2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 NX Series 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 Lexus NX Series has a metal gas tank.

Both the Countryman and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

Warranty

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the NX Series’ (12 vs. 6 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. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the NX Series.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Countryman S is faster than the NX 300h (automatics tested):

 

Countryman

NX Series

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.7 MPH

84.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

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

NX Series

FWD

Auto

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

Auto

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

F Sport 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the NX Series 300h.

The Countryman has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the NX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Countryman stops much shorter than the NX Series:

 

Countryman

NX Series

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The NX Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the NX 300 pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the NX 300h AWD (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 650 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The Countryman is 1 foot shorter than the NX Series, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Countryman has 25.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (96.9 vs. 71.6).

The Countryman has 2.5 inches more front headroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the NX Series.

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 NX Series 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 NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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 NX Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

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 NX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $513 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Countryman than the NX Series, including $87 less for a water pump, $204 less for a muffler, $87 less for a starter, $360 less for fuel injection, $88 less for a fuel pump and $453 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Countryman will be $268 to $7123 less than for the Lexus NX Series.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Countryman and the Lexus NX Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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