Click above for a high-res interior walkthrough of the R56 MINI Cooper

Since being revived back in 2001, the MINI brand has been nothing short of a design icon. But, as is the case with many slaves to fashion, it turns out that the brand's latest models may have a serious case of function following form, at least according to a set of "User Experience Specialists" from the folks over at User Centric.

The team's gripes center around the Cooper's interior design, which famously places its gigantic speedometer front and center in the dashboard. That central gauge holds many of the user interface controls, and the entire cluster gets low marks on their usability scale for its slew of tiny poorly-labeled buttons and counter-intuitive audio controls. A second set of controls exists directly in front of the driver on the tachometer, and it, too, gets low marks for its poorly labeled controls which are mounted on a stalk to the left of the steering wheel.

For a few more takes on the current car's ergonomic shortcomings, be sure to check out of past reviews of the 2007 MINI Cooper S and its slightly larger stablemate, the 2008 MINI Cooper Clubman, or check out our captioned gallery below. No matter, the MINI still manages to win friends thanks to its amusingly tossable nature, its impeccable driving dynamics, and its irrepressible cuteness.

Source:  AutoBlog