The Countryman is pretty small by SUV standards, but it makes decent use of what space there is. A high roof and low seating position mean even the tallest of drivers will be able to get comfortable, and a wider body means that you shouldn’t be rubbing elbows with your passenger.
The Nissan Qashqai and Seat Ateca both feel more spacious, although the Nissan Juke is much smaller inside. Two cupholders in front of the gearlever, and a couple of small cubbies for loose items are pretty much it when it comes to storage space. The door bins are a reasonable size but you won’t be able to fit huge amounts into the glovebox.
Mini Countryman rear space
Mini offers a reasonably priced sliding rear bench as an option. Like similar systems on rival SUVs, this allows you to slide the seats forward to prioritise boot space or back to give your passengers more rear leg room. In the forward position, only very young children will be comfortable although you do get plenty of room for adults with them slid back.
Only if you have a six-foot plus driver might you struggle to get another similarly tall adult in the back.
The additional width of the second-generation car makes squeezing three across the rear bench a little easier, but it’ll still be rather cosy. For similar money though, you could have an even larger SUV that will make carrying lofty individuals even easier. Isofix child seat mountings are standard for the outer two seats but a centre armrest is an optional extra. The door pockets could be a little bigger, too. Access isn’t too tricky thanks to bigger rear door openings, but you will have to duck down more than in taller rivals.
Mini Countryman seating flexibility
Folding down the rear seatbacks is simple in the Countryman, although they do lie at a slight angle when down. As we mentioned above, the optional sliding rear bench allows you to prioritise either boot space or passenger room. It’s not that pricey and does make the Countryman that bit more practical.
As handy as it is, other rivals do offer similar systems while the Skoda Yeti goes one better with rear seats that can be fully removed for maximum carrying capacity. The Countryman’s rear bench splits in a handy 40:20:40 configuration, so it’s easier to carry long and narrow items such as skis or lengths of timber. There’s also the option of a rather gimmicky ‘picnic bench’ that folds out of the boot floor.
Mini Countryman boot space
A good chunk of the Countryman’s growth spurt has helped boot space. There’s now significantly more room than a regular hatchback and even slightly more than you’d get in a Nissan Qashqai. A fairly low load lip means you don’t have to heft bulky items too far off the floor, and there’s a storage compartment pack is available that adds a lockable variable height boot floor that ensures there’s little in the way of a drop down to the boot floor, and virtually no step up to the rear seats when they’re folded. This also adds eyelets for tying loads down, a couple of straps and additional netting.