2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2020 Audi Q3

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 2020/07/10

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 Q3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the Q3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

Warranty

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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. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q3.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Countryman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Q3’s 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 4 places higher in reliability than Audi.

Engine

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The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 73 more horsepower (301 vs. 228) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 258) than the Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Countryman S is faster than the Audi Q3:

Countryman

Q3

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.7 MPH

85.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2020/07/10

On the EPA test cycle the Countryman gets better fuel mileage than the Q3:

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

Q3

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q3 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 Q3 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 Q3 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Countryman stops shorter than the Q3:

Countryman

Q3

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

126 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

135 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 Q3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Countryman offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Q3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Q3 Premium Plus pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Q3 Premium Plus (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Countryman’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q3’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 600 pounds less than the Audi Q3.

The Countryman is 6.8 inches shorter than the Q3, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Countryman has 12.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Q3 (96.9 vs. 84).

The Countryman has .9 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more rear headroom and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the Q3.

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 Q3 doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the Countryman, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, power steering assist, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 Q3 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Countryman’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Q3’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 Q3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Countryman’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Q3’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Countryman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Q3 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Q3’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Model Availability

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The Countryman is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q3 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2020/07/10

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 Q3 isn’t in the top three.

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

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