Reports indicate that the 2013 MINI Countryman will come standard with a rear bench seat, marking a change from the dual bucket seats that previously came as a standard feature on the popular MINI compact crossover.
We doubt many customers will object to the change. MINI’s metal rail/cup holding device attempts to provide unique practicality to the awkward space between the two bucket seats. While undeniably unique, the setup it is far from practical, leading to questions about why the rail was ever given the green light in the first place.
As it turns out, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration ruled the MINI Countryman “too narrow” to provide a third rear seat when the vehicle was initially brough to market, which forced MINI to feature two bucket seats and one weird, metal rail. The NHTSA has since lifted the regulations that prevented the bench seat from being included in the Countryman, resulting in MINI’s decision to make the bench a standard feature in 2013 Countryman models.
The bench seating will add much-needed functionality and space to the rear seating area of the MINI Countryman. What’s more, the new standard feature will reduce the Countryman price by $250 – a win-win for everyone!
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