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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
How do you control all this stuff? With a joystick and two buttons between the shifter and the Center Rail. This is basically BMW's iDrive system, which has evolved from a travesty into something usable.
Los Angeles Times
...A central rail [that] runs from front to rear of the cabin, onto which you can clip any number of functional aftermarket options like a storage box, armrest or iPod holder.
The big speedometer is still intact (it actually looks like its grown in size), incorporating Mini's navigation and infotainment screen...
...in its details, from the iDrive-like interface with the navigation screen to the array of electronic driving aids, the Countryman is the most BMW-like of Minis.
A intentionally weird Center Rail...is an armrest and cupholder mounting system run amok.
The MINI Countryman comes configured with plenty of features to justify its substantial base price. It's easy to tip the scales into excess, too, thanks to MINI's custom-order cosmetic and performance upgrades, and the latest high-tech features piled on courtesy parent group BMW.
All Countryman crossovers have standard power windows, mirrors, and locks; cruise control; air conditioning; an AM/FM/CD player; and an auxiliary jack for MP3 players. Cloth upholstery is standard.
Moving up into the Cooper S Countryman (all Countrymen have the "Cooper" name attached, for history's sake) adds on sport seats; a contrasting white roof; a leather-trimmed steering wheel; and satellite radio. Options include a Harmon Kardon sound system and anti-theft alarm system. On ALL4 all-wheel-drive versions, fog lamps are also specified; John Cooper Works version comes standard with all-wheel drive and their own styling add-ons.
All versions of the Countryman can be upgraded with leather seats, heated seats, and a panoramic sunroof. One of the recommended features is MINI Connected, an optional connectivity kit that conjoins your iPhone to the Countryman's audio system, for direct control of features such as Pandora and text messaging.
Navigation, Bluetooth and USB, push-button start, HD Radio, a trip computer, and an immense range of style and appearance accessories are also available. Just beware that piling on the options, individualization, and extras equates to piling on the cash.
The Countryman has two paths to option heaven--through the accessories catalog and through MINI's tech features.