When Mini first introduced the Countryman, it only came as a four-seater, with a center rail between the two seats that could house things like cup holders and could be slid back and forth. Buyers could even opt for a full-length center rail that ran from just aft of the gear shifter all the way back between the rear seats, like we did in our long-term 2011 Cooper S Countryman All4, shown above.

Shortly after the Countryman's launch, Mini was able to offer the vehicle with a proper rear bench seat; the company could not offer this at launch due to NHTSA guidelines that governed the minimum vehicle width for three-person seating, but those rules were changed. And now, we've received official confirmation of something we reported last year: the Countryman is losing its center rail and four-person seating arrangement altogether. Moving forward, buyers will only be able to spec a Countryman with the bench seat, and a cup holder will be affixed to the back of the forward cabin's center console.

The larger-but-smaller Paceman will also be losing the center rail between its rear seats, but the car will remain a four-seater, instead having a console between the two rear seats that houses a cup holder, an iPod cozy and a 12-volt outlet, according to USA Today.

These changes affect all 2014 model year Countryman and Paceman models, which will go on sale later this summer. Both models will also have a $100 price increase (thanks to now-standard heated mirrors and washer jets), and the Cooper and Cooper S models can now be had with a John Cooper Works appearance package. Scroll down for the official release from Mini.
Show full PR text
Lineup Equipment / Technology / Pricing Changes

Production of MY2014 MINI vehicles begins July 1, 2013.

The only models that will have a price increase for the MY2014 are Paceman and Countryman; however, for the $100 increase, all variants of those two models will come equipped standard with heated mirrors and washer jets.

There will only be one premium package moving forward, which will include the dual pane panoramic sunroof, rain sensor / automatic headlight control and automatic climate control. The cost for this option package is $1,250.

A new package, called City Pack, will be offered on all models and will include the alarm system, power fold mirrors, heated mirror and wash jets, auto dimming rear-view mirrors (interior and exterior), rear park distance control and comfort access. The cost for this package will be $1,250.

Specific Option Changes by Model

Countryman and Paceman

The Center Rail in Countryman and Paceman vehicles will be replaced by standard double cup holders in the rear seats.

- The Countryman's cup holder will include a 12V charging / power outlet.

- Paceman's cup holder will also include a 12V outlet as well as an iPod holder.

Countryman's rear doors will have a padded arm rest and a bench seat will be standard (a bench seat is the only rear seat configuration available for Countryman).

Paceman will be equipped with Comfort Suspension as standard, and the Sport Suspension will be a no-charge option.

Beginning in MY 2014, MINI will offer both interior and exterior John Cooper Works Packages for Paceman and Countryman models, so Cooper and Cooper S owners can opt for the sportier design cues and color combinations, even if they don't choose to upgrade the performance.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good idea and theory, but if you are going to have two buckets in the back at least have a big armrest. plus, I am sure the charged for every piece that stuck to that rail.
      codereddy
      • 1 Year Ago
      hmm. It having 4 buckets seats and having the flowing center console was the bit in a Paceman that I absolutely loved. Now I should look for a used Paceman.
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Those back seats are so tiny. You can only fit legless midgets back there.
        tegdesign
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        They are not small at all. Go sit in one, then go sit in a GLK. Much more leg room. Plus the seats slide forward and back like the front as well as are adjustable seat back pitch. They are very comfortable even for my 6'4" father in law.
        torqued
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        They're not actually that small. It's the same amount of room as most hatchbacks (mazda 3, impreza, focus).
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @torqued
          But this is a CUV, not a traditional hatchback.
          ThomasP
          • 1 Year Ago
          @torqued
          In terms of size, it\'s pretty close to a traditional hatchback.
        jessesrq
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bernard
        There are plenty of larger CUV options for those that need to transport passengers. This is a Mini.
      ammca66564
      • 1 Year Ago
      NHTSA has regulations on how wide a car needs to be to handle 3 people across. That is just bizarre. We really need the government to tell us whether that third person is going to fit in the back seat?
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ammca66564
        The same could be said about crash standards and airbags and seatbelts. "NHTSA has regulations requiring seatbelts. That is just bizarre. We really need the government to tell us whether seatbelts make cars safer?" I suspect the NHTSA has done a whole lot more research into the matter than you or I. I find it entirely believable that passenger safety may be diminished the more people you cram into a vehicle.
          Henry
          • 1 Year Ago
          @The Wasp
          " I find it entirely believable that passenger safety may be diminished the more people you cram into a vehicle." You are right, and no one needs a scientist to tell you that but manufacturers being in the business to make a profit can and do cut corners. Case in point, the airlines are trying to squeeze more seats in an already crowded cabin. Imagine that.
      Boogaloo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ah, if only it were available without that murderous black interior!
      Radioactive Flea
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Mini article of the day.
      Tony McAdams
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too expensive, wish it wasn't...
      RobbieP
      • 1 Year Ago
      Glad the rail is outta there! It was hideous and a stumbling block!
      Henry
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish Infiniti will do the same for their Q56. Mercedes doesn't do it neither does LandRover Range Rover.
      Mikey
      • 1 Year Ago
      Boy, I'll bet there are a lot of proud 2013 owners out there bragging about their purchase on those dumb "changes for 2014" threads on forums. Only they're too stupid to know that they'll eventually want a 2014 simply due to the mere fact that it renders their 2013 obsolete.
      CoffeeJedi
      • 1 Year Ago
      So you're saying that MINI's plans for this innovation were..... derailed?
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's a shame; this was the thing I liked the most about the interior of the two cars. To do away with the option entirely seems kind of stupid, especially when the Paceman will remain a 4-seater.
    • Load More Comments