2020 Jeep Cherokee vs. 2020 MINI Countryman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/21

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Jeep Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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 5 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision Warning with Crash Mitigation optional in the Cherokee as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Cherokee Limited/Trailhawk/Overland offers optional Parksense with Rear Stop that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Countryman doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Cherokee’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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee’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 Cherokee 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 and front and rear parking sensors.

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 Cherokee the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 106 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Countryman has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

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Jeep’s powertrain warranty covers the Cherokee 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 19 times as many Jeep dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Cherokee’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Cherokee has a standard 160-amp alternator (180-amp - Cherokee optional). The Countryman’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Jeep vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Jeep 17th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd.

Engine

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The Cherokee has more powerful engines than the Countryman:

Horsepower

Torque

Cherokee 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

180 HP

171 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

270 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Cherokee 3.2 DOHC V6

271 HP

239 lbs.-ft.

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

189 HP

206 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Jeep Cherokee turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

Cherokee

Countryman

Zero to 60 MPH

6.6 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.3 MPH

86.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Jeep Cherokee uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Countryman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Cherokee has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Countryman doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Jeep Cherokee, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Countryman.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Cherokee stops much shorter than the Countryman:

Cherokee

Countryman

60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Cherokee Trailhawk’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (245/65R17 vs. 225/55R17).

The Cherokee 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 Cherokee offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Countryman, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare or run-flat tires, either of which has mileage and speed limitations.

Suspension and Handling

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The Cherokee’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 Cherokee’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Countryman (106.5 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Cherokee is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 handles at .80 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Cherokee Latitude 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (27.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Cherokee has a 1.4 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Countryman (7.9 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Cherokee to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Cherokee Trailhawk’s minimum ground clearance is 2.2 inches higher than on the Countryman (8.7 vs. 6.5 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Cherokee (except Overland/Trailhawk) 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 Cherokee Overland offers available 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.

Passenger Space

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The Cherokee has 6.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Countryman (103.5 vs. 96.9).

The Cherokee has .7 inches more front legroom, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

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The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (27.6 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Cherokee has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (54.7 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Cherokee. The Countryman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The Cherokee has a 2000 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Cherokee offers a 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 Cherokee 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 Cherokee 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Cherokee has standard extendable sun visors. The Countryman doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Cherokee and the Countryman offer optional heated front seats. The Cherokee Overland 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 Cherokee (except Latitude/Latitude Plus) 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 Cherokee’s optional 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 Cherokee offers an optional 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

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Cherokee is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because it costs $491 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Cherokee than the Countryman, including $18 less for a water pump, $30 less for fuel injection, $58 less for front struts and $320 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/21

The Jeep Cherokee outsold the MINI Countryman by almost fifteen to one during the 2019 model year.

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