2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2020 Acura RDX

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 2019/11/16

The Countryman has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The RDX doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Countryman’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The RDX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the RDX 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

Warranty

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The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RDX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Countryman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RDX.

Reliability

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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 Countryman’s reliability 36 points higher than the RDX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that MINI vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 23rd in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 52 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.

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

Engine

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The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 29 more horsepower (301 vs. 272) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 280) than the RDX’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Countryman

RDX

2WD

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./7-spd. Auto

26 city/33 hwy

n/a

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (189 HP)/7-spd. Auto

24 city/33 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

22 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./8-spd. Auto

24 city/33 hwy

n/a

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (189 HP)/8-spd. Auto

23 city/31 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (301 HP)/8-spd. Auto

23 city/30 hwy

21 city/26 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RDX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The Countryman offers a standard 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 RDX doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Countryman Auto’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RDX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Countryman stops shorter than the RDX:

Countryman

RDX

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

127 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Countryman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RDX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the RDX AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RDX AWD (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Countryman’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the RDX’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.9 feet).

Chassis

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The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 500 pounds less than the Acura RDX.

The Countryman is 1 foot, 5 inches shorter than the RDX, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Countryman when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The RDX doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Ergonomics

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The Countryman’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RDX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Countryman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RDX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Countryman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Countryman offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The RDX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the MINI Countryman offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The RDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Countryman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Countryman owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Countryman with a number “5” insurance rate while the RDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the RDX because typical repairs cost much less on the Countryman than the RDX, including $175 less for front brake pads, $60 less for a starter, $48 less for fuel injection, $131 less for a fuel pump and $529 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Countryman will be $1860 to $7747 less than for the Acura RDX.

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 2019/11/16

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Acura RDX isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Countryman first among small suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RDX isn’t in the top three.

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

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