CARS.COM — Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in June 2017 about the 2017 Mini Countryman. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2018, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.
Mini’s compact SUV got a lot less mini for 2017. The redesigned Countryman shares a new platform with its cousin, the BMW X1, and is 8.1 inches longer and 1.3 inches wider than the one it replaces. This is great news for families and means backseat legroom is up 3.8 inches, and it shows when it comes to room for car seats.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
Related: More Car Seat Checks
- Latch, grade A: Two sets of anchors sit under hinged plastic covers and are easy to use. Three top tether anchors sit midway down the seatbacks; they’re also clearly marked for easy connection.
- Rear-facing convertible, grade A: This seat went in easily and takes up less legroom than the infant seat, so our front passenger was comfortable.
- Forward-facing convertible, grade A: After removing the head restraint, this seat fit well and was easy to install.
- Booster, grade A: It fit well, and we did not need to raise the head restraint. The outboard seats have stable buckles, making connection easier for kids.
- Infant seat, grade B: The seat installed easily, but we had to move the front passenger seat forward a bit; our 5-foot-6-inch passenger had just enough legroom. Taller passengers will need more space, however.
Solid indicates an A grade for optimum ease of use and fit. So-So indicates B or C grades for one to two ease-of-use or fit issues. Skip It indicates D or F grades.
A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.
B: One room, fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.
C: Marginal room plus one fit or connection issue. Difficult to access third row when available.
D: Insufficient room, plus multiple fit or connection issues.
F: Does not fit or is unsafe.
About Cars.com’s Car Seat Checks
Editors Jennifer Geiger, Jennifer Newman and Matt Schmitz are certified child safety seat installation technicians.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a shorter passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.
We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. Learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks.
Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.
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