2019 MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 vs. 2018 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Niro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 and the Niro 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 and front parking sensors.

The MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 weighs 674 to 842 pounds more than the Kia Niro. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Niro’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro.

Engine

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid produces 82 more horsepower (221 vs. 139) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (284 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 is faster than the Kia Niro:

 

Countryman

Niro

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.3 MPH

80.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Niro FE (63 city/66 hwy MPGe vs. 52 city/59 hwy).

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 can drive on battery power alone for up to 12 miles. The Niro must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has larger tires than the Niro (225/50R18 vs. 205/50R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Niro FE/LX/EX.

Suspension and Handling

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 flat and controlled during cornering. The Niro’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 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 Niro’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 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 Niro doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 handles at .79 G’s, while the Niro EX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Niro EX (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 a Mid-size car, while the Niro is rated a Small Station Wagon.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s rear seats recline. The Niro’s rear seats don’t recline.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 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 Niro 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 Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Niro doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Ergonomics

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Niro doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Niro can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’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 Niro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Niro doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Niro doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver’s vision, the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Niro doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Niro EX/Touring.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 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 Niro offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 and the Niro offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Niro doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Cooper S E Countryman ALL4’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 Niro doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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