2019 MINI Countryman vs. 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

To prevent power induced skids and loss of control on slick surfaces, the MINI Countryman has standard full range traction control. The Tiguan’s traction control is for low speeds only. Low traction conditions at higher speeds are more dangerous, making the need for full range traction control important.

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the Tiguan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, 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 Tiguan.

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Tiguan’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 Tiguan.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Countryman’s reliability 22 points higher than the Tiguan.

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 5 more horsepower (189 vs. 184) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (228 vs. 184) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the Tiguan’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

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

 

Countryman

Tiguan

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

10.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.3 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

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

Tiguan

FWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

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

Transmission

The Countryman offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Tiguan doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The Countryman stops much shorter than the Tiguan:

 

Countryman

Tiguan

 

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

131 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the Tiguan (225/55R17 vs. 215/65R17).

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 Tiguan S/SE’s standard 65 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 Tiguan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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 Tiguan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® 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 1.1 seconds quicker than the Tiguan SEL 4Motion® (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 500 pounds less than the Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Countryman is 1 foot, 3.3 inches shorter than the Tiguan, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Countryman has .3 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom and 1.1 inches more rear legroom than the Tiguan.

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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan 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 Tiguan can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Tiguan’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

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 Tiguan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

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

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

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