2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2020 Fiat 500X

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 2019/11/21

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 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Countryman and the 500X have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, 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 500X’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. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 500X.

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 56 points higher than the 500X.

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 Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 130 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

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The Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (189 vs. 177) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl. The JCW Countryman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 124 more horsepower (301 vs. 177) and 121 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 210) than the 500X’s 1.3 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 500X doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Countryman has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 500X (16.1 vs. 12.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Countryman stops much shorter than the 500X:

Countryman

500X

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Countryman has larger tires than the 500X (225/55R17 vs. 215/60R17).

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 500X AWD’s standard 60 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the 500X AWD’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The 500X’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 500X 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 500X’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the 500X (105.1 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Countryman is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 500X.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the 500X Trekking 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 1.5 seconds quicker than the 500X Trekking (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Countryman has 5.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 500X (96.9 vs. 91.7).

The Countryman has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 500X.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Countryman’s rear seats recline. The 500X’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 500X doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

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The Countryman has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the 500X with its rear seat up (17.6 vs. 14.1 cubic feet). The Countryman has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the 500X with its rear seat folded (47.6 vs. 39.8 cubic feet).

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 500X doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

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 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 500X’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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 500X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 500X 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 500X’s standard 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 500X doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Countryman has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 500X only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

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 500X’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 500X offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Countryman offers an optional center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Countryman has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 500X doesn’t offer rear vents.

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 500X 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 500X doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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The Countryman is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The 500X doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the 500X because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the 500X, including $17 less for a water pump, $195 less for fuel injection and $171 less for a fuel pump.

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 2019/11/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the MINI Countryman, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Fiat 500X 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 500X isn’t in the top three.

The MINI Countryman outsold the Fiat 500X by almost five to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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