We've being living with our long-term Mini Countryman Cooper S All4 for a little over two months, but we haven't spent much time on one of the most often used – and complex – bits of the car.

Mini Connected is essentially a reworked version of BMW iDrive for the Mini line-up. The system uses the same architecture and a tweaked user interface to provide drivers with a range of entertainment, connectivity and infotainment functionalities. Some components from iDrive have carried over, most notably a multidirectional joystick in place of the standard knob found in most BMWs, while others have been completely redone for both the Mini aesthetic and the circular display mounted in the central speedometer.

Drivers can connect their iPhone to the system over either Bluetooth or USB to take phone calls, stream Internet radio stations, play locally-stored music or listen to Pandora, along with using their data connection to see timelines on Twitter, Facebook and customizable RSS feeds. Include Google search and send-to-car functionality, and it's a pretty compelling package. But it's pricy.

If you opt for Mini Connected by itself, it's a $2,000 option, with the navigation functionality commanding an additional $750. That's a lotta scratch, but after using the system day-to-day, we're just about sold.

There's plenty going on with Mini Connected, so rather than assault you with a few thousand words, hit the jump for a detailed video review of the system in action.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      EB110Americana
      • 3 Years Ago
      Okay everyone, we all drink a shot whenever Damon says, "...UM..." This is the best game ever!
      John
      • 3 Years Ago
      He keeps saying "trick" in this video. Stop saying "trick" - it's not going to happen, Gretchen! :)
      natron3030
      • 3 Years Ago
      So anyhow, the mini is a nice car but it's interior is insane.
      natron3030
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lot's of reasons to get a Mini. But the interior is not one of them.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Clipper44
      • 3 Years Ago
      The iDrive is the best nav/computer system I've ever used in a vehicle, and I think they should've literally copied it for the MINIs. The clicking is too loud and the knob and buttons are too counter-intuitive. It sounds like an old-school IBM keyboard.
      natron3030
      • 3 Years Ago
      my posts are not posting
        natron3030
        • 3 Years Ago
        @natron3030
        OR R THEY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @natron3030
        [blocked]
      desinerd1
      • 3 Years Ago
      They did a clever thing by putting the screen inside the speedometer and instead of making in rectangle, gave it rounded left and right edges. I still think it looks ugly though.
      JAD
      • 3 Years Ago
      Damon, make AOL AUTOS buy you an iPhone 5 when it comes out...good lord!
      desinerd1
      • 3 Years Ago
      They forgot the Back button. BMW did the same with 2007-2009 iDrive - no Back button. If you clicked on the wrong option, half the times, you have to start all over again. Also, why can't they simply use Touchscreen? Can you imagine if iPhone had an iDrive like controller at the bottom instead of touch screen? Do you realize how much it would suck?