2020 Kia Sportage vs. 2019 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 2019/10/19

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Sportage 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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision Assist optional in the Sportage as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Sportage’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 Sportage’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 Sportage’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 Sportage 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, 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 Sportage 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.

Warranty

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The Sportage 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.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Sportage 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 over 6 times as many Kia dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sportage’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sportage first 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 Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 37 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 4 places higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

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The Sportage has more powerful engines than the Countryman:

Horsepower

Torque

Sportage 2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

181 HP

175 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo AWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

237 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Sportage SX Turbo FWD 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

189 HP

207 lbs.-ft.

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

228 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Sportage 2.4 4-cylinder is faster than the MINI Countryman turbo 3-cylinder (automatics tested):

Sportage

Countryman

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.4 MPH

79.6 MPH

Transmission

© 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 2019/10/19

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Sportage stops much shorter than the Countryman:

Sportage

Countryman

60 to 0 MPH

118 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Sportage SX Turbo’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R17).

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Sportage is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Sportage SX Turbo AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Sportage’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Sportage has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Countryman (6.8 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Sportage to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Sportage has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

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The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (30.7 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Sportage has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (60.1 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

Towing

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

Ergonomics

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The Sportage 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 Sportage 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.

Consumer Reports rated the Sportage’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Countryman’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Sportage (except S/LX) 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 Sportage’s optional (except S/LX) 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Sportage owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sportage will cost $705 less than the Countryman over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sportage is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because typical repairs cost much less on the Sportage than the Countryman, including $91 less for a water pump, $58 less for front brake pads, $263 less for a starter, $89 less for a fuel pump, $121 less for front struts and $150 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Sportage will be $2625 to $3138 less than for the MINI Countryman.

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 2019/10/19

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Sportage and the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Kia Sportage outsold the MINI Countryman by almost five to one during 2018.

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

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