2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5

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 2020/08/12

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 CX-5 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Countryman’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-5 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Countryman and the CX-5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, 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.

Warranty

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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 CX-5’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-5’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. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-5.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Countryman has a 150-amp alternator. The CX-5’s standard 100-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 Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The JCW Countryman’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 51 more horsepower (301 vs. 250) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 320) than the CX-5 GT Reserve/Signature’s optional 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Countryman S is faster than the Mazda CX-5 (base engine):

Countryman

CX-5

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

15.7 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86.7 MPH

78.3 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 2020/08/12

On the EPA test cycle the Countryman gets better fuel mileage than the CX-5:

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

CX-5

FWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Countryman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-5 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Countryman has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-5 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 CX-5.

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 CX-5 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Countryman stops much shorter than the CX-5:

Countryman

CX-5

60 to 0 MPH

120 feet

133 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

144 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 CX-5 Sport/Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The Countryman’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature’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 CX-5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Countryman has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 CX-5’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Countryman S ALL4 handles at .83 G’s, while the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Countryman S ALL4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (27.2 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.5 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 150 to 250 pounds less than the Mazda CX-5.

The Countryman is 9.3 inches shorter than the CX-5, making the Countryman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 CX-5 doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Countryman’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-5 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the Countryman and the CX-5 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Countryman is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-5 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 CX-5 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 CX-5’s power mirror 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-5 Grand Touring/Signature.

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 CX-5’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Countryman’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-5 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Countryman and the CX-5 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 CX-5 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat 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 CX-5 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 CX-5 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 CX-5 because typical repairs cost less on the Countryman than the CX-5, including $140 less for fuel injection.

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 2020/08/12

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 CX-5 isn’t in the top three.

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