Mini Countryman review - Mini looks, but where's the Mini fun? - Mini Countryman interior and tech
Mini’s new SUV has grown up, but it’s lost the Mini fun factor along the way
If the Mini Countryman has lost that Mini feel in the way it drives, it’s retained it - at least in spirit - with the cabin. It’s been a while since the large, central circle in the dashboard has housed a speedometer but it’s now a firm Mini design feature, as is a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and a little pod (with a central speedometer, crescent rev counter and LED fuel gauge) behind the wheel.
Prominent chrome switches are littered throughout the cabin, the gear shift lever still has a collar around its base to change the car’s behaviour (one of the most effective, intuitive switches we’ve used for such a system) and an iDrive-style controller in the centre console controls functions on the disappointingly square screen inside that circular dash feature.
As with other current-generation Minis, the large circle does provide feedback on various functions inside the cabin, lighting up like a jukebox if you change the temperature, the audio volume, switch the driving mode or are simply travelling at a certain speed. Switching driving modes results in a veritable disco in the footwells, too.
Quality is a big step up from the previous Countryman, but so it should be given the prices Mini asks for its crossover these days. In all, a pleasant driving environment, but perhaps too twee for some.