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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 Allroad have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The MINI Countryman doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The A4 Allroad’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Countryman doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 Allroad are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The MINI Countryman doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The A4 Allroad has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Countryman doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Pre Sense Front in the A4 Allroad as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A4 Allroad. But it costs extra on the Countryman.
The A4 Allroad (except Premium)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The A4 Allroad Prestige has a standard Top View Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Countryman only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The A4 Allroad’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the A4 Allroad’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Countryman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the A4 Allroad and the Countryman have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
There are over 2 times as many Audi dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the A4 Allroad’s warranty.
The Audi A4 Allroad’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Countryman’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
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 A4 Allroad’s reliability 47 points higher than the Countryman.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd.
The A4 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 114 more horsepower (248 vs. 134) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 162) than the Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The A4 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 59 more horsepower (248 vs. 189) and 67 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 206) than the Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.
As tested in Motor Trend the Audi A4 Allroad is faster than the MINI Countryman:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A4 Allroad uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The Countryman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The A4 Allroad’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Countryman are solid, not vented.
The A4 Allroad stops much shorter than the Countryman:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the A4 Allroad has larger tires than the Countryman (245/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).
The A4 Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Countryman’s standard 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A4 Allroad has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the A4 Allroad’s wheelbase is 5.8 inches longer than on the Countryman (110.9 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
The A4 Allroad Premium Plus handles at .81 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The A4 Allroad Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
The A4 Allroad has .9 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.
The A4 Allroad has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The A4 Allroad has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (58.5 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the A4 Allroad. The Countryman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The A4 Allroad has a 3968 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.
The engine in the A4 Allroad is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Countryman. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 4% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 Allroad Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Countryman doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A4 Allroad has standard extendable sun visors. The Countryman doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the A4 Allroad to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Countryman doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
The A4 Allroad has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Countryman. The A4 Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Countryman.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the A4 Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Countryman doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the A4 Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Countryman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The A4 Allroad has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Countryman.
The Audi A4/S4 outsold the MINI Countryman by 89% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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