You don’t need a big vehicle to go camping.
Mini is not the automaker you’d expect to wade into the camping world, but that’s just what it’s done. The quirky brand offers rooftop tents for two of its models – the Mini Countryman All4 plug-in hybrid and the all-electric Mini Cooper SE. The tents aren’t spacious places, but they allow two to get away into the wilderness without the hassle of towing a trailer or resorting to tents.
The tents, which attach to the cars’ roof rails, are easy to open once the safety catches are released. The structure lifts up automatically thanks to gas-actuated springs. An eight-rung fold-out ladder makes ingress and egress a breeze. The rooftop tents are capable of sleeping two, with ventilation provided by roll-up windows, which feature mosquito nets for the summertime. Mini claims the Cooper SE is the only all-electric model in its segment that can be equipped with roof rails. The tents are available through the Mini Original Accessories range.
Gallery: Mini Cooper SE, Countryman All4 Rooftop Tents
Aiding in your weekend away is both of the models’ ample storage capacity. The Cooper SE offers 211 litres (7.45 cubic feet), which is expandable to 731 litres (25.8 cubic feet). The larger Countryman offers even more space, with its 405 litres (14.3 cubic feet) that can grow to 1,275 litres (45.0 cubic feet). Neither provides luxury outdoor living, but not everyone needs a kitted-out kitchen, shower, and dinette set to enjoy the wilderness.
These rooftop tents fit onto Mini’s most efficient vehicles, too. The all-electric Cooper SE doesn’t require a petrol station, offering 184 bhp (135 kilowatts), which can send the hatchback to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometres per hour) in 7.3 seconds. The Countryman doesn’t run on purely electrical power, though the plug-in hybrid system does allow for up to 59 kilometres (36 miles) of pure-electric driving with 220 bhp (162 kW) on tap. The Cooper SE can go 203 to 234 kilometres (126 to 145 miles) on a single charge. The range figures are from the forgiving WLTP test cycle.