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.