2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Lexus UX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Countryman and the UX 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, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, 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 UX Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the UX 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 UX Series.

Engine

The Countryman has more powerful engines than the UX Series:

 

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.

UX 200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

169 HP

151 lbs.-ft.

UX 250h 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid

181 HP

n/a

Fuel Economy and Range

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 UX Series Hybrid.

The Countryman has 5.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 10.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Countryman has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the UX Series’ standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 12.4 gallons).

Tires and Wheels

The Countryman’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the UX Series’ 50 series tires.

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

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 UX Series; 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.

Suspension and Handling

The Countryman has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The UX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 UX Series’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the UX Series (105.1 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Countryman is 1 inch wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the UX Series.

Chassis

The Countryman is 7.2 inches shorter than the UX Series, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Countryman has 6.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the UX Series (96.9 vs. 90.4).

The Countryman has 2.7 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 4.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the UX Series.

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

Ergonomics

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 UX 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 UX 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 UX 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 UX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The MINI Countryman outsold the Lexus UX Series by almost 39 to one during 2018.

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

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