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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 QX30 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Compared to metal, the Countryman’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Infiniti QX30 has a metal gas tank.
Both the Countryman and the QX30 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes and front parking sensors.
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 QX30 has not been tested, yet.
The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the QX30’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. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the QX30.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Countryman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The QX30’s 110-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 16 points higher than the QX30.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that MINI vehicles are better in initial quality than Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 14th.
The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (228 vs. 208) than the QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Countryman S ALL4 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the QX30 AWD (22 city/31 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The QX30 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Countryman has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Countryman has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons).
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 QX30.
The Countryman offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
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 QX30’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Countryman is 4.4 inches shorter than the QX30, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Countryman has 8.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the QX30 (96.9 vs. 88.8).
The Countryman has 1.5 inches more front headroom, 4.1 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the QX30.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The QX30’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 QX30 doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
The Countryman has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (47.6 vs. 34 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.
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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 QX30’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 QX30 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 QX30 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Insurance will cost less for the Countryman owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Countryman will cost $270 to $2425 less than the QX30 over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the QX30 because typical repairs cost much less on the Countryman than the QX30, including $299 less for a water pump, $65 less for a muffler, $156 less for fuel injection, $57 less for a fuel pump and $746 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Countryman will be $1071 to $2874 less than for the Infiniti QX30.
Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The MINI Countryman outsold the Infiniti QX30 by over two to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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