2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Niro 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 Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Niro has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Niro (except FE/S Touring)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Niro EX/S Touring/Touring’s 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 Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Niro EX/S Touring/Touring’s 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 Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Niro and the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Niro comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Kia dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Niro’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 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 Kia vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Niro gets better fuel mileage than the Cooper S E Countryman running its gasoline engine:

 

 

Niro

Countryman

 

 

FE

52 city/49 hwy

28 city/27 hwy

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

n/a

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

The Niro has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (11.9 vs. 9.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Niro higher (7 out of 10) than the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (3). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Niro offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops much shorter than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4:

 

Niro

Countryman

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

150 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Niro S Touring/Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s 50 series tires.

The Niro offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (106.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

The Niro Touring handles at .82 G’s, while the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Niro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 850 pounds less than the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

Passenger Space

The Niro has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 (100.9 vs. 96.9).

The Niro has .2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 17.2 cubic feet). The Niro has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 47.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro Touring keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Niro’s optional (except FE/LX/S Touring) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Niro 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 Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

The Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Niro, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Niro first among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 isn’t in the top three.

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

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