• Mar 11th 2011 at 10:29AM
  • 26
2011 Mini Countryman - Click above for high-res image gallery

According to the minds at Motoring File, Mini may be on the verge of offering a five-seat option for the Countryman. Right now, the vehicle is only available as a five-door hatch with seating for four thanks to two bucket seats out back, though reports have emerged that for 2012, Mini will add a rear bench to the mix. Chances are that the vehicle will still come standard with four thrones, meaning that the back bench will available at an additional cost to interested parties. Mini hasn't outright confirmed the rumor, though we have to think that being able to cram one more passenger indoors couldn't hurt the crossover's sales appeal.

It's unclear how Mini will get around the space-consuming center rail on bench-equipped models. Our guess is that company engineers will likely delete the feature in favor of leg space for the center passenger, which means that bench buyers will be without one of the more interesting features of the Countryman's interior.

We're all for extra seating capacity, but we'll be really impressed when Mini starts offering up a front bench seat. Bonus points if it's vinyl.

Photos copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Motoring File]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I did a build your own Countryman on the Mini USA website and there an option for a split rail system that doesn't run the full length of the cabin... Separate rails for the front and back seats.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was at the MINI dealer a couple of weeks ago and they said it is expected by June / July time frame here in the US
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought that rail thingie covered the tunnel for the prop shaft of the AWD system. I guess the 5 seater would only be front wheel drive. Tell me, would you really want to squeeze 5 people into ANY car named Mini?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Of course it's overpriced, premium normally means overpriced.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really didn't want to like this Maxi Mini, but the more I look at it, the more sense it makes for a certain segment of the buying public. I bet I see a lot of them in the next few months parked in front of Starbucks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I remember correctly, the 4 passenger seating was to comply with some kind of safety regulations... I'm guessing they got past it somehow to get the rear bench in now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Call me when they add some sound insulation and overall polish to the car. The two Countrymen I test drove were rough as hell.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As it should be. If you want a couch on wheels, buy a Impala.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The five-seat already exists.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They are losing sight of the Countryman's main mission--to serve as a Ray-Ban and iPod delivery device.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Along with the VW CC, the Mini could not add the middle seat because the interior did not meet the minimum U.S. gov requirments for interior volume in order to add the 3rd passenger.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "It's unclear how Mini will get around the space-consuming center rail on bench-equipped models"

      Excuse the crappy quality but I wasn't going to scan it
      This is from the Australian brochure (i've been pricing & configuring a Countryman since it was launched here)

      • 4 Years Ago
      Good call Mini...the 4 seat option is fine, but you should always have the option of a bench for people who may want to squeeze an extra kid in the back seat.
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