2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Mazda CX-5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 CX-5 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 CX-5 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 Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Countryman and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 and crash mitigating brakes.

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 CX-5’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 CX-5’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. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Countryman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The CX-5’s 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Countryman S is faster than the Mazda CX-5 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

Countryman

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.7 MPH

78.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Countryman S ALL4 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature AWD (22 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/27 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Countryman has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’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 CX-5 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 CX-5.

Brakes and Stopping

The Countryman stops much shorter than the CX-5:

 

Countryman

CX-5

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

144 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 CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’s 55 series tires.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Countryman has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s 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 CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 250 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The Countryman is 9.3 inches shorter than the CX-5, 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waving your foot can open the Countryman’s liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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 CX-5 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 CX-5’s 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Countryman has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-5 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

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 CX-5 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Countryman and the CX-5 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Countryman has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-5 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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 CX-5 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 CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the CX-5, including $134 less for fuel injection.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Countryman and the Mazda CX-5, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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