2021 Mercedes GLA vs. 2020 MINI Countryman

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 2020/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes GLA have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The MINI Countryman doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The GLA’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Countryman doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The GLA’s optional 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 GLA offers an optional Surround View System 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 GLA’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 GLA’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 GLA and the Countryman have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

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There are over 3 times as many Mercedes dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the GLA’s warranty.

Engine

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The GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 87 more horsepower (221 vs. 134) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Countryman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder. The GLA’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 32 more horsepower (221 vs. 189) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 206) than the Countryman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

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 2020/10/21

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

MPG

GLA

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/34 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

Countryman

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the GLA has larger tires than the Countryman (235/55R18 vs. 225/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the GLA has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman. The GLA’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Countryman.

Suspension and Handling

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The GLA’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Countryman doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the GLA’s wheelbase is 2.3 inches longer than on the Countryman (107.4 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the GLA is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.

Chassis

© 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 2020/10/21

The design of the Mercedes GLA amounts to more than styling. The GLA has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 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 GLA get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the GLA uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Countryman doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The GLA has .6 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

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The GLA has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (50.5 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the GLA. The Countryman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 17% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

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The GLA 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.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Countryman, the GLA has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Countryman’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The GLA’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the GLA 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 GLA’s optional 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.

The GLA offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Countryman.

The GLA has a standard 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. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Countryman.

The GLA has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Countryman doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The GLA’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Countryman’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

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 2020/10/21

The Mercedes GLA outsold the MINI Countryman by 58% during 2019.

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