2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Ford Escape

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 Escape offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

Both the Countryman and the Escape have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the MINI Countryman is safer than the Escape:

 

Countryman

Escape

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

GOOD

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 Escape was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

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 Escape’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 Escape’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 Escape.

Reliability

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

As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Countryman is faster than the Ford Escape 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Countryman

Escape

Zero to 60 MPH

9.3 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

17 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79.6 MPH

78.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

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

Escape

FWD

Auto

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

Auto

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

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

Transmission

The Countryman offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Escape 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 Escape.

Brakes and Stopping

The Countryman stops much shorter than the Escape:

 

Countryman

Escape

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

134 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 Escape doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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 Escape’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Escape Titanium AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Escape SE (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Countryman’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Escape’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 200 pounds less than the Ford Escape.

The Countryman is 8.3 inches shorter than the Escape, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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 Escape doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Ergonomics

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

The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Escape and aren’t offered on the Escape S.

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 Escape offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Economic Advantages

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 Escape only retains 41.72% to 45.81%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the Escape because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the Escape, including $95 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

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

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

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