2020 MINI Countryman vs. 2021 Kia Seltos

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 2020/06/06

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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard 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 202 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Seltos has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The Countryman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Seltos’ (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

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. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Seltos.

Reliability

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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 Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.

Engine

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The Countryman has more powerful engines than the Seltos:

Horsepower

Torque

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

189 HP

206 lbs.-ft.

JCW Countryman 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

301 HP

331 lbs.-ft.

Seltos 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder

146 HP

132 lbs.-ft.

Seltos S 1.6T/SX 1.6 turbo 4-cylinder

175 HP

195 lbs.-ft.

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 Seltos doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Countryman has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Seltos (16.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 Seltos doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Countryman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Seltos’ 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 Seltos doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 Seltos 4x2 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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 Seltos’ 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 Seltos doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Countryman’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Seltos (105.1 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

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 Seltos doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

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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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 Seltos 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 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 Seltos’ standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens 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 Seltos 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 Seltos’ 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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Countryman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Seltos S/EX/SX.

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 Seltos’ 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 Seltos 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 Seltos doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

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