2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/06

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 Stelvio 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.

Both the Countryman and the Stelvio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Countryman the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Stelvio has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Stelvio’s (12 vs. 4 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. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Stelvio.

Reliability

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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 Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 23rd in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 19 places higher in reliability than Alfa Romeo.

Engine

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The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 21 more horsepower (301 vs. 280) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 306) than the Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Countryman

FWD

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

26 city/33 hwy

S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

AWD

1.5 turbo 3-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

S 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

JCW 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

Stelvio

RWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Stelvio 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 Stelvio 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 Stelvio doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Countryman stops much shorter than the Stelvio:

Countryman

Stelvio

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The Countryman’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Stelvio’s standard 60 series tires.

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 Stelvio doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Stelvio Ti AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Countryman’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Stelvio’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.5 feet).

Chassis

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The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 600 pounds less than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

The Countryman is 1 foot, 2.8 inches shorter than the Stelvio, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Countryman has .3 inches more front headroom, 3.8 inches more front legroom and 5.7 inches more rear legroom than the Stelvio.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The Stelvio’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 Stelvio doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Ergonomics

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The Countryman offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the Countryman the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Stelvio can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the Stelvio.

When the Countryman with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Stelvio’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Countryman owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Countryman will cost $1495 less than the Stelvio over a five-year period.

The Countryman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Countryman will retain 45.61% to 52.4% of its original price after five years, while the Stelvio only retains 40.25% to 42.03%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the MINI Countryman will be $6170 to $13797 less than for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/06

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 Stelvio isn’t in the top three.

The MINI Countryman outsold the Alfa Romeo Stelvio by 48% during 2019.

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