls to the Skoda Kamiq, which has a few centimetres more leg room, but the Countryman still space to comfortably accommodate two tall adults in the back, behind a couple of similar-sized people sitting in the front.
Head room is also extremely generous, but be warned: the PHEV has a bit less of this because the rear bench is raised to accommodate the battery pack beneath. Even so, though, head room is fine unless you're really long in the body.
The middle rear passenger in the Countryman has a much lower floor hump to straddle than in a lot of rivals, including the Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Roc.
Seat folding and flexibility
The Mini Countryman’s rear seats split in a handy 40/20/40 configuration, which is more useful than the 60/40 split in most rivals because it’s easier to carry long, narrow items, such as skis and snowboards, with two rear passengers on board. Folding down the rear seatbacks is simple, even though they don't lie completely flat.
If you add the Activity Pack, the Countryman is one of the few cars in the class to offer both sliding and reclining rear seats – the Volkswagen T-Cross, for example, has just sliding rear seats. The PHEV isn't available with the sliding feature, though.
The Countryman's boot isn't quite a match for the Ford Puma's when it comes to outright carrying capacity, but it's a close match for rivals including the Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Cross. The fact the boot entrance is fairly low to the ground helps when heaving heavy items in or out, and if you raise the variable-height floor, there's no lip to negotiate.
The PHEV loses some capacity over regular petrol and diesel versions of the Countryman, but the boot is still big enough to be useful and there's enough under-floor storage left for the car's charging cables.
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