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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Buick Envision 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 Envision Premium’s 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 Envision Premium offers an optional Surround Vision 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 Envision Essence/Premium’s 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. The Countryman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Envision Essence/Premium’s 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 Envision and the Countryman have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Envision 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Countryman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Countryman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 16 times as many Buick dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Envision’s warranty.
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 Envision’s reliability 19 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 Buick vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Buick vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Buick fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 6th.
The Envision has more powerful engines than the Countryman:
Envision 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder
Envision Premium 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder
Countryman 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder
Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Buick Envision uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Envision Premium for maximum performance). The Countryman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Envision has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Countryman (17.3 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Envision Premium, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Countryman.
The Envision stops much shorter than the Countryman:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Envision Premium’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (235/50R19 vs. 225/55R17).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Envision has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman.
The Envision has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Countryman doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Envision’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Countryman doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Envision’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Countryman (108.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
The Envision Premium handles at .81 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Envision Premium executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (27.5 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the Envision’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Countryman’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The front grille of the Envision uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Countryman doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Envision uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Countryman doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Envision has 3.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Countryman (100.6 vs. 96.9).
The Envision has .5 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.
The Envision has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (26.9 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Envision has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (57.3 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Envision’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Countryman doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Envision has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.
The Envision can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Envision can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Countryman can’t be towed flat on the ground.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 4% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.
The Envision has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Countryman doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Envision has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Countryman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Envision has standard extendable sun visors. The Countryman doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Envision has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the Countryman. The Envision Essence/Premium also has standard 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 Envision Premium 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 Envision Essence/Premium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Countryman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The Envision 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 Envision Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Countryman doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Envision is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because typical repairs cost less on the Envision than the Countryman, including $11 less for a muffler, $40 less for a starter and $10 less for fuel injection.
The Buick Envision outsold the MINI Countryman by over two to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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