2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Ford EcoSport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 EcoSport doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the EcoSport 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 EcoSport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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 EcoSport’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the EcoSport’s (12 vs. 5 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. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the EcoSport.

Reliability

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 16 points higher than the EcoSport.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 9 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The Countryman has more powerful engines than the EcoSport:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

189 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

228 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

EcoSport 1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

123 HP

125 lbs.-ft.

EcoSport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

166 HP

149 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Countryman is faster than the Ford EcoSport (automatics tested):

 

Countryman

Countryman S

EcoSport turbo 3 cyl.

EcoSport 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

9.3 sec

7.4 sec

11.2 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17 sec

15.7 sec

18.2 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79.6 MPH

86.7 MPH

76.7 MPH

77 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Countryman

FWD

Manual

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

 

Auto

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

 

 

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

AWD

Manual

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

 

 

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

 

 

JCW 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

 

Auto

1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

 

 

JCW 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

EcoSport

FWD

Auto

1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

27 city/29 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Countryman has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the EcoSport (16.1 vs. 13.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 EcoSport.

Brakes and Stopping

The Countryman stops much shorter than the EcoSport:

 

Countryman

EcoSport

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the EcoSport (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 EcoSport’s standard 60 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the EcoSport’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the EcoSport. The Countryman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the EcoSport.

The MINI Countryman’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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 EcoSport 4x2 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 EcoSport 4x2 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 EcoSport’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the EcoSport (105.1 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Countryman is 2.2 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the EcoSport.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the EcoSport SE pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the EcoSport SE (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 29.3 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Countryman has 5.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the EcoSport (96.9 vs. 91.1).

The Countryman has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the EcoSport.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The EcoSport’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 EcoSport doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

The Countryman’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waving your foot can open the Countryman’s power cargo door, leaving your hands completely free. The Countryman’s power cargo door can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening cargo door.

Ergonomics

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the EcoSport Titanium/SES.

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Countryman has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear 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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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 EcoSport is rated higher at a number “7” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the EcoSport because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the EcoSport, including $37 less for a fuel pump, $123 less for a timing belt/chain and $191 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford EcoSport isn't recommended.

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

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