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Big car with a small engine? Will there be sportsmanship?

Big car with a small engine?  Will there be sportsmanship?

If we say that the exterior is eye-catching, the passenger cabin is particularly suitable in this capacity – at least in the installation shown here. Brown leather upholstery is obviously not a regular choice for the seats either, but the woven fabric inserts combined with the blue (dark petrol) color brighten the interior. While brown is the dominant color in the back, blue is the dominant color in the front. With the fabric cover (by the way, we can see it on Peugeot and Volvo), the designers not only bring something different from the year, but also cover the cheap plastics. Material use and assembly are generally good.

If that wasn't enough, just like on the outside, the gold-colored inserts are reflected on the inside as well. Among other things, on the cup holder, steering wheel, air vents and door handles.

While everything in the passenger compartment of the previous MINI Countryman was under the circle – wherever we looked, we saw it – the new generation has a more traditional design. There are special solutions, so the vertical slots and handles are completely unique.

It is a nice gesture for the car to automatically start heating the seat and steering wheel in cold weather, which only increases comfort in the first stage with the gentle heat.

But one circle has not disappeared, but has become more prominent: the central screen. The 240mm OLED display continues the central circular speed indicator used in the classic Mini and also used in its modern siblings. Of course, you can do more here, as almost all functionality has been moved here. For example, the climate control no longer has its own keys, but fortunately they are always available from the display, as are the phone, navigation and media.

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The Android-based system has many functions, but they are not weighted beyond the above, so whatever we want to set, we try to find a way in the jungle. For a function such as using adaptive cruise control instead of adaptive cruise control, or the following distance of adaptive cruise control, you have to find it in the menu, while driving obviously, which is very dangerous. This is almost. Since 2006, BMW has been able to install it next to the cruise control switches, but not here.

Fortunately, after downloading the MINI app, we can add the functions that interest us to a dedicated button for quick access. Perhaps voice control helps too, in the test car he spoke not only Hungarian, but also English. In addition to several other languages ​​that I do not speak, for example. Car recommended Portugal.

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The onboard system is based on Android. Squeezing the phone while driving is not good, even on such a large surface

Although it's from the same litter as BMW's systems, the so-called MINI 9.0 doesn't offer the usual standard for the Bavarians. Practically every time I drove my car with a black screen for 1-2 minutes after starting, before it picked itself up and became usable. In the same way, a comfort seat—which slides back to exit, then (theoretically) forward after starting—sometimes returns the seat to its previous position after driving one block. Where it showed Android Auto (works wirelessly) on my connected phone, I had to go into the menu, find it and tap on it, when I realized it was already connected to my phone.

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The screen itself displays a very sharp image, providing a very detailed display. This is not primarily useful for graphics, but for camera images. There are several types of background images, either old photos or go-karts, and the lights in the passenger compartment at night are also adapted to these images. With the MINI App, you can choose even more.

The factory has eliminated the traditional dashboard in front of the driver, and we can order a display on a plastic slab for an additional fee. This is enough, because in addition to the speed, important information for the driver can be displayed on it, and thus the data of the navigation and driver support systems can also be easily read.

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The seats hold well even in fast turns, and the seat could be a little longer

More and more cars are looking for a new home for the shift lever, in the case of automatic transmissions, because it's nothing more than a small switch. It's not often possible to jump this well, but perhaps MINI chose the best. It can be accessed with an almost identical hand gesture, i.e. look for it below to the driver's right, but more importantly, right next to the engine start button, i.e. you don't have to reach for it in many directions. On the other hand, there are practical compartments in the original place of the gear lever, the induction charger for the phone is in an excellent place, but above and behind it there are other places for our small things, either in the cup holder or in the Mini's trunk.

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By far, one of the most interesting parts of a MINI has been the switch row on the center console. This is partly taken further by the addition of the aforementioned engine operation and gear shifter to the hifi volume knob and the switch that affects the mood of the car. Since we see clear/black temples on a black platform, it's less flashy, but since chrome is banned in the EU, the old one can't stay either.

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The rear seats can be moved by 13 cm, and the angle of the backrest can be adjusted

The new MINI Countryman is particularly spacious. The front seats are also located at a comfortable distance from each other and from the doors. Headroom is large enough despite the openable glass roof. Even when sitting in the back, the legroom is ample, and can be given up in favor of the luggage compartment, with seats adjustable by 13 cm, and the angle of the backrest can also be changed. Not only does the MINI treat the rear passengers to this, but it also gets a ventilation grille and USB Cs charging port (there are two at the front as well).

The driver's seat is basically sporty, it supports the body well, and the seat could be a little longer. In its lowest setting, the driving position is more like a passenger car, but it's still a recreational vehicle, as we can see the hood running along the road ahead of us. The steering wheel has good grip, has a very thick lip, and is thankfully thinner where it should be – at 3 and 9 o'clock.

Overall, the interior can be described as modern, homely and cozy: nice to be in.

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