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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Hyundai Tucson 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 Tucson has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Countryman doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Foward Collision Avoidance Assist optional in the Tucson as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”
The Tucson’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 Tucson Limited/Ultimate has a standard Surround View Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Countryman only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.
The Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/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 Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/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 Tucson 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, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and daytime running lights.
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, with its optional 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 Tucson 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.
The Tucson 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 Tucson 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 Tucson’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Tucson first among compact SUVs in their 2020 Initial Quality Study. The Countryman isn’t in the top three in its category.
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.
As tested in Motor Trend the Hyundai Tucson 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder is faster than the MINI Countryman turbo 3 cyl.:
Zero to 60 MPH
Speed in 1/4 Mile
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Tucson uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Countryman requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Tucson higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the MINI Countryman (3 to 7). This means the Tucson produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Countryman every 15,000 miles.
The Tucson stops much shorter than the Countryman:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the Tucson Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (245/45R19 vs. 225/55R17).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Tucson is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.
The Tucson SE handles at .82 G’s, while the Countryman ALL4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The Tucson Limited AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Countryman ALL4 (27.1 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .58 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the Tucson’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the Countryman’s (34.9 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The Tucson has 5.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Countryman (102.2 vs. 96.9).
The Tucson has 1.1 inches more front legroom, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.
The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (31 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The Tucson has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (61.9 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).
The Tucson has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.
The Tucson Value/SEL/Sport/Limited 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 Tucson 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 Tucson’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 Tucson has standard extendable sun visors. The Countryman doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the Tucson and the Countryman offer available heated front seats. The Tucson Ultimate also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Countryman.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Tucson Ultimate keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Countryman doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Tucson Limited/Ultimate’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Countryman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Insurance will cost less for the Tucson owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Tucson will cost $700 less than the Countryman over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Tucson is less expensive to operate than the Countryman because typical repairs cost much less on the Tucson than the Countryman, including $104 less for a water pump, $40 less for a muffler, $46 less for front brake pads, $135 less for a starter, $78 less for a fuel pump, $165 less for front struts, $374 less for a timing belt/chain and $216 less for a power steering pump.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Hyundai Tucson will be $3846 to $7239 less than for the MINI Countryman.
The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Hyundai Tucson, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.
The Hyundai Tucson outsold the MINI Countryman by almost 10 to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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