2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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 comes with free roadside assistance for 4 years unlimited miles. MINI will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Golf Alltrack.

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Golf Alltrack’s (12 vs. 10 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. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Golf Alltrack.

Reliability

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 17th in reliability. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 7 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine

The Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (189 vs. 168) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (228 vs. 168) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Countryman S is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

 

Countryman

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.3 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

16.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Countryman S ALL4 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Golf Alltrack Auto (22 city/31 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

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

The Countryman has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (16.1 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Golf Alltrack.

Brakes and Stopping

The Countryman stops shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

 

Countryman

Golf Alltrack

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

124 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

137 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the Golf Alltrack (225/55R17 vs. 205/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Golf Alltrack’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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack’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 Golf Alltrack’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (105.1 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Countryman is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Golf Alltrack.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Golf Alltrack SEL pulls only .81 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 Golf Alltrack SEL (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The Countryman is 10.4 inches shorter than the Golf Alltrack, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Countryman a Mid-size car, while the Golf Alltrack is rated a Small Station Wagon.

The Countryman has 2.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (96.9 vs. 94.3).

The Countryman has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

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

Cargo Capacity

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Countryman, the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer memory seats.

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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Golf Alltrack can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Golf Alltrack 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 Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

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 Golf Alltrack offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Model Availability

The Countryman is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Countryman and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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