I underestimated the importance of a good-sized car when I first brought home our little bundle of joy. At the time I still had my little 3 door MINI Cooper and was struggling with the idea of changing it for a more family friendly car. When we finally realised that my car was far from practical. We opted for an AUDI Q5 based on the quality and space. However this terrified me. I am going to be honest, I am not the best driver in town! So the idea of driving a massive car sent chills down my spine. Even though I now find it a great drive and practical for a family. I still miss having a girly fashionable car of my own. So when John Clark MINI Aberdeen asked me to test out their New MINI Countryman 2017, I was more than happy to oblige.
Can you fit baby in the back?
The MINI Countryman is fully equipped with ISO FIX anchor points on the rear seats of the car. Which made it super easy to install our 360° Car seat. Our rather hefty 2-year-old had no problem at the back and had enough room to play with his toys and kick his legs about. The plus side was that we had room on the floor beneath his feet to put his changing bag and coat, leaving the other rear seats free.
Our car seat is a Group 0 / 1, meaning it is forward facing AND rear-facing. We had no problems with the seat in its rear-facing mode, though we didn’t test it with a baby inside as Gabriel is too big. A standard rear-facing car seat with ISOFIX base in my opinion should fit in with no problems. However I would still check with your local salesperson to be sure that your brand of car seat is suitable for the MINI Countryman 2017.
Pram? Groceries? Plus all the other never-ending junk you need when you are a mum?
One of my biggest worries about this MINI 4×4 was the boot space. As a mum, you learn very quickly that the bigger the boot, the better! So I was super impressed when I opened the boot to find it was almost the same size as our AUDI!!! Not only could I fit a whole weeks worth of shopping plus more in the boot. I could also fit our stylish but rather big and bulky pram.
The only down side is that you could not fit the full pram plus grocery shopping into the boot at the same time. So you would need to make use of your rear seats if you were to stop by the shop after a family outing. However if you were just using a collapsible stroller, then you would have ample room for both.
Is there space to change an emergency nappy at the back?
This was a question I never in a million years would have thought of asking before becoming a mum. However over the last two years I have appreciated the importance of this. Especially if you are travelling for long periods of time! Too often have we been greeted with the unpleasant smells and near poonamis while being on the road and have needed to perform an emergency nappy change.
Unfortunately if you are on the road travelling then I doubt you will have space to spare due to all the ‘necessities’ you will need. However on an everyday occurrence than you can easily change a smelly bum using the boots space or the rear seats.
Besides the obvious safety features such as ISOFIX points, airbags and seat belts. What other safety features does the MINI Countryman have? Parking Sensors!!!! The sensors on The Countryman are easily the best non-camera ones I have seen (And perfect for a not so confident driver like myself). The whole dashboard lights up as soon you put the car into reverse. Green means you are good to go, Amber means something is in proximity and Red means stop. The only downside is that there are no front sensors which can be handy when you are forward parking.
Another feature that I love is the built-in bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. I can answer my calls with ease while driving. And am also able to play my tots favourite tunes through the speakers when he is getting restless.
What about room for mum and dad?
For me personally there was ample leg room and I felt very comfortable in the drivers and passenger seat. However at 5 ft 4, I probably feel comfortable in any car. My other half on the other hand is the exact opposite. Leg room is extremely important for someone measuring 6 ft 3 and i was surprised to hear that he felt totally comfortable driving the MINI. That said, he only tested the drivers seat with no one in the back. I would assume that it may be a tighter squeeze if he were to sit in the passenger seat with the baby seat at the back.
How I felt driving it
In all honesty, I absolutely loved it. Having grown accustomed to powerful cars I was worried that the horse power was not going to live up to the AUDI. I had test driven a few smaller cars previously and felt like I was driving a tin box that took ages to go from 0 to 60. However the MINI Countryman was a real pleasure to drive.
I felt fashionable and stylish as I cruised around the neighboured in it. The test drive coincided with my son’s 2nd Birthday, and I adored the attention it got from all the other mums querying ‘My New Car’.
It ticks all of my mummy boxes and I am completely hooked. The car is a dream for any mum who needs a practical family car, but who also wants a splash of fashion and personality. The only draw back is that they can be quite pricey. If you are looking for a MINI Countryman for sale i suggest you check out your local John Clark Motor Group. Click on this link to check out their range of MINI Countryman on sale in Aberdeen and Tayside.
I hope you enjoyed my MINI Countryman Review. Now I just need to suck up to my husband to convince him I need one.
Check out my post on what it is really like living with a 2-year-old.
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