2018 MINI Countryman vs. 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Countryman’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the Eclipse Cross have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes and front parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Countryman the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 148 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Eclipse Cross has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Eclipse Cross’ (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Countryman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Eclipse Cross.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that MINI vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 17th in reliability. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 37 more horsepower (189 vs. 152) and 23 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 184) than the Eclipse Cross’ 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 76 more horsepower (228 vs. 152) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 184) than the Eclipse Cross’ 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the JCW Countryman ALL4 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Eclipse Cross 4x4 (22 city/30 hwy vs. 25 city/26 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the Eclipse Cross (225/55R17 vs. 215/70R16).

The Countryman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Eclipse Cross ES’ standard 70 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Eclipse Cross LE/SE/SEL’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Eclipse Cross ES. The Countryman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Eclipse Cross LE/SE/SEL.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Countryman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Countryman has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Eclipse Cross’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Countryman offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Eclipse Cross’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

The Countryman is 5.7 inches shorter than the Eclipse Cross, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Countryman has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Eclipse Cross (96.9 vs. 94.6).

The Countryman has .4 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more rear headroom and 2.3 inches more rear legroom than the Eclipse Cross.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Countryman when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waving your foot can open the Countryman’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Countryman’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Countryman, the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Countryman’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Eclipse Cross ES/LE’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Countryman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Countryman has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Eclipse Cross has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/SEL.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Countryman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver’s vision, the Countryman has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Countryman offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Eclipse Cross offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Countryman has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Eclipse Cross SE/SEL.

Both the Countryman and the Eclipse Cross offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Countryman has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Countryman’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Eclipse Cross’ available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

The Countryman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Eclipse Cross doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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