2019 BMW X1 vs. 2019 MINI Countryman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X1’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The X1 has standard BMW Assist, 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 X1 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, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and driver alert monitors.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many BMW dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Countryman isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 12th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 1 place higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

The X1’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 X1’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.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X1 is faster than the MINI Countryman (automatics tested):

 

X1

Countryman

Countryman S

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

9.3 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

17 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.5 MPH

79.6 MPH

86.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1’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.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X1 higher (7 out of 10) than the MINI Countryman (3 to 7). This means the X1 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Countryman every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The BMW X1 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.

Brakes and Stopping

The X1’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.

The X1 stops much shorter than the Countryman:

 

X1

Countryman

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Countryman’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman.

Suspension and Handling

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .85 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Countryman (7.2 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The design of the BMW X1 amounts to more than styling. The X1 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Countryman (.32 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the X1 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The X1 has 4.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Countryman (101.2 vs. 96.9).

The X1 has 2 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X1. The Countryman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 8% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

On extremely cold winter days, the X1’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Countryman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The X1 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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X1 with a number “3” insurance rate while the Countryman is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Countryman isn’t in the top three.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Countryman has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The BMW X1 outsold the MINI Countryman by 74% during the 2018 model year.

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

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