2021 Hyundai Kona vs. 2021 MINI Countryman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Kona are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The MINI Countryman doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist in the Kona as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Kona’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Countryman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Countryman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Countryman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Kona and the Countryman 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 rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kona the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Countryman last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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The Kona comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Countryman’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Kona 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Countryman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Countryman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 7 times as many Hyundai dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Kona’s warranty.

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 Kona’s reliability 53 points higher than the Countryman.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 4 places higher in reliability than MINI.

Engine

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As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Kona 4 cyl. is faster than the MINI Countryman turbo 3 cyl.:

Kona

Countryman

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.6 MPH

79.6 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 2020/10/26

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

MPG

Kona

2WD

1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

28 city/32 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

4WD

1.6 Turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/29 hwy

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/30 hwy

Countryman

2WD

1.5 Turbo 4-cyl.

26 city/33 hwy

S 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

4WD

1.5 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

S 2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Kona uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Countryman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Kona stops much shorter than the Countryman:

Kona

Countryman

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Kona Night/Limited/Ultimate’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (235/45R18 vs. 225/55R17).

Suspension and Handling

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The Kona Ultimate handles at .85 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Kona Ultimate executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (26.9 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Kona’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Kona has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Countryman (6.7 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Kona to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Hyundai Kona may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the MINI Countryman.

The Kona is 5.8 inches shorter than the Countryman, making the Kona easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Hyundai Kona amounts to more than styling. The Kona has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Countryman (.32 to .33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Kona get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The Kona has 1.1 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

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The Kona has a much larger cargo volume than the Countryman with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 17.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The Kona SEL Plus/Limited/Ultimate has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Countryman doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Kona has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Countryman only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Kona’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Countryman’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Kona SEL/Night/Limited/Ultimate has standard extendable sun visors. The Countryman doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Kona owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Kona will cost $605 less than the Countryman over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Kona is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because it costs $118 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Kona than the Countryman, including $4 less for a water pump, $76 less for front brake pads, $99 less for a starter, $68 less for fuel injection, $94 less for a fuel pump, $134 less for front struts, $211 less for a timing belt/chain and $153 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Kona will be $5370 to $8854 less than for the MINI Countryman.

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 2020/10/26

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Kona, based on reliability, safety and performance. The MINI Countryman isn't recommended.

The Kona was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” in 2019. The Countryman has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Hyundai Kona outsold the MINI Countryman by over five to one during 2019.

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

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