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The Countryman has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Kona doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
Both the Countryman and the Kona have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, available all wheel drive and crash mitigating brakes.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Countryman the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 149 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kona has not been tested, yet.
The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Kona’s (12 vs. 7 years).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Countryman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Kona.
The Countryman has more powerful engines than the Kona:
Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.
Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Kona 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.
Kona Limited/Ultimate 1.6 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Kona doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Countryman has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kona (16.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
An eight-speed automatic is available on the MINI Countryman, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Kona.
For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the Kona (225/55R17 vs. 205/60R16).
The Countryman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kona SE Limited/Ultimate’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kona SE Limited/Ultimate. The Countryman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Kona Limited/Ultimate.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Countryman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Kona doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the MINI Countryman has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Kona 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Countryman 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 Kona’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the Kona (105.1 inches vs. 102.4 inches).
The Countryman has .3 inches more front headroom and 3 inches more rear legroom than the Kona.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The Kona’s rear seats don’t recline.
Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Countryman 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 Kona doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
The Countryman has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Kona with its rear seat folded (47.6 vs. 45.8 cubic feet).
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waving your foot can open the Countryman’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Countryman’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Kona doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.
When two different drivers share the Countryman, the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Kona doesn’t offer memory seats.
If the windows are left open on the Countryman 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 Kona can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Countryman’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 Kona SE/SEL/Limited’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Countryman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Kona doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Countryman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Kona doesn’t offer cornering lights.
To better shield the driver’s vision, the Countryman has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Kona doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.
The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Kona SEL/Limited/Ultimate.
The Countryman’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Kona doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.
The Countryman’s optional 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. The Kona doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
Both the Countryman and the Kona offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Countryman has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kona doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Countryman offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kona doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Countryman’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 Kona doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Insurance will cost less for the Countryman owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Countryman with a number “5” insurance rate while the Kona is rated higher at a number “8” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the Kona because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the Kona, including $5 less for a muffler.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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