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The Countryman has standard Automatic Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Trax has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.
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 Trax 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 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Trax doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
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 Trax doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Countryman and the Trax 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 and available all wheel drive.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional 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 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trax was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.
The Countryman comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Trax’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Trax’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).
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. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Trax.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Countryman has a standard 150-amp alternator. The Trax’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
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 28 points higher than the Trax.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 14 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.
The Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 51 more horsepower (189 vs. 138) and 58 lbs.-ft. more torque (206 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 163 more horsepower (301 vs. 138) and 183 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 148) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.
As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Countryman is faster than the Chevrolet Trax:
Countryman turbo 3 cyl.
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
On the EPA test cycle the Countryman S ALL4 8-speed Auto 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (189 HP) gets better highway fuel mileage than the Trax AWD (31 hwy vs. 29 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Trax doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Countryman’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Trax doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Countryman has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Trax (16.1 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
An eight-speed automatic is available on the MINI Countryman, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Trax.
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 Trax 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 Trax doesn’t offer launch control.
The MINI Countryman has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Trax. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.
The Countryman stops much shorter than the Trax:
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the Trax (225/55R17 vs. 205/70R16). The Countryman’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Trax (225/55R17 vs. 215/55R18).
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 Trax’s standard 70 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Trax’s optional 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Trax. The Countryman’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Trax.
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 Trax doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For superior ride and handling, the MINI Countryman has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Trax has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
The Countryman has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Countryman flat and controlled during cornering. The Trax’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
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 Trax’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Trax (105.1 inches vs. 100.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Countryman is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Trax.
The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the Countryman has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Trax (6.5 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Countryman to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Countryman has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Trax (96.9 vs. 92.8).
The Countryman has .9 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Trax.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The Trax’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 Trax doesn’t offer tailgating seats.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Countryman’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The Trax doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.
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 Trax 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 Trax doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Countryman’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Trax has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The Countryman’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Trax’s passenger windows don’t close automatically.
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 Trax can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
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 Trax’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Countryman has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Trax doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
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 Trax’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
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 Trax doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Countryman detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Countryman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Trax doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet only offers heated mirrors on the Trax LT/Premier.
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 Trax’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
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 Trax offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Countryman’s optional dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Trax doesn’t offer dual zone air-conditioning.
The Countryman’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic air-conditioning.
Both the Countryman and the Trax offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Countryman has standard rear air-conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Trax doesn’t offer rear air-conditioning vents, only heat vents.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Countryman offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Trax doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
The Countryman’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trax’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
With standard voice command, the Countryman offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Trax doesn’t offer a voice control system.
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 Trax 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 Trax doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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 Trax is rated higher at a number “10” rate.
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 Trax only retains 35.97% to 39.45%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the Trax because typical repairs cost much less on the Countryman than the Trax, including $61 less for a water pump, $183 less for a muffler, $153 less for a fuel pump, $364 less for a timing belt/chain and $148 less for a power steering pump.
Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Trax 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 Trax isn’t in the top three.
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