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The Countryman offers optional City Safety, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Trax has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.
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 Trax doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
The Countryman’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Trax doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Countryman and the Trax 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 and available all wheel drive.
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 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trax was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.
The Countryman comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Trax’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Trax’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Countryman for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Chevrolet pays for maintenance for the Trax (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Countryman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Trax’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Countryman’s reliability 28 points higher than the Trax.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 14 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.
The Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 51 more horsepower (189 vs. 138) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 90 more horsepower (228 vs. 138) and 110 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Countryman is faster than the Chevrolet Trax (automatics tested):
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Trax doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Countryman has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trax (16.1 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Countryman offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Trax doesn’t offer a manual transmission.
An eight-speed automatic is available on the MINI Countryman, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Trax.
The MINI Countryman has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Trax. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.
The Countryman stops much shorter than the Trax:
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the Trax (225/55R17 vs. 205/70R16). The Countryman’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R18).
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 Trax’s standard 70 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Trax’s optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trax. The Countryman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Trax.
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 Trax 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 Chevrolet Trax has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Countryman has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Countryman flat and controlled during cornering. The Trax’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
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 Trax’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Trax (105.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Countryman is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Trax.
The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the Countryman has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (6.5 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Countryman to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Countryman has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Trax (96.9 vs. 92.8).
The Countryman has .3 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The Trax’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 Trax doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
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 Trax 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 Trax doesn’t offer memory seats.
The Countryman 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 Trax doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 Trax can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Countryman has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Trax doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
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 Trax’s 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 Trax doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Countryman detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Countryman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Trax 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 Trax doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.
To shield the driver’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side window, the Countryman has a standard extendable sun visor. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Trax LT/Premier.
The Countryman 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 Trax offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
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 Trax doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
The Countryman’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
Both the Countryman and the Trax 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 Trax 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 Trax doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Countryman’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trax’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
With standard voice command, the Countryman offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Trax doesn’t offer a voice control system.
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 Trax 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 Trax is rated higher at a number “10” rate.
The Countryman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Countryman will retain 48.66% to 51.06% of its original price after five years, while the Trax only retains 41.97% to 42.46%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the Trax because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the Trax, including $59 less for a water pump, $175 less for a muffler, $146 less for a fuel pump, $178 less for a timing belt/chain and $146 less for a power steering pump.
Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Trax isn't recommended.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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