2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

Warranty

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The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Santa Fe’s (12 vs. 7 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. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Santa Fe.

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

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks MINI 1 place higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

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The Countryman has more powerful engines than the Santa Fe:

Horsepower

Torque

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

189 HP

206 lbs.-ft.

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

301 HP

331 lbs.-ft.

Santa Fe 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

178 lbs.-ft.

Santa Fe 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

235 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the MINI Countryman is faster than the Santa Fe 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.:

Countryman turbo 3 cyl.

Countryman S

Santa Fe

Zero to 60 MPH

9.3 sec

7.4 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

17 sec

15.7 sec

17.1 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 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 2019/11/22

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

Countryman

Santa Fe

2WD

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./7-spd. Auto

26 city/33 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

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

24 city/33 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

4WD

1.5 turbo 3 cyl./8-spd. Auto

24 city/33 hwy

21 city/27 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

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

23 city/31 hwy

20 city/26 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

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

23 city/30 hwy

n/a

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

Brakes and Stopping

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The Countryman stops much shorter than the Santa Fe:

Countryman

Santa Fe

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

136 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

141 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 Santa Fe SE/SEL’s standard 65 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Santa Fe 2.0T’s 55 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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Santa Fe doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the Santa Fe 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 1.7 seconds quicker than the Santa Fe (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The MINI Countryman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 700 pounds less than the Hyundai Santa Fe.

The Countryman is 1 foot, 6 inches shorter than the Santa Fe, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Countryman has standard flush composite headlights. The Santa Fe has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

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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 Santa Fe doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Ergonomics

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The Countryman’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Santa Fe’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Santa Fe SEL/Limited’s power windows, only the front windows open or 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 Santa Fe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Santa Fe’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 Santa Fe 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 Santa Fe doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Hyundai only offers heated mirrors on the Santa Fe SEL/Limited.

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

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

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Countryman is less expensive to operate than the Santa Fe because it costs $55 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Countryman than the Santa Fe, including $69 less for fuel injection, $38 less for a fuel pump and $390 less for a power steering 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 2019/11/22

Consumer Reports® recommends both the MINI Countryman and the Hyundai Santa Fe, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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 Santa Fe isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

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