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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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Countryman and the Rav4 Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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.
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 Rav4 Hybrid has not been tested, yet.
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 Rav4 Hybrid’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 Rav4 Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Countryman for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Rav4 Hybrid (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).
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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.
The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (228 vs. 219) than the Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
As tested in Motor Trend the Countryman S is faster than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid (automatics tested):
Zero to 60 MPH
Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The Countryman has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Rav4 Hybrid (16.1 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Countryman stops much shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid:
60 to 0 MPH
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 Rav4 Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE/Limited’s 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Rav4 Hybrid’s 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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The Countryman has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Rav4 Hybrid’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 Rav4 Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Countryman has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Rav4 Hybrid XSE pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Hybrid XSE (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s).
The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 400 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.
The Countryman is 11.1 inches shorter than the Rav4 Hybrid, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
The Countryman’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4 Hybrid’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.
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 Rav4 Hybrid 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 Rav4 Hybrid LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.
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 Rav4 Hybrid 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 Rav4 Hybrid has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XSE/Limited.
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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.
The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Toyota charges extra for heated mirrors on the Rav4 Hybrid.
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 Rav4 Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Countryman’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Rav4 Hybrid’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
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 Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Countryman is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Rav4 Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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