2021 Volvo XC40 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 2020/10/23

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 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 XC40’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.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 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 XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. 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 City Safety in the XC40 as “Superior.” The Countryman scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Countryman doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40’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 XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera 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 XC40’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 XC40’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 XC40 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 and driver alert monitors.

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, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 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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There are over 2 times as many Volvo dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XC40’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 XC40’s reliability 28 points higher than the Countryman.

Engine

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The XC40 has more powerful engines than the Countryman:

Horsepower

Torque

XC40 T4 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

187 HP

221 lbs.-ft.

XC40 T5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Countryman 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

189 HP

206 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Consumer Reports the XC40 T5 is faster than the Countryman S 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder:

XC40

Countryman

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

8.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The XC40 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Countryman doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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The XC40 stops much shorter than the Countryman:

XC40

Countryman

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC40 has larger standard tires than the Countryman (235/55R18 vs. 225/55R17). The XC40’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Countryman (245/45R20 vs. 225/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC40 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Countryman. The XC40’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Countryman.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC40’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Countryman (106.4 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XC40 is 1 inch wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Countryman.

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Countryman (8.3 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The XC40 has .5 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Countryman.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Countryman with its rear seat up (20.7 vs. 17.6 cubic feet). The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Countryman with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 47.6 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Countryman doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XC40. The Countryman doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The XC40 has a 3500 lbs. towing capacity. The Countryman has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The XC40 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 XC40 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.

Consumer Reports rated the XC40’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Countryman’s headlights, which were rated “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 XC40’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Countryman’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The XC40 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Countryman doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Countryman’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The XC40’s standard 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.

Both the XC40 and the Countryman offer optional heated front seats. The XC40 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Countryman.

On extremely cold winter days, the XC40’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.

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 2020/10/23

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC40, based on reliability, safety and performance. The MINI Countryman isn't recommended.

The Volvo XC40 outsold the MINI Countryman by 26% during 2019.

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

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