2020 Chevrolet Trax vs. 2019 MINI Countryman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Trax 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 Trax Premier’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Trax (except LS)’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. The Countryman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Trax (except LS)’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.

The Trax has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Countryman doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Trax 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, collision warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Trax 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Countryman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Countryman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 24 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Trax’s warranty.

Reliability

The Chevrolet Trax’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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 6th.

Engine

The Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. produces 4 more horsepower (138 vs. 134) than the Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Trax

FWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

AWD

Auto

1.4 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Countryman

FWD

Auto

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

AWD

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

Auto

S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

JCW 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Transmission

The Chevrolet Trax comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.

Brakes and Stopping

The Trax stops much shorter than the Countryman:

Trax

Countryman

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Trax Premier handles at .80 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Trax’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Trax may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 500 pounds less than the MINI Countryman.

Passenger Space

The Trax has .4 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

The Trax has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (18.7 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Trax has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (48.4 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Trax LT/Premier 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 Countryman doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Trax 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.

The Trax LT/Premier 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.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Trax is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because it costs $145 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Trax than the Countryman, including $42 less for front brake pads, $180 less for a starter, $105 less for fuel injection and $140 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Trax outsold the MINI Countryman by over five to one during 2018.

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

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