2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 MINI Countryman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mazda CX-3 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 CX-3 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Countryman doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Smart City Brake Support optional in the CX-3 as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The CX-3’s optional 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 CX-3’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 Countryman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the CX-3’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 Countryman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The CX-3 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 CX-3 and the Countryman have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-3 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Countryman was last qualified as only a “Top Pick” in 2016.

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-3 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Countryman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Countryman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 5 times as many Mazda dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-3’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. MINI is ranked 9th.

Engine

The CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 14 more horsepower (148 vs. 134) than the Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the MINI Countryman turbo 3 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

CX-3

Countryman

Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.9 MPH

79.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Countryman:

 

 

 

MPG

2WD

Auto

CX-3 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

AWD

Auto

CX-3 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

2WD

Manual

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

 

Auto

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

 

 

S Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

AWD

Manual

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

S Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

 

 

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

 

Auto

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

S Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

 

 

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Transmission

The Mazda CX-3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops much shorter than the Countryman:

 

CX-3

Countryman

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 700 pounds less than the MINI Countryman.

Ergonomics

The CX-3 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Countryman doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-3 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Countryman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Countryman’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The CX-3 Grand Touring’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-3 Grand Touring’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.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-3 will cost $30 to $1450 less than the Countryman over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because it costs $144 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the Countryman, including $190 less for a water pump, $220 less for a muffler, $37 less for front brake pads, $114 less for a starter, $85 less for a fuel pump, $136 less for front struts, $435 less for a timing belt/chain and $126 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-3 will be $5472 to $8902 less than for the MINI Countryman.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Mazda CX-3, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

The Mazda CX-3 outsold the MINI Countryman by 10% during 2017.

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

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