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The Q3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Countryman doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The MINI Countryman doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The Q3 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Countryman doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q3. But it costs extra on the Countryman.
The Q3’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Q3 Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Countryman only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The Q3’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Countryman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Q3’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Countryman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Q3 (except Premium) offers an optional Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Countryman doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Q3 and the Countryman have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
There are over 2 times as many Audi dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Q3’s warranty.
The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Countryman’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 2 places higher in reliability than MINI.
The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 94 more horsepower (228 vs. 134) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 39 more horsepower (228 vs. 189) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 207) than the Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Q3’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Countryman doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi Q3 higher (7 out of 10) than the MINI Countryman (3 to 7). This means the Q3 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Countryman every 15,000 miles.
The Audi Q3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.
The Q3’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Countryman are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the Countryman (235/55R18 vs. 225/55R17). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (255/40R20 vs. 225/55R17).
The Q3’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Countryman’s optional 45 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman. The Q3’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Countryman.
The Q3 has 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.
The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (23.7 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Q3 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (48 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The Countryman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Q3 has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 4% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.
The Q3 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 costs extra on the Countryman.
Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q3 and the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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