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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Tucson 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 Tucson has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. 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 Forward Collision Avoidance Assist optional in the Tucson as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
The Tucson’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 Tucson Limited/Ultimate has a standard Surround View Monitor 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 Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate’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 Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate’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.
The Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate has a standard Blue Link, 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 Tucson and the Countryman 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive and daytime running lights.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Tucson the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Countryman has not been fully tested, yet.
The Tucson comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Countryman’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.
Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Tucson 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Countryman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Countryman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are almost 7 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Tucson’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson second among small suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Countryman isn’t in the top three.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 36 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.
As tested in Motor Trend the Tucson SEL/Sport/Limited/Ultimate 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. is faster than the MINI Countryman turbo 3 cyl. (automatics tested):
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
The Hyundai Tucson comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Countryman.
The Tucson offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Countryman doesn’t offer an SMG.
The Tucson stops much shorter than the Countryman:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R17).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.
The Tucson SE handles at .82 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Tucson Limited AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (27.1 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the Tucson’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (34.9 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The Tucson has 5.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Countryman (102.2 vs. 96.9).
The Tucson has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.
The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (31 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (61.9 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).
The Tucson has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.
The Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited 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 Tucson 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 Countryman’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Tucson Limited’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.
Both the Tucson and the Countryman offer available heated front seats. The Tucson Ultimate also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Countryman.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Tucson Ultimate 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 Tucson Limited/Ultimate’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.
Insurance will cost less for the Tucson owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tucson will cost $65 to $2710 less than the Countryman over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tucson is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because typical repairs cost much less on the Tucson than the Countryman, including $109 less for a water pump, $44 less for a muffler, $62 less for front brake pads, $137 less for a starter, $83 less for a fuel pump, $173 less for front struts, $374 less for a timing belt/chain and $218 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Tucson will be $4219 to $9764 less than for the MINI Countryman.
The Hyundai Tucson outsold the MINI Countryman by over eight to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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