MotoringFile » Archive » MINI USA Makes the Rear Bench Seat Standard

on 2013 Countryman.

(Updated – MINI USA isn’t entirely killing the buckets but is making them an option rather than standard).

If there was one universal complaint on the Countryman when it first
hit US dealers it had to be the inability to order a rear bench seat.
The reason for the delay was due to a NHTSA having a minimum width
requirement for an automaker to offer three seats across. Thankfully for
MINI that minimum was changed and the five-seat Countryman (in the US)
was born. And as expected it went on to be so successful that rear
buckets all but disappear from dealer lots. And starting with 2013
production, they will officially disappear as the standard
configuration.

For 2013 MINI USA is making the rear buckets an optional extra on the
Countryman. This change along with the elimination of the flat load
floor requirement for the bench will give lower the price of the five
seat Countryman by a $250 dollars.

From the beginning we were staunch supporters of the rear buckets
even ordering our long-term R60 with them. But after 12 months and
12,000 miles they simply didn’t make as much sense
as the much more versatile bench. Would we have ordered differently?
Strangely no. And perhaps that’s a testament to how cool and
surprisingly usable the buckets were.

via MINI USA Makes the Rear Bench Seat Standard on 2013 Countryman.

Are you a bench seat or bucket? See us at Ferman MINI of Tampa Bay and find out!
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